March 07, 2006


Writing about web page

\*Carefully steps on thin ice, making sure to have enough time to make statement*

I'm not sure if it's the best idea to blog this during International Women's Week, but the BBC article confused me.

Ensure consent for sex, men told

Okay, that's the title, and until that point it made sense. Then it continues on no matter how drunk the woman is, as a man you must have had consent to have sex with her, otherwise you could later be convicted of rape.
– I assume the terms man and woman can be interchanged in some cases

"Hi, I noticed you around. Can I get you a drink?"
"Oh yes, please, a rum and coke would make my day!"
"Ooh, before you start drinking, can I ask you…"
"Would you consent in having sexual relations?"
"Ooh sorry, not now. Maybe later. Where's that drink?"

That probably won't work. But once the woman has been drinking, she will be in a state where she'll be less capacitated to make the decision. Then again, even if she consents earlier on, can't she deny it in court? Maybe a written consent – perhaps in electronic form – is the way forward?

I'm well aware of the severity of rape dates and the advantages made of people when they're drunk. But to set in stone such a blurry situation, and to blame the not so drunk person on beforehand sounds a bit too much like a freebee to me.

Isn't the worrying situation that people go out on their own – or without people they can trust – and get absolutely leathered?


- 3 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hayles

    Ok, I think I see what you mean, but I'm not sure I totally agree with you. Or maybe I agree and I've got things to add. We'll see anyway!

    Firstly, and randomly, is it international womens week? I didn't know that!

    Secondly, rape of a woman by a man is more common than vice versa (I don't know about same-sex rape incidence, so can't comment there). The reason for that, by my understanding, is that it is easier for a woman's part in sex to be passive. Therefore, in the case of date-rape anyway (and we're not talking about the type where there's drugs involved, but the type where "advantage" is taken over the woman who is drunk), it's easy for the guy to think, "oh, she's not objecting, it must be ok", without thinking, "ah, she's too drunk to object, this is bad"... maybe because both casual sex and excessive alcohol intake are just too damn common in our culture?

    Giving consent is active not passive, and it's up to everyone to make sure that their partner agrees to sexual activity (from the article you quoted)

    I think that's the point. Just allowing someone to do stuff to you can't be called consent. However, it's important that the person is competent to give informed consent, otherwise consent is invalid.
    We get around that at the hospital by getting someone who is competent to give consent- a friend or relative. But I'm not sure that would work in this circumstance! (can you imagine, "yes, it's fine, I'm her next of kin… go have sex with her"?!)

    Anyway, I'm being flippant about something I actually don't view flippantly at all (victim of a serious sexual assault as a teenager… fortunately NOT drunk and therefore managed to save myself from rape). The point is, sex shouldn't occur between anyone other than two consenting adults, both of whom are competent to make that decision.

    Isn't the worrying situation that people go out on their own or without people they can trust and get absolutely leathered?

    Yes. But the very sad fact is that british culture at the moment very much circles around going out and getting drunk and getting laid. And there's not really any sign of that changing, at the moment. I agree with you that trying to gain consent at the beginning of the evening is not practical… maybe a better approach would just be to not have drunken sex, or at least not with someone who isn't already your partner who you know well anyway.

    Did that make sense? I think, on the whole that I agreed with you and wanted to add stuff.

    07 Mar 2006, 13:37

  2. Kevin

    I agree with both of you, but Hayles is commenting on the situation when the women hasn't said yes or no, and Thor is asking how far you can take consent. If a girl says yes, there is not reason to suppose she will stick to that decision the next morning.

    Rape is wrong – absolutely no question – and I agree you should get consent… but how do you prove you got consent and how drunk is too drunk to give it.

    This is impossible to define. You wouldn't buy a house or a car with just a vebal agreement. and yet if that falls though you lose money. If this falls through then you can go to jail, or at the minimum become socially unacceptable.

    The only reason a man would risk this gauntlet is he isn't thinking with his head! ;-P

    13 Mar 2006, 11:31

  3. Petra

    Well, I have my own view on this. Like Hayles, I too have been the victim of sexual assault at a young age, and whilst I wouldn't go as far to say that it taught me a lesson, it made me thnk about situations I have put my self in in the past. getting drunk and having no backup, ie a friend to tell you to think about what you are doing, is a scary thing,and even though, whilst sober I always have a very sensible head on, once drunk it is a different story, you become invinsible – nothing will happen and all will be fine. Women do need to take control of their own actions, realise their own limitations and also be aware that every bloke who comes on to you is not necessarily a nice one. Blokes need to stop thinking with their dicks and if they really are interested in a sexual relationship look at all the facts first. sadly there will always be blokes out there who are after a quick shag, who are turned on by the scantily clad blond teetering towards him in her high heels, making eyes and smelling of vodka red bull, and there will be always that blond drinking that vodka red bull and wanting to look sexy. This is not a win win situation, whilst their are deviants, and those who are oblivious to them this will always happen.
    TOP TIP:
    GIRLS: –stay with your friends, get to know someone – at least 2 nights,let it be safe – the thrill of drunk sex with someone you barley know is fab.
    BLOKES: – dont take advantage – treat her like a lady, dont get your self into the situation where you are at risk of having your intentions misconstrued. –
    I guess!

    18 May 2006, 15:04

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