Ken on rape: badly phrased, but basically right

It’s pretty unusual to find me coming to the defence of Ken Clarke.  But I think he’s had very unfair treatment from the media over his recent comments.  So far as I can see, while agreeing that rape is always wrong, never defensible, that NO means NO (add your own cliché), he is also saying that the term rape covers a variety of circumstances and motivations and degrees of culpability, and that sentencing policy should reflect that.  Surely this proposition is so self-evident, that it is difficult to see what all the fuss is about.

Words like “rape” and “murder” cover a spectrum of activities, and degrees of culpability.  Let’s consider a couple of murder scenarios.

First, suppose a kidnapper seizes the son of a wealthy family, and extorts money from the parents.  Then after the ransom is paid, he seeks to cover his tracks by deliberately murdering his hostage.

Second scenario: a young husband returns home to find his bride in flagrante delicto with the milkman.  In a fit of blind rage, the husband attacks the milkman, who dies of his injuries.

In both cases the assailant is guilty of murder, and deserves to be convicted and punished.  But the cases are hugely different.  In the first case, the murder is calculated, premeditated, deliberate and undertaken for money.  In the second case, none of these comments applies.  In the first case, I’d happily hang the murderer (I’m part of that retrograde majority which still believes in the death penalty).  In the second case, a much more lenient sentence would be appropriate.

In the same way, let’s consider two rape scenarios.

The first is the classic “stranger-rape”, where a masked individual emerges from the bushes, hits his victim over the head with a blunt instrument, drags her into the undergrowth and rapes her, and the leaves her unconscious, careless whether she lives or dies.

The second is “date rape”.  Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle.  But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”.  The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.

In both cases an offence has been committed, and the perpetrators deserve to be convicted and punished.  But whereas in the first case, I’d again be quite happy to hang the guy, I think that most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case.  Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable.

My two scenarios also give the lie to one of the popular over-simplifications trotted out by the feminist tendency in these cases: “Rape is always about power and control and domination, never about sex”.  In the first case, that may well be true.  In the second case, it is clearly not true.

Let me make another point which will certainly get me vilified, but which I think is important to make: while in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.

So if degrees of culpability vary widely from case to case, how are we to establish an appropriate sentence in each case?  Easy.  We appoint people called “Judges”, and let them decide.

Update:- Click here to listen to a Tory Radio podcast on the subject

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348 Responses to Ken on rape: badly phrased, but basically right

  1. Jonathan Ward says:


    I fear, or hope, you have been as clumsy as Ken Clarke, because I really take issue with the following assertion: “second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.”.

    I have re-read this, and the example a couple of times, and keep arriving back with the same conclusion. That you are in some way suggesting that by simply getting into bed with a partner that in some way excuses them acting against you against your will?

    Examining the relevant paragraph, you state “naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.”.

    Are you saying it is naive of the lady to not expect a demand of sex? Or naive to expect men not to push for it, even with there own partner?
    You also write, the young man is ‘unable’ to restrain himself. You may well be asserting in this case that is what he says, but for a reader it also could mean that you are suggesting that once a man is in such a position, he has no choice, when in fact he does.

    I know you have stated rape is wrong, like Ken, and I am not suggesting either of you think differently, or that there is ever a time when it is acceptable. But I strongly disagree that the women in your example is responsible in any way from how you describe it, and strongly disagree with the idea that the man is unable to restrain himself.

    I would be grateful if you could clear up exactly what you meant by this, otherwise I am left with a very disturbing and uneasy feeling that many in this country believe that women often ‘bring on’ rape. A profoundly misogynistic viewpoint that has held back an equal society.

    I don’t think this was your intention, but I would like some clarification to put my mind at ease.

    • It is naive for a woman to undress and get into a man’s bed and not expect him to draw the obvious conclusion.

      • Jon Taylor says:

        And ‘naive’ equals ‘partly responsible’?

        Wow. Not in my dictionary.

