September 1, 2008

Helen Mirren on date rape.

CNN reports:
Dame Helen, who picked up an Academy Award last year for her portrayal of The Queen, said she was date-raped "a couple of times" when she was young but did not report the attacks because "you couldn't do that in those days."

Despite her experiences, the British-born actress said date-rape was a "tricky area" and something men and women had to work out between themselves.

She said it was rape if a couple engaged in sexual activity but the woman said "no" at the last second.

However, in comments likely to anger anti-rape campaigners, she added: "I don't think she can have that man into court under those circumstances. I guess it is one of the subtle parts of the men/women relationship that has to be negotiated and worked out between them."
That's a little ambiguous. Is she saying individuals should work things out on their own or is she attempting to opine on the way police and courts would handle such a case? If the latter, she's not a lawyer and she's talking about Britain. If the former, she's stirring up a hot old topic.

In the U.S., I think we know that we can call the police in the situation she's described: "Not with excessive violence, or being hit, but rather being locked in a room and made to have sex against my will." But, I assume, many individuals decide not to report this crime (and many other crimes that occur among friends and family).

27 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

It has been my experience that date rape and family type cases are the hardest to prosecute. Yes, you can call the police. Yes we will take your report. Yes, we will arrest the offender.

From that point on the victim and the police are trying to climb Mt. Everest during an avalanche.

Prosecutors do not like these cases. They are too hard to win unless one has a confession. I remember handling two cases where the prosecutor refused to approve the charges because the offenders would not confess or sign a confession.

One of them was a case of incest where the father impregnated his twelve yearold daughter. He told us he had relations with her, he told the detectives he had relations with her and he told the felony review attorney he had relations with her. He refused to sign a confession. No charges.

We can pass all the laws we think are necessary to protect people, but if no one will prosecute them they are useless.

paul a'barge said...

"helen mirren" is olde English for "cock tease".

Who knew?

Peter V. Bella said...

You may have missed this one.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that this is a very tricky area. While I never condone the use of force, I also don't give any credit to the female who says yes up until the very end, and then says no. She is a PT of the worst sort. But even that isn't absolute - a PT if the woman is sexually experienced, and maybe just naivety if a virgin.

Thank goodness that this mostly disappears after the mid twenties or so for the woman.

I do not buy into the feminist mantra that women have no obligation here to make their intentions known well before the men get to a point where it is physically painful to stop. Why is it all the men's responsibility?

Meade said...

"Why is it all the men's responsibility?

Because, typically, it is the male who is doing the penetrating.

And come on, Bruce, how painful is it really for a man to stop at any point? On a scale of 0 to 10, I'd guess it never rises above a 1.

Bissage said...

I was going to post a randy joke involving cocaine and ejaculation.

But my better judgment said “no” at the last second.

So I pulled out.

Wasn't hard to do.

campy said...

So I pulled out.

Commentus interruptus?

Albatross said...

Meade said: "And come on, Bruce, how painful is it really for a man to stop at any point? On a scale of 0 to 10, I'd guess it never rises above a 1."

It's probably not a serious condition, but it is real, and it can be quite painful.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's probably not a serious condition, but it is real, and it can be quite painful."

I think the man has the cure for that in his own hand.

Albatross said...

"I think the man has the cure for that in his own hand."

No argument there!

Peter V. Bella said...

Ann Althouse said...
I think the man has the cure for that in his own hand.

Speaking of Ernest Borgnine...

Meade said...

"I think the man has the cure for that in his own hand."

Just as a woman who experiences pelvic congestion has the remedy in hers.

Helen Mirren's ambiguousness regarding date rape is not helpful. This is what our children need to be taught: No means no, yes, and it needs to be expressed clearly. But if you ever find yourself in a date rape-like situation where you feel you are being overpowered, at the top of your lungs yell, "This is rape! Someone call the police!" Most potential date rapists will find it difficult to continue. If for some odd reason that action fails, yell "FIRE." Unless it falls on deaf ears, that should bring help.

And never ever try even a sniff of cocaine.

rcocean said...

