13 Comments

  1. jake said:

    This post is a fantastic example of how to make like an ally. It’s also one of the best definitions of “rape culture” that I’ve encountered.

    I’m so disappointed that this is even an issue of contention among people who are charged with defending people accused of sexual assault. If our lawyers really do believe, as Greenfield and his ilk seem to, that many (most?) women who say they were raped are either lying or deserving victims, then the problems are so much bigger than we can possibly imagine.

    February 13, 2014
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  2. Annie said:

    Well said, Charlie. There’s another problem, too, though: Rape culture emasculates men. Yep, I said it. It means all you guys are so in thrall to your raging hormones that you can’t EVER control yourself. That something as banal as the length of a woman’s skirt can drive you to rape. That’s not a problem of perception – that’s a problem of sociology. Rape is rape, period, and NONE of the blame falls on the victim. NONE. No matter what gender the victim might be. If you want to stop rape, then the ONLY caution you should be giving is “Don’t rape.” Period.

    February 13, 2014
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  3. Rape culture is the dirty illegal end of sex drive. There is a rape culture like there is a theft or murder culture. You can say we have a materialistic culture and theft is the illegal fringe of this, just like rape. Calling our culture “rape culture” is an attempt to control discourse by lumping in anything that involves unwanted sexual advances towards females ie catcalls, etc. These are boorish but they aren’t rape. Furthermore, If rape is rape, period, then why are feminists continuing to expand the definition?

    February 16, 2014
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  4. Dave Knight said:

    A lawyers first responsibility should be to his client. Not to an abstract moral delimna. Does Thomas advise his clients about his rules?

    February 16, 2014
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    • Charles Thomas said:

      I advise my clients about a lot of things. At root level, though, I work the case in front of me and I work it hard — but I am not unaware of the culture at large.

      February 17, 2014
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  5. Charlie,

    What follows is not necessarily my last comment, but rather some rather obvious (as it seems to me) observations.

    “Slut-shaming” and “Victim Blaming” do not seem to have precise meanings. I notice that Mark Bennett has put them in quotes almost invariably.

    For a defence counsel in a rape prosecution to take it as an indisputable “given” that the complainant is actually a victim looks like negligence to me.

    No, I am not assuming that most or even many complainants are not genuine. I read nothing that SHG, MB or anyone else on their side of the argument has written as making that assumption or relying on that implication.

    You say:

    “Women do not generally cry rape because they made a decision they regret”

    I see no-one contending otherwise. The suggestion is that *some* women are being empowered to do so. Unless the assumption is made that no woman is capable of abusing that power, it is reasonable to see this as a step too far.

    You also say

    “women cry rape when they have been raped”

    This implies that women never cry rape unless they have been raped. Even if there were no established cases of women falsely claiming to have been raped, a lawyer instructed by his client that such was the position would be betraying that client if s/he did not explore the possibility. The uncontested fact that women have very rarely falsely claimed to have been raped does not absolve the lawyer from that duty IMHO, though the rarity will constrain his/her zeal somewhat.

    One cannot “victim-blame” – however that term is rationally understood – without a victim.

    It can often be neglected, but when controversies such as this arise, they almost always involve cases at the margin, “outliers” if you like. A small minority of crimes are detected and prosecuted; most prosecutions do not go to trial. The ones that do inevitably tend to be ones involving rare factual matrices.

    February 18, 2014
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