      • Alison says:

        It is naive for a man to draw conclusions based on a woman getting into bed. I do it every night, it’s called sleep. I’ve done it with men too. None of them thought sex was an ‘obvious conclusion’ and none of them have ever not been able to restrain themselves. Lucky me? Or a rapists weak excuse for obvious bad behaviour?

      • Tom Ashworth says:

        How is it an obvious conclusion if she says ‘Stop!’. Therefore making this ‘obvious conclusion’ clearly not true.

      • Roo says:

        That she wants to go to sleep?

      • Roo says:

        Okay, sorry, what I meant is, that she wants to be in the bed undressed, she could read, for example, or do the cross word, why would anyone assume an undressed woman in bed wants to have sex?

      • Rosa Martyn says:

        Surely the obvious conclusion is that they both go to sleep? That is, after all, the bed’s main purpose.

      • Susie says:

        The obvious conclusion being that he’s allowed to rape her? Continue having sex with her regardless of the fact that she has asked him to stop?

        Is this what you would do? Is this what your friends would do? Is this what you would expect the boyfriends of your female friends and family members to do?

        I honestly don’t know anyone who would consider that ‘the obvious conclusion’

      • Michael Michel says:

        I’m guessing you want to return to the days, not to long ago, where rape between marital partners was not rape. It is not a womans job to have sex with anyone, drunk or not, married or not. Your draconian views on women and the ownership of a womans body, is dangerous and your a disgrace to the British people and you don’t deserve to represent us.

      • susan whelan says:

        wow u are really up your own arse arent u how about vulnerable woman autistics ect who believe what people say is truth so if a man says to an autistic sleep in my bed nowt will happen she believes him and if he then rapes her it her fault yeah right i autistic this has happened to me police did nowt

  2. Sue Marsh says:

    Oh good God. When you’re in a bit fat hole, do stop digging.

  3. I very much agree with Mr Ward’s comments on this piece. I am surprised that you would suggest that an individual can ever be responsible for causing another to initiate an action against them. This suggests that the man in your second scenario has no free will; it is belittling at best to depict men in this way.

    Rape is an action which one person commits against another person; it is by definition non-consensual, therefore it cannot be invited. The responsibility lies entirely with the active party. Yes, there are things people can do to statistically reduce the risk that they will be raped, but this does not affect the degree to which a rapist should be held to account. If you were to leave your car unlocked in a poor neighbourhood you may increase the risk of its being stolen, but nobody would consider a thief who took it to be less culpable than a thief who stole your car from an apparantly secure parking facility.

    • Clint says:

      so if I go down a dark city alleyway in the middle of a night with a shirt that says “lynch all N*ggers”, I share 0 responsibility with someone who might beat me? [Note: that is not what i believe, just an example.]

    • theProle says:

      >If you were to leave your car unlocked in a poor neighbourhood you may increase the risk of its being stolen, but nobody would consider a thief who took it to be less culpable than a thief who stole your car from an apparantly secure parking facility.

      The thief may not be less cuppable, but my insurance company would say I was partly cuppable for failing to lock the car, and therefore refuse to pay out. And quite rightly too.

  4. K.L. says:

    You start off by saying that you agree that ‘no means no’.
    The woman in your date-rape scenario says “Stop!”.
    Don’t these both mean the same thing in this situation?

    • Indeed I said that NO means NO, and I said that the perpetrators in both my scenarios deserved to be convicted and punished. But I also said that different circumstances and behaviours carried different levels of culpability.

      • 3am Wisdom says:

        Why should the penalty be different? Because the woman in the 2nd scenario only got a little bit raped? Or because it was her own fault for putting her trust in the wrong person? Is the suffering different for each victim? what makes you able to decide how someone would feel about being raped by a stranger Vs. being raped by someone that they trusted?


      • The man in your first scenario is guilty of premeditation and an additional assault; the second is not. But both are equally guilty of rape.

      • Tara Shennan says:

        I’m not entirely sure why you believe the rapists are not equally culpable. Each rapist makes the decision to rape..the only difference being that in your second scenario we cannot know for sure whether it was premeditated. You’re just applying your own naive views on what happens during a rape by a partner.

