Posts Tagged ‘Tony Benn’
My take on the Julian Assange debate raging at the moment, written hastily so apologies for any errors.
I am absolutely gutted that Tony Benn has waded in and revealed himself not to be the man I thought he was. [Edit: he actually waded in some time ago, back in 2011, but the video only seems to be getting attention now.] He has said that the allegations are that “it was a non-consensual relationship…. well that’s very different from rape”. Now I don’t know all the legal ins and outs but from what I have read Assange had gone to bed with one of the women in question and had consensual sex with her, then had woken up and had sex with her without a condom, despite her protestations. That’s pretty much rape to me.
The thing that’s muddying the waters here is that many believe the charges have been trumped up or that the women have been coerced into pressing charges in order to serve the political interests of those in power who find Wikileaks, and therefore Assange, dangerous/a threat. This has led to a split amongst left wingers who like freedom of speech (e.g. Wikileaks) but don’t like rape (obvs), and has sadly led to comments from the likes of prominent left wingers such as Tony Benn and George Galloway along the lines of ‘non consensual sex is not the same as rape’. Reminiscent of Whoopi Goldberg’s comments a few years ago that when film director Roman Polanski gave drugs to and sodomised a 13 year old (which he admitted to) it wasn’t ‘rape rape’. Hey, she did look older and he is really good at films, after all…
Here’s the thing, and it’s very simple really: non consensual sex is the same as rape. If you’re unsure if someone wants sex, it’s best to ask them. If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to talk about it.
Whether Assange is being pursued for political reasons and the charges are false is a completely. different. debate. and one which definitely needs to be had. But the debate isn’t whether penetrating somebody who clearly doesn’t want you to is rape or not. That can be answered easily: it is.
So please, Tony Benn and the rest of you, stop redefining rape. Concentrate on the injustices you believe Assange is suffering by all means, but keep the two things separate.
And that’s my two penneth.
1. Boris Johnson in the Queen Vic. Get out. Just get out. This also applies to pretty much any other politician and any other soap, with the exception of perhaps Tony Benn on, say, Hollyoaks – now that I’d like to see. (I just generally like seeing his lovely little face.)
2. Jonathan Ross climbing inside Barbra Streisand’s rectum on his show this Friday, staying there for an hour and not having ANY other guests on. Jesus man, put it away, she’s just a person. And why weren’t they sat on the sofa? Too good for a sofa is she? Unbelievable.
3. X Factor contestants literally throwing themselves on the floor and weeping upon discovering they’ve not got through to the next round. Pathetic. Such displays of emotion should be saved only for bereavement. Or for when you’re having a bad hair day and your jeans are too tight and you’ve got a new spot and you’ve forgotten your MP3 player and the bus is full of chavs playing ‘music’ on their mobile phones and you’ve got cystitis. OR SOMETHING.
And I’m sorry but your wife dying/pet having a sex change/coat missing a button/whatever sob story the producers have dug up about you, makes not one shred of difference to your chances of winning – or shouldn’t, so you can take that misplaced sense of entitlement and shove it. The world doesn’t owe you a singing career.
4. Waking up every morning to the sweet smell of rotting crap and festering shite after the fourth consecutive week of bin strikes. I’m not getting political; I’m not saying the bin men don’t have the right to strike. I’m just saying I’d prefer not to have to risk contracting hepatitis by picking my way through mounds of litter to get to work each morning and then pay £80 a month for the privilege.
Things that make me go aww…
People saying nice things, and not because they want sex or biscuits; because they mean it.