Ask The Right Questions

There does seem of late, or should I say, since it has been possible to let any and everybody know your every thought, via social media. Unfortunately, some have forgotten the ability to filter. David Osbourne, a barrister and, it would seem, opinionated blogger, has written an article in defence of men accused of rape due to the female victims inability to give consent reliably, because they are too drunk.
He does – in a way only a person who has no comprehension of how strongly true rape victims feel could – blunders callously into the subject, castigating women who he believes should expect no quarter in law if they go out dressed inappropriately – cover up trollops! – and get to stupefied on drink or drugs to give clear headed consent, when some young buck, scenting an opportunity, should try to make a conquest.
The question of why anyone one would want to have a sexual liaison with a highly inebriated individual is perhaps a little naive, but one that needs addressing. Unfortunately the seeming need for young people and some who should know better, to drink to the point of oblivion, whilst still with one eye on a possible hook up, means the sex-whilst-drunk debate is not likely to go away anytime soon.
One enterprising lawyer has suggested that those seeking to get lucky on a night out, should carry a consent form with them, getting signed permission before any possible hanky panky happens. Interesting concept.
I think a person who has imbibed more than their bodyweight in alcohol, should be asked a different question. If they are insisting on being amorous, giving all the signals of being not only complying to a sexual liaison, but wanting one, one should ask for their cash card and PIN number. You would reason that, having no money, you need to purchases condoms for the deed. Anyone who would voluntarily give up their PIN number is too drunk to trust with any decision.
Of course this is being a little facetious, as every case, every individual, every situation, is different. The number of post alcoholic hook ups that could – some should – have ended in a law court are probably in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
The decisions that would have happened in the lead up to any number of nights that end in a strangers bed are numerous. What do you wear? You’re a young person, you have half an eye on attracting another, you dress, perhaps, with this in mind. After all, no one can tell if you have a sparkling personality through your asexual, loose fitting, body covering, prison grey, boiler suit. Probably would have a shower, shave the necessary areas, spray, splash or dab on your best scent – armpit eau de cologne will not do. As is the fashion, a little alcoholic beverage, just to relax, is enjoyed even before you have left the house. You go out.
The bar, a club; wherever it may be, is awash with hormones. Eyes roaming for an attraction, that person of interest. Maybe for just the night, maybe a bit longer. A few more drinks. Something else for a few, something with a bit of kick; a buzz. As the evening wears on, the primal urges rise. Options have been spotted. More decisions; engage now or wait until later? If you wait and mess up, you are going home alone. If you engage and it’s a mistake….!
The opposing factions that argue for or against rape accusations are very emotive. Such is the difficulty in proving rape or sexual assault after the incident, even seemingly clear cut cases, that an accusation levelled where the initial encounter was a mutual attraction, regardless of alcohols helping hand, becomes a victim creating minefield. It becomes a judgement on character and believability.
Is it reasonable to expect a young man, brazen with alcohol and wanting to perhaps impress his peers, to have the kind of presence of mind to pause before approach a woman a little worse for wear? Should the onus always be on the man to prevent a questionable situation? Shouldn’t accountability fall to both parties? After all no one crosses the road with their eyes closed just because cars have brakes.
The subject is one which will continue to create anger, disgust and frustration as long as there are those who will venture an opinion as though it were common sense. So the question is; how do you broach such a delicate subject? Carefully.

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