        In effect, you’re calling all women who get into bed with their partner a tease and they are at fault for not realising that every time they share a bed with their partner sex is expected!

        Stop means stop regardless of who is saying it to whom.

      • Graeme says:

        The penalty should be different between the scenarios because its determined by the actions, motives, thoughts etc of the perpetrator, rather than the effect on the victim. The woman who is raped by her boyfriend will if anything have suffered more – but the actions of the man definately rank lower on the “evil scale”

  5. Matt says:

    Mr Helmer, I suppose you’ve never heard of the defence of provocation/loss of control to murder. Your second scenario would not be murder, but manslaughter.

    In what circumstances does one have a ‘reasonable expectation’ to be able to sleep with someone? If I buy my partner a drink, d

    • Brick Brother says:

      The second example would also be murder. Loss of control does not apply to sexual infidelity.

  6. sianushka says:

    This is such offensive bs. First of all, there is no such thing as ‘classic stranger rape’. In fact, what you call classic rape is far less common than being raped by someone you know, perhaps love, and trust.

    Your argument is offensive to both men and women. Firstly, because most men aren’t animals who can’t stop once they’ve started, who need an orgasm so badly that they can’t stop having sex despite the protestations of their partner. Most men are perfectly able to stop having sex when it is clear their partner wants them to stop.

    Secondly, if a woman says no, or wants the man to stop, and he doesn’t, then it is rape. Because by refusing to stop, the rapist is ignoring the woman’s bodily autonomy, he is violating her body.(or his body in cases of male rape). No ifs, no buts. It doesn’t matter what came before. It doesn’t matter if they’re married, or a couple, or strangers or friends, if a someone penetrates another person without his or her consent, or continues to penetrate after consent is withdrawn, it is rape. If a someone penetrates a person who is asleep or unconscious, it is rape ad they can’t give meaningful consent. The law is clear on this, and marital rape has been illegal since 1991.

    You don’t get to decide what context the rape happens in is worse. Being raped by someone you love and trust is not necessarily ‘better’ or ‘not as bad’ as being raped by a stranger. Withdrawing consent is not about getting ‘cold feet’ but might be about being in emotional or physical pain, or any number of valid reasons. Men don’t have an automatic right to sex (neither do women). Rape is a crime, rape is inherently violent and cruel, whatever context it is committed within.

    One of the saddest things about ken Clarke comments is seeing how common these misconceptions of rape are.

    • Clint says:

      He doesn’t get to decide – but a judge does. In all crimes, circumstances can make the punishment greater or less. That is how justice works. He never said it wasn’t rape, which is what most of your comment speaks to.

    • Ben Aldin says:

      Why in your view is rape such a unique offence in that the circumstances in which the crime is committed has no bearing on the degree of wrong-doing by the perpetrator?

  7. Matt says:

    … does that create a reasonable expectation in my mind that they’ll sleep with me? In your ‘date rape’ scenario, at what point does the expectation arise, and in what way is that expectation reasonable?

  8. sianushka says:

    You say it is naive of a woman to undress and get into bed with a man and not expect him to draw obvious conclusions.

    As I say, this is offensive to men and women. Most couples undress before they go to bed. so if a woman is raped by her husband or boyfriend, is it her fault for being in does relationship? does marrying or going out with someone a contract that means you give up your right to bodily autonomy? you might as well say that women should never enter a relationship if they want to avoid being raped.

    no one is ever responsible for being raped. whether they wear a short skirt, have had a drink, have undressed before getting into bed. rape isn’t a hazard women have the power to avoid. rapists choose to rape. it doesn’t happen because men can’t help themselves, or can’t stop, or because women cause it by being in the same bed/room/planet as them. rapists choose to rape.

  9. AJT says:

    That’s… a very old fashioned view, to put it mildly, Roger.

  10. Catherine Redfern says:

    “… she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.”