I've never understood how you get a conviction without a confession. Hard to prove "Guilty beyond a Reasonable Doubt" - when its just "He said, She Said".

I'd never convict anyone of Rape just based on conflicting testimony.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Student life officials on campuses hate these cases because usually both parties have consumed large quantities of alcohol, and the consent issues are very blurry (literally and figuratively).

But that is not nearly as bad as date rape in senior living and nursing homes. Makes me blush.

Speaking of Ernest Borgnine...

Peter V. Bella said...

save_the_rustbelt said...
Student life officials on campuses hate these cases because..


They hate them because of the bad public relations they cause. How many times a year are their reports of angry parents of students who were pressured not to report cases to the authorities or worse, the so called campus police covering up these cases?

Anonymous said...

How much of the "date rape" argument depends on the assumed view of 'poor helpless female' and 'brute male', which is ironic coming from militant feminists? This has been a radical feminist cause for quite some time, and their view has permeated campus policies and guidelines.

And while I don't think rape is a trivial act I do think that, like everything radical feminism touches, "date rape" has been exaggerated all out of proportion and as often defined can be dishonestly employed as an anti-male bludgeon or a convenient means of assuaging guilt.

Here is a typical definition of campus sexual assault (including "date rape"): any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

It's the second part that causes problems. Consequently, here are some common "guidelines" which must be met to avoid engaging in "date rape":

1. The woman must be sober. Any consumption of alcohol can later be claimed to have 'impaired her judgment'.

2. The woman must not have taken any mood altering drugs. See 1.

3. The consent must be explicit. Implicit cooperation can be 'misunderstood' or 'misinterpreted'.

All very fuzzy, yes? So if a woman voluntarily decides to drink, and voluntarily decides to have sex, it can still be defined as rape if she decides the next morning it was a bad idea. This is classic 'victims are not responsible for their circumstances or the consequences of placing themselves in those circumstances' "reasoning". Unfortunately the exaggerations and sloppy definitions and abuses tend to muddy the waters when a legitimate rape occurs, and that is probably the real tragedy.

Maxine Weiss said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CElcIXZUBF4

Maxine Weiss said...

It's not rape if you are attracted to the man.

Cedarford said...

Meade said...
"Why is it all the men's responsibility?

Because, typically, it is the male who is doing the penetrating.

And come on, Bruce, how painful is it really for a man to stop at any point? On a scale of 0 to 10, I'd guess it never rises above a 1.


The male mammalian urge to procreate is enormous and once all the signals and behaviors are in place, it is not simply "blue balls" but total focus on the act and the near-instant rage, aggression responses triggered in any male mammal that is interfered with in the act once it reaches copulation or almost copulation. By outside parties, or by the female mammal.

Althouse - It's probably not a serious condition, but it is real, and it can be quite painful."

I think the man has the cure for that in his own hand.


Back in the military, one of my enlisted got in trouble for taking the "Althouse" cure up but in the process delivering a facial, eyewash, and hair shampoo treatment on a gal. Who called the cops. A gal that it turned out from other "victims of her", delighted in leading guys on, getting them to spend on her, going to bed, making out - then the power trip of shutting them down at "the last instant before penetration" and enjoying them beg.

The cops had a "no means no" philosophy, so they charged...but when it went to the lawyers...

1. Nothing could be proven. He said, she said. (He claimed she was giving him a BJ and didn't want him to climax in her mouth. Everyone knew he was lying from the stories of other guys she prick-teased. But you couldn't prove it.)
2. It didn't fit well with sex charges, and didn't fit with assault charges with a "battery". One cynical lawyer from the DA said, not officially, that she thought it was a "beating event" for sure, but no battery unless pink eye and "bad hair " (this was years before "There's Something About Mary") was battery. Fortunately, the JAG who related details, months after the case was dropped, said, she laughed first..
3. The gal had a reputation as a prick tease and a big time "comeon'r" and wallet-chaser since HS - known at the bars and parties where she met guys, a failed marriage, lez trysts, and few friends. A general belief that she was the one most responsible for what happened and that her "facial" was probably long-overdue comeuppance. And cops thought she had no intent of having that background come out if prosecution went forward.

