Quantcast

Rape: Pretty much legal in Britain

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, May 30, 2008 23:43 EDT
google plus icon
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Well, this is a new one. Most of the trackbacks I get from people not accusing me of blogging about what they want me to blog about—it goes without question that their judgment on my obligations is better than mine—comes from people accusing me of not blogging enough about how we should liberate Muslim women from head coverings through bombing aimed at liberating them from their earthly existence. Occasionally I get a leftist lamenting that I spend too much time making this place entertaining instead of a nobly unread drag that posts to a non-existent readership, but mostly it’s the right wingers demanding that I free Muslim women by blogging against their right to live free of being killed by American shrapnel. But this guy is accusing me of wasting my time exposing religious nuts who want to deprive both men and women around the entire globe of pretty much every freedom you can name, and instead suggesting that I don’t—get this—write enough about rape. That I write about rape 1000% more often than any other blogger with this much traffic, except maybe the fine ladies at Feministing is no matter. Because by my neglectful inability to dwell non-stop on a topic that’s, let’s face it, pretty fucking depressing, I’ve personally caused the abysmal sexist politics that have resulted in a 6% conviction rate for rape in Britain.

Horrible “American Feminists” at Feministing (where Jessica is also editing a book confronting sex negative/misogynist attitudes that contribute to rape) did in fact cover the story, which has so far not led to a dramatic reversal for the criminal justice system in Britain. But I promise that if they could change things, they would. It seems in fact that the conviction rate has been sliding over the years, so I suspect what’s going on is a similar situation to other reactionary movements such as the ones that sprung those obviously guilty of lynching or war crimes. In other words, if our nutball friend actually cares about convicting rapists, he needs to quit ranting about horrible, no good feminists, because it’s precisely those sentiments that encourage reactionary backlashes that lead to these situations.

Interestingly, because of ineffective American Feminist bitchy worthlessness, the rape rate in the United States has been going down consistently since feminists ineffectively made it an issue though they probably didn’t want to. Like 85% gone down. Despite annoyingness to random internet assholes with strange agendas, it turns out that American Feminism has something to do with the decline in rape.

I flashed for a moment of how much things have changed in the U.S., and why this probably has so much to do with the significantly lower rape rate here, something you should want if you are really concerned about rape. I was listening to the Datarock CD and they ironically quote the lyrics to “Summer Nights” from Grease. It’s been years since I’ve heard that song or a reference to it, I guess, because my mind really tripped on the casual crack about rape in the lyric, “Did she put up a fight?” Granted, the lyric is there as a 50s historical detail, but even so, the casual reference to the traditional battle between guys who want it and girls who want to preserve their reputation—and the acceptance that it culminates in rape on a regular basis—gave me pause. In the 70s, they put it there to suggest how much sexual mores have changed. Now gender and power mores have changed that the 70s wink and nudge is nauseating. Witness: On the show “Mad Men”, there are regular cracks from male characters about women “putting up a fight”, and instead of being a colorful historical detail, it’s supposed to make the audience queasy. If that shift in attitudes about women’s rights and sex hasn’t contributed to a lowered rape rate, I’d be shocked.

Why this has resulted in a misogynist backlash in Britain, I can’t say. I don’t know enough about the cultural or legal differences to offer an opinion. Maybe British readers have some sort of insight?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+