    I’m truly saddened if you genuinely think this is understandable and normal male behaviour. You are painting all men as uncontrollable animals who have no capacity for empathy or basic human decency.

    “It is naive for a woman to undress and get into a man’s bed and not expect him to draw the obvious conclusion.”

    The obvious conclusion being that the man can do whatever he likes without her consent? Disgusting.

  11. Jeff Stevenson says:

    Are you aware of the difference between yes and no?

    Both of your examples regarding rape, are still situations in where the woman has not wanted to have sex and against her will has been forced into it.

    There is no comparison, just because a woman has got into bed with someone, does not justify a man expecting more than she wants. She has said no and if he cannot control his ‘urges’ he becomes as much a rapist as the first example. Being “unable to restrain himself” is no excuse. He is a rapist who deserves the full penalties of law.

    You should think very carefully about your comments and issue an apology or retraction. You are a representative of the people in this country. I certainly do not think you are representing the majority of peoples views in this instance.

  12. Nick says:

    Roger, I have shared a bed with quite a few of my friends, female and male. Is this sufficient consent for me to have sex with them?

    No, no it isn’t.

    People like you are the reason that many women don’t report rapes (which after all are often committed by someone they know and trust)and it’s disgusting.

  13. El_Amster says:

    Shame on you! You are a disgrace & embarrassment, not only to your gender, but to our country too.

  14. Quite bluntly, you display a staggering lack of knowledge of the legal position. When the other person withdraws consent, for the partner to then carry on against the other persons consent is forceful sexual intercourse or penetration. Consent has been withdrawn. It is a no-brainer.

    You need to start reading some law before you start preaching this material. Good luck with that.

  15. Itsmotherswork says:

    You’re wrong. You’re really wrong.
    Sharing a bed does not imply consent to sex.
    Undressing does not imply consent to sex.
    Engaging in sexual play does not imply consent to full, penetrative sex.
    You may comfort yourself by thinking that “all men” would exhibit the same lack of control, or draw the same, faulty inferences from the behaviour you describe, but you are wrong. Many, probably most, men understand that no means no and are perfectly capable of self control.
    Think again. Next time before you blog.

  16. Roger, in setting up your argument you seem to advance the opinion that a man should be treated leniently for murder if he is enraged by (for instance) discovering his wife having sex with another man.

    Would a woman have similar recourse to such a plea for leniency in your worldview?

    Both of your scenarios – the man killing in rage, or the man not being able to accept ‘No’ when told – suggest a belief that men who are incapable of controlling their actions in a civilised way should be cut some slack by the rest of us.

    It doesn’t ever seem to be a form of mitigation allowed to women though. We are apparently held to a rather higher standard.

    Is that really what you advocate?

  17. Katie Harrison says:

    The fact that an MEP would engage in such flagrant victim-blaming and rape apologism sickens and disgusts me. Your views on rape are about 100 years out of date.

  18. peter english says:

    “Unable to restrain himself”?

    It’s comments like that, that sustain the myth (and thus the excuse) that men “cannot” restrain themselves. Of course they can. It’s offensive to men to suggest they are so weak-willed.

  19. Rob says:

    Men can control themselves. Men who say that when a woman says stop, they still have to have sex with her because they can’t control themselves, are what are known in the trade as “rapists”.

    • Clint says:

      Congratulations, you’ve agreed with the original article. He never said they weren’t rapists. Get a hold of your emotions and make a non-redundant comment next time.

  20. Elinor Perry-Smith says:

    So a woman is punished with rape for both undressing and her naivity?

    I think the notion that a man cannot control himself is one that certain despicable men have been hiding behind for centuries.

  21. Guy Patching says:

    Your defence of Kenneth Clarke was odd in that you actually defended what he wasn’t saying. His specific case where rape wasn’t quite the same was the case of consensual sex between a 17 year old and a 15 year old. Of course legally, the 15 year old can’t consent so it counts as rape. He later went on to disagree with your point and stated that all rapes are heinous crimes.

