Trigger warning: This post is of a technical nature, albeit about an emotive subject. The post is about particular British legislation. It links to the sections of the relevant statute law that the article is about. It is not the rant of a “rape apologist”. Some have obviously completely misunderstood the argument that is carefully developed in this piece. They have reacted emotionally at an early stage of reading, to the naturally distressing subject matter, instead of taking the trouble to read and to understand the entire article, before expressing anger at what they mistakenly think that the article is saying, without having read it and understood it. Please read no further, if you cannot think about rape without becoming so angry that you lose your ability to reason, or to understand a quite subtle argument, of the sort that might be raised at the Committee Stage of the passage of a Bill through Parliament. If that is you, then this article is not for you.
The criminal offence of “rape” should be abolished. Seriously. There is no need for it in this day and age. The continuing existence of the archaic common law criminal offence of “rape”, nowadays enacted as a statutory criminal offence, is harming society. It facilitates propaganda on the part of those anti-social elements within society who are antagonistic towards the “need” expressed in The Equality Act 2010 s149 “to foster good relations” between men and women.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 section 1 makes it a criminal offence, the offence called “rape”, for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. This offence of rape is potentially punishable by life imprisonment. Section 1 should be repealed, and replaced with a measure to abolish the criminal offence of “rape”. No man would ever again be charged with rape in the UK. O happy day! The archaic, gender-skewed offence of “rape” simply isn’t needed in the modern world of sexual equality. It is obsolete.
Section 2 of the same Act also makes it a criminal offence for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. This offence is called “assault by penetration”. It is also potentially punishable by life imprisonment. This offence should also be abolished too. It isn’t needed either.
Section 4 is all that is needed.
Like ss1 and 2, s4 makes it a criminal offence for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, punishable by life imprisonment. The offence is called (in s4) “causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent”. Section 4 should, of course, be retained. Men who rape women can instead be convicted of this offence and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The beauty of section 4 is that it also makes it an offence for a woman to have sexual intercourse with a man without his consent. If she does, and is convicted, she too can be sentenced to life imprisonment. But her offence will not be called “rape”, and her male victim will not be described as a “rape victim”.
The only rational reason I can discern for anyone wishing to retain the separate offences of “rape” and “assault by penetration” that men commit against women, but women cannot commit against men, is that he or she desires the retention of an offence with an emotive and archaic name that has an anachronistically gender-asymmetric statutory definition. Why? So that he or she can assert loudly and wrathfully that men rape women, not the other way round. Why would anybody be gleeful at being able to assert this, loudly, angrily and often, as some do? Because he or she wishes to continue working the mischief that has brought relations between men and women to their present-day low ebb, to the detriment of children; the mischief of stirring up as much irrational anger between the two sexes as possible.
Once we have only the gender neutral section 4 offence to talk about, we shall have become able to talk about non-consensual sexual intercourse far more calmly and rationally. There are certain populist rabble-rousers whom (I predict) this change to the language wouldn’t suit. A few of them are notoriously outspoken MPs or civil servants in high office. Let them come here, and argue their case with me! I offer to make mincemeat of their sophistry.
As a matter of interest, at least one study in the USA has reported that sexual intercourse (and other acts covered by section 4 in the UK, such as oral sex) that carry a life sentence here, to which the female victim did not consent, is slightly less common than such acts to which the male victim did not consent. If this finding is even close to being correct, and is reflected in the sexual behaviour of British people too, then the larger number of men than women in prison for non-consensual sex acts, will cease to be quoted by certain demagogues, in the hope of whipping up even more misandry. It will instead be quoted by men’s rights activists (misogynist or otherwise), as compelling evidence of a gender-asymmetric enforcement of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in relation to the identical male and female offences that rightly both carry a potential sentence of life imprisonment.
I challenge anybody to provide me with an honourable reason for his or her opposing the abolition of the criminal offence of “rape” that I am today proposing, so that the majority of us who see the perils of too much gender politics can discuss with less emotion, and in a non-gendered manner, the grave problem of sexual intercourse being inflicted upon non-consenting victims, which always (and rightly) carries a potential life sentence for male and female offenders alike. The offence, that is, already defined in the catch-all section 4 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The only offence that is needed in order to police non-consensual sex in society, which can enable this policing to be performed in a gender-neutral manner.