Attitudes to rape: an AAARRGGGH! moment

The conversation quoted below occurred at work today.

And yes, it did contribute to my I Hate Men post. Why do you ask?

(What is below the fold is potentially triggering).

Male Colleague 1: Did you hear about that poor little 10 year old in QLD who was gang raped and the men got off. They’re looking into other rape cases now because of it.

Female Colleague: Yeah, that’s not justice.

Male Colleague 2: Yeah, but I mean, how do you know it really was rape. I mean, what if there was consent and she just decided…

Me: She was 10! She can’t consent. It’s impossible.

Male Colleague 2: That’s not what I mean. I mean, how do you know if it really was rape. In general.

Me: Well, if you’re doing it right and she’s screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, you’d have no worries, would you?

Female Colleague: [embarrassed giggles]

Male Colleague 2: Well, you never really know, do you? There’s grey area.

Male Colleague 1: What’s the matter? Can’t get any?

Me: Oh, come on. If she says ‘no’ or ‘stop’ or ‘I don’t really feel like it’ or she pushes you away or she’s really drunk or comatose – then that would be a good indication that she hasn’t consented, right? How hard can it be?

Male Colleague 2: It’s not that simple, though, is it?

Me: No, really. It is.

Male Colleague 2: But it would be her word against his.

[dead silence]

Female Colleague: [embarrassed giggles]

Me: AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

Male Colleague 1: So… I hear The Chaser boys are taking a break from television

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12 Responses to “Attitudes to rape: an AAARRGGGH! moment”


  1. 1 Lynne Friday, 21 December 2007 at 1:23 am

    This post made me choke on my coffee. Are you freakin’ kidding me???
    I was raped as a teenager by my “boyfriend” and “lived” with the secret for years before finally realizing I WASN’T living and sought counseling. To this day, my biggest fear is that I will face someone expressing the views of your co-worker: I was asking for it, I “deserved” it, it was somehow my fault. It is a demon that I wrestle on a daily basis, but I try to speak out as much as possible because I believe that silence is much more dangerous.

  2. 2 fatadelic Friday, 21 December 2007 at 7:09 am

    I was so angry at what he said, I nearly burst. No-one deserves rape. No-one.

    (And I’ve put the dialogue behind the fold now. I was sooo angry yesterday about what he said, I didn’t think about potentially triggering people. Mea Culpa.)

  3. 3 moonchild Friday, 21 December 2007 at 9:15 am

    Oh, yes. It’s always poor innocent males who are wrongly accused of rape by devious females. You know, I know a number of women who have been raped and not ONE person who has falsely accused someone of rape. My rapist denied that he raped me, but that doesn’t obliterate the rape – it occurred. It was not “he said, she said”. It was rape.

  4. 4 kathy Friday, 21 December 2007 at 11:07 am

    You’ve got to be kidding me! What kind of caveman is this?

    Does he really believe that any 10 year old can consent to sex…and not just sex…but an orgy?

    If he really believes this, then mommas watch your kids around this dude. If not one already, he sounds like a pedophile in the making.

  5. 5 fatadelic Friday, 21 December 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I’m not sure if he intended his comments to be taken as about that particular rape (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt there) but what he said was appalling enough. I have long known I work with misogynists and this has proven it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  6. 6 johnnypeepers Friday, 21 December 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Isn’t what he said sexual harassment? It should be hate crime either way. Promoting those cave-man misogynist attitudes is what perpetuates the patriarchal domination of women everywhere.

  7. 7 davidrochester Sunday, 23 December 2007 at 4:34 pm

    That’s absolutely amazing. I really don’t know how it can possibly be difficult to determine what is rape and what isn’t … if the individual concerned isn’t over 18, fully sober and cognizant, and fully consenting, then it’s rape. The astonishing thing to me about men like that is that although they claim to have no idea where the line is regarding consensual sex, you’d better believe they’d scream bloody murder about being violated if a gay man even looked at them the wrong way.

  8. 8 Fatadelic Sunday, 23 December 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Interestingly the guy in question is also intensely homophobic. I have seen him flail about desperately trying to have a conversation with a person who isn’t by his standards either a) ‘a mate’ (only straight men need apply) or b) a woman and therefore fuckable.

  9. 9 davidrochester Monday, 24 December 2007 at 3:52 am

    I would venture it’s safe to say that most men who have inappropriate attitudes toward women and sexuality are homophobic, because no man has those attitudes unless he is profoundly insecure in some way … as I’m sure you know, rape has little to do with sexuality, and everything to do with power. A gay man, who might conceivably be a sexual predator is a very real power threat, because he is an unknown quantity, and not able to be reduced to something comprehensible.

    When I was in college, I had a very small taste of what it might be like for women in the world … I was stalked and sexually assaulted by a gay man in my dorm (I am straight)and although things didn’t progress as far as they could have,it was extremely traumatic for me. Many of the other men in the dorm were also gay, and conspired in a campaign to laugh the whole thing off as a joke, and to make me feel as though there was something very wrong with me for having been disturbed by the incident. This other student continued to stalk me for the rest of the year, and started again the following year. When I went to the school administration to ask what could be done,I was told that if I had a problem, I would have to move out of the dorm … which was a French-speaking dorm where I was living as part of the requirement for my foreign language major.

    So … yeah,the world in general has very strange attitudes toward people’s rights to sexual privacy and dignity.


  1. 1 Knuckle Dragging « Set & Link Trackback on Friday, 21 December 2007 at 3:02 pm
  2. 2 “No means No’ law comes into effect in NSW« Fatadelic Trackback on Monday, 31 December 2007 at 9:08 am
  3. 3 Another example of sexism in my workplace « Fatadelic Trackback on Thursday, 15 January 2009 at 3:27 pm

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