The military being the military, of course - knew the kid was lying about the BJ alibi - and command screwed him after civilian charges were dropped, with NJP (non-judicial punishment), on chickenshit charges that would stick. Then restricted him to base until a replacement arrived for my Division, then sent him to some place in the middle of nowhere in ...arctic Norway or Greenland, I think.

================
It would be wrong to say that Helen Mirren being scorchingly hot as a young woman had bearing on it. But she had a long line of men who wanted to date her and hook up with her early in her life, and did see a lot of those men, which no doubt almost guaranteed that she would have a few bad apples. And 60s and 70s UK was a time of commonly being in a state of some degree of drug or alcoholic impairment on nights out, I believe.

I think she is realistic, as Crown Law makes it as hard as US law to prosecute over conflicting stories. Throw in booze and drugs, it gets even harder..Perhaps the best solution in the future might be in something feminists would hate - getting rid of their chant that "rape is rape" and assign degrees of it, including at the lower end, no criminal charges.

Akin to how assault is decriminalized if it is two drunks, both somewhat at fault, beating each other up - but can be major league criminal when some psycho beats up an elderly stranger for fun.

Same with two impaired people who had passions on one or both sides spin out of check, and both lacking the judgement or communication skills to stop the 'ol mating rituals at the time when they should have known something was going wrong, or the person they were with was not going to be considerate or respectful of the other person's interests or emotions.....

If harm was done, perhaps mediation and a tort claim is more appropriate in many "date rape" cases than designation as a lifetime sex offender for one tryst gone wrong, or the wastage of societal resources on criminal processing and dubious trial.

EvilDave said...

Rape is any sexual activity a women later regrets.

Men are viewed as nothing but sperm donors with a wallets.

Every man has a friend that was accused (almost always falsely) of rape.

And 30 year old women wonder why it is so hard to find a husband.
Maybe because for the last 40 years a segment of our society (mostly started by women who were abused as children and/or lesbians) have peached Hate. Look how the children of the leaders of the feminist movement were treated by their mothers. This is a Hate Ann herself admits to previously sharing. They have poisoned the relationship between men & women.
Men now view women as a lawsuit/arrest waiting to happen.

I hope those unmarried women enjoy their elder years in the nursing homes, with no children to care for them and no children to take Power of Attorney and look after them.
Misery is the legacy of Hate pedaled as "Equality"

Ann Althouse said...

Evil Dave, do you really think that husbands will care for their wives as they age and approach death? Men tend to die earlier and husbands tend to be older than their wives. Therefore, married or single, women should expect not to have a husband there to take care of them in their late years.

former law student said...

I think we know that we can call the police in the situation she's described: "Not with excessive violence, or being hit, but rather being locked in a room and made to have sex against my will."

Seems date-rape is a "tricky area" when the girl is "dating" nine guys at a time. You can call the police, but will your "dates" get prosecuted?

http://www.foxreno.com/news/16138710/detail.html?rss=reno&psp=news

EvilDave said...

No, I don't expect husbands to do that. I am well aware men die earlier. (BTW, if women died earlier don't you think every women would be wearing a badge that said "5 more years"?)
I expect most of these women to remain childless.

As one womyn said to me "There is no guarantee that your children will be there for you in old age". And, that is true. The only guarantee is that if you don't have children, they won't be there in your old age.

Meade said...

Cederford said:

"If harm was done, perhaps mediation and a tort claim is more appropriate in many "date rape" cases than designation as a lifetime sex offender for one tryst gone wrong, or the wastage of societal resources on criminal processing and dubious trial."

I don't disagree. Still, if it is rape, someone needs to call the cops post haste.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Nichevo said...

If you watch Dame Mirren's surpassingly excellent "Prime Suspect" series (there are 7 of them), you will see that DCI Tennyson herself leads a somewhat dissolute life. A drinker - a shikker - who either comes home with strange men or wakes up alone, hung over and apparently used.

I'm seeing IRL experience here. But getting so drunk you don't remember - is that what date rape is?

Sometimes date rape is roommates busting in on you and a girl.