Naomi Wolf: J'Accuse: Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide
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In the US I have heard from dozens of young women who have been drugged and raped in college campuses across the nation. There is almost inevitably a cover-up by the university -- guaranteed if their assailants are prominent athletes on campus, or affluent -- and their rapists are free. If it gets to police inquiry, it seldom gets very far. Date rape? Forget it. If a woman has been drinking, or has previously had consensual sex with her attacker, or if there is any ambiguity about the issue of consent, she almost never gets a serious hearing or real investigation.
If the rare middle-class woman who charges rape against a stranger -- for those inevitably are the few and rare cases that the state bothers to hear -- actually gets treated seriously by the legal system, she will nonetheless find inevitable hurdles to any kind of real hearing let alone real conviction: either a 'lack of witnesses' or problems with evidence, or else a discourse that even a clear assault is racked with ambiguity. If, even more rare, a man is actually convicted -- it will almost inevitably be a minimal sentence, insulting in its triviality, because no one wants to 'ruin the life' of a man, often a young man, who has 'made a mistake'. (The few exceptions tend to regard a predictable disparity of races -- black men do get convicted for assault on higher-status white women whom they do not know.)
In other words: Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned -- for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven. In terms of a case involving the kinds of ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims' complaints -- sex that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute arose around a condom -- please find me, anywhere in the world, another man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable.
Of course 'No means No', even after consent has been given, whether you are male or female; and of course condoms should always be used if agreed upon. As my fifteen-year-old would say: Duh.
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