New feature: Incitement to rape

// 16 October 2008

Denying women’s sexuality won’t prevent rape, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith

“If a girl goes to a man’s room and takes her clothes off and engages in sexual activity, should she be charged with inciting the crime of rape if she then says no?”

– Merlin, Northampton

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it, navigating the minefield that is modern sexual relations? The conundrum above was posed in the comments section of The Times’ website, in response to Helen Mirren’s reflections on having been raped. In case you missed it, Dame Helen seems to think that being “locked in a room and forced to have sex against my will” constitutes “one of the many subtle parts of the men-women relationship that has to be negotiated and worked out between them”. It’s not quite my definition of subtle, but I guess language is a funny thing. Anyhow, it’s the incitement to rape thing I’m more worried about. I reckon I’ve done it loads, albeit without actually being raped.

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