    I believe men are responsible for rape entirely. If a woman changes her mind during a sexual act then the act ceases; I have actually been in that situation and I immediately stopped. No person has a right to another person’s body. I find it hard to understand this view that men are somehow animals that can suddenly be overcome like werewolves and can’t stop sex. We are not animals, and should not base our morality or legality on that idea.

    • I was defending the general proposition that while all rapes are wrong, not all are equally culpable. I was not commenting on any specific example which Ken might have used — I am quite capable of using my own examples.

      • Guy Patching says:

        Granted, you are. However I think its important to have down in writing what his examples were as they differ wildly from yours.

        Rather than defending him, as your title suggests, you are arguing with him.

        You’re also going further and, in your second example, laying some of the blame on the victim. This is probably the most offensive part to people; though this is only slightly above the idea that in any way the boyfriend in your second example is less culpable as a rapist for reasons both and I have laid out.

      • Evelyn says:

        Actually, all rape is equally culpable, as has been pointed out over and over in the comments here and numerous articles elsewhere, and is technically reflected in Common Law, though not in the realities of law enforcement and prosecution, or opinion within certain sections of society: your own for example, or that of any man that uses this as a defence.

        Saying a man in unable to control himself at any stage of a date, in bed, foreplay or sexual intercourse with a woman or another man is derogatory to men, drawn from social evolutionist theory and “caveman” stereotypes long since discredited.

        Women, in the eyes of the law, cannot commit rape as they are lacking the necessary penis equipment, but they can commit sexual assault. The assaulting woman is perfectly capable of “controlling herself” from violating her male or female victim, just as a male rapist can “control himself” from forcibly inserting his penis into his girlfriend, boyfriend or stranger, or continuing with the act after consent is withdrawn (aka “stop”).

        The sexual assaulter/rapist makes a conscious decision to commit the act. Humans do not have these uncontrollable urges: ignoring the wishes of the victim is is a controlled, deliberate act, unless of course one is lacking in the mental functions necessary to make the distinction, psychopathy for example.

        In addition, Clark’s example of the 17 year old having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend isn’t rape its unlawful intercourse, and is reflected in the law as such. Sex with his girlfriend under the age of 12 is statutory rape.

        Also your second murder example is manslaughter unless it can be proven that (essentially) the man didn’t realise the victim was going to die during the beating: i.e. making the conscious decision to kill him, as opposed to beating him to cause injury but not intending him to die.

      • kelly says:

        Do you know what culpable means? It means less to blame? So you are saying rape is wrong but some rapists are not to blame as much as others. Lovely!

  22. zanf says:

    “My two scenarios also give the lie to one of the popular over-simplifications trotted out by the feminist tendency in these cases: “Rape is always about power and control and domination, never about sex”. In the first case, that may well be true. In the second case, it is clearly not true.”

    Here lies very simply why you do not have a clue:

    Pursuing sex without consent is to ignore that persons sovereignty.

    Try applying that concept to other realms besides sex and see how valid it remains.

    If you force yourself on someone else, or get them to do something against their will, by either force or coercion, then how is it about anything but about power and control?

    • You could argue that any offence against any person was an “infringement of their sovereignty”, but you would not argue that all offences are motivated by a desire to control and dominate.

      • zanf says:

        There is no point in trying to intelligently discuss this further with you when you demonstrate no capacity to do so.

      • kelly says:

        So you are less culpable of rape if you do so because you find it sexually stimilating?

  23. Luca says:

    In this instance (as in most instances you pass comment on) you are clearly wrong.

    There is never any defence for raping someone who says no. It doesn’t matter if they are undressed sharing a bed with someone.

    As a man with two daughters, I don’t want them growing up in a world where there behaviour can somehow invite people to think they lose the right to say no at any time.

    You are a representative of this country. Apologise for this and vow never to pass comment on anything you don’t understand again.

  24. Janette says:

    You imply men are little more than animals unable to control their base insticts. You have thus managed to do both men and women a disservice. Well done.

    • You think that everyone is well able to control their instincts? Try sitting in a magistrate’s court for a few hours.

