Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood, said the Respect party MP's remarks that Assange was guilty of just "bad manners" by failing to ask permission to have sex with a sleeping woman, had left her "frankly gobsmacked".See? Galloway thought the incident was outside of the category that Todd Akin would label "legitimate rape" (and, to drag in another lefty, Whoopi Goldberg would call "rape rape").
[Rhodes] said it was impossible for [Galloway] to continue his column following his remark that having sex with a sleeping woman was "not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it" if she had already had sex with that man.Take note. That's something that if you say it, you will lose your job. It's now, officially, a topic that cannot be discussed anymore. Feminists used to have to fight to get sex without consent recognized as real rape. (Here's Susan Estrich's book "Real Rape," spelling it out in 1988 for people who were struggling with concept could bring it within grasp.) Now, you're on notice that making distinctions between types of rape could utterly destroy you. Don't talk about it.
"There is no excuse, ever, for sex without consent, and regardless of the details of the Assange case, Galloway's comments and inappropriate language about rape per se are alarming," Rhodes said in a statement on the magazine's website....
Galloway has been roundly condemned by senior figures in his own party, by rape crisis groups and other MPs, after saying in a video blog posted last week: "Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you're already in the sex game with them.
"It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, 'do you mind if I do it again?'
"It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape, or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning."
What a victory for women in the war on women.
ADDED: There's a big difference between Akin and Galloway, and it's not just that one's a righty and one's a lefty. Akin is, I think, rather dumb, and he's obviously inarticulate. By contrast, Galloway is quite smart and articulate.
Ironically, it was Galloway who was talking about a category that could be termed — using language properly — "legitimate rape." When Akin said "legitimate rape," he was referring to the most serious kinds of incidents within the larger category of unconsented-to sexual intercourse, the acts that everyone will agree are rape.
The word "legitimate" makes it sound as though Akin were saying those acts are acceptable, but he only meant those are the acts that are properly referred to with the word rape. And this was all in the context of talking about abortion.
Akin wants to say abortion is always wrong, and he's got to deal with the widely held opinion that a woman who has become pregnant through rape ought to be able to get an abortion. How can he find a way to say no? What if it were true that when it's a really serious rape — an act properly categorized as rape — that the woman's body would repel the sperm? That would be really convenient as a way to fend off the argument that has worked so strongly against his absolute anti-abortion position. Of course, it's not true, so it's some highly stupid wishful thinking on his part.
Now, let's look at what Galloway said. He's talking about the kind of rape that's not at the core of what is reprehensible about rape. Like Akin, he's thinking about the most serious types of rape and distinguishing other acts that also get classified as rape, and he's legitimating those less serious acts. Akin was probably only trying to say that it would be good always to favor the life of the unborn over the interests of the woman (because if she got pregnant, she wasn't a victim of the harshest violence).
But Galloway wasn't talking about the innocence of the unborn at all. He was talking about the innocence of the man who has sex with a woman without her consent. He was saying that when a man is naked in bed with a woman who has already had sex with him, that man can proceed with another act of intercourse without acquiring her consent. He's saying that something that some people categorize as rape is not really rape.
So Akin and Galloway raise 2 different issues about rape. One is about access to abortion in a world where there is rape. The other is about the extent to which sexual intercourse should be criminalized. These are actually both things we should be able to talk about!