Soon people with even less idea joined the chorus of the ill-at-ease:
“Very good comments Spida – and I would say right on the mark. Young females need to be held responsible for their own stupidity.”
Or: “Get off the footballers backs (yes even Collingwood). Too many girls think it is great publicity to be ‘in the news’ take responsibility for your own actions instead of running to the lawyers to put in a financial claim.”
Television host Kerri-Anne Kennerley opined: “But (the players) put themselves in harm’s way by picking up strays.”
A statement of “clarification” issued by Channel Nine today read, in part: “Not one party can be blamed for this. The responsibility lies with the girls as well as with the guys when you’re talking about alcohol-fuelled situations at three o’clock in the morning.”
Let us clarify. The allegation is not about indiscreet alcohol-fuelled sex, which results in red faces and guilty consciences. The allegation is rape, which is an indictable offence with a 25-year maximum jail term.
The should-have-known-better argument is just plain dumb. If a male is bashed in King Street do we blame him for being out in an area known for late night assaults?
People in a civilised society are entitled to believe they will not be victims of crime.
The emphasis is mine because that is the important bit.
I still don’t think we should need to have this discussion. I think as a society we really should just know this. But if we really do need to have this discussion, I am glad there are voices like John Silvester’s being heard.
If the girl who has come forward is genuine than it is no small matter. I don’t really think there is any grey area around consent.
It has been suggested that she is not genuine and this is just a smear and while I am obviously not privy to the investigation, I doubt that is the case. But if it’s a smear, it’s a smear. It has nothing to do with her level of responsibility, it has nothing to do with issues of consent, it is just a smear.
But like I said, I really doubt that is the case.
ELSEWHERE: Ben Pobjie has written a very hand guide on how not to rape someone.