      • Some people don’t control their instincs. We can divide these people into two groups. Those in the first are, quite simply, lying if they say they couldn’t help it, taking advantage of cultural attitudes to try and get lighter sentences. Those in the second are seriously mentally ill and need to be kept in secure custody and, where possible, given treatment for their problem. Fortunately the incidence of psychopathy in the general population is low. It is quite irrational to suggest that other people should modify their behaviour around men in general on the offchance that they might be unlucky enough to encounter a psychopath. The evidence from the courts clearly demonstrates that most rapists are of sound mind and simply choose not to control themselves.

      • kelly says:

        So a rapist is not to blame as much if he raped due to instinct? What is wrong with you?

  25. The man in your second scenario is not “unable to restrain himself” — he is making a choice. He is deciding that his girlfriend’s body is there for his use and her views on the matter are irrelevant. You don’t think that has something to do with power?

    • I think it is primarily about sex, not about power.

      • sianushka says:

        I would suggest you go to a rape crisis centre, spend some time talking to the volunteers, hear some of their stories, listen to survivors of rape and sexual abuse, actually listen, before making shockingly ignorant statements about rape being about sex rather than power.

      • He is treating her as an object there to be used. A masturbation aid. Yes, in his mind, he may be thinking “I want sex”, but to complete your scenario he also has to decide “and I’m going to take it”, and to do that, he has to believe he has the right to treat a person as a thing. He is thus establishing and enforcing a massive power imbalance in his favour.

        Sex is something two (or more) people do together, for mutual pleasure. Your rapist clearly has no interest in that.

  26. Heather Downs says:

    If you come to my house for lunch which you decide not to eat when I’ve cooked it, am I allowed to shove it down your throat because you’d already sat down at the table?
    Might I suggest you renew your acquaintance with the law.

  27. Josh Luke says:

    Is there a difference between the two types of rape specified? Yes. Accept that one is not the other.

  28. Abby says:

    As men are so unable to contain their urges, should all women start wearing the niqab?

    I suppose you would also like to see women having no sex before marriage and marital rape being legal – after all, they’re lying in bed with the man.

    • Gina says:

      Women wearing a niqab get raped too. I guess women should give be kept completely separate from men at all times because mere presence could suggest consent.

  29. Payam Torabi says:

    I want to be forgiving enough to not just berate entirely you but instead, I will say:

    What you have said is disgusting. To just reiterate, in case you missed the last 20 years: rape is rape. Rape is wrong. Rape is not the fault of the the raped even if during sex they change their mind and ask for it to stop.

    I will be writing to David Cameron and the Leader of your group in the European parliament and asking that, if they have any shred of decency, they expel you immediately.

  30. Ellie Mae says:

    I’m interested to know, do you think the milkman in your second murder scenario is partly culpable for his death too? By your logic, you could argue that he deserved it, by putting himself in that vulnerable situation.

    • Clint says:

      By your logic, if I walked into an inner city wearing a shirt that says “lynch all niggers”, and then got beaten to death, I would not be at all responsible, right?

      • S says:

        I deplore your use of inflammatory and irrelevant examples Clint, but no, you would not be responsible.

      • Anita says:

        Congratulations, you have now published a hugely offensive racist word twice in a very public forum. Are you saying that a woman getting into bed next to her boyfriend is offending him in the same way when she does not want to sleep with him?

      • Ben Aldin says:

        Some people seem to muddle up a contributing cause of an event and culpability for causing the event.

        Let me take a less emotionally charged example. I leave my wallet in a station waiting room and it is stolen. Quite clearly as a matter of fact my action was a cause in my wallet being stolen, but I not legally responsible for the theft. I have done nothing wrong.

  31. Calderdale Women's Network says:

    This post makes me feel physically sick. I can only assume, Roger, that if I got into bed with my boyfriend tonight and said no to sex, if he went ahead and raped me anyway, you would argue that he should have a lighter sentence than someone who leaps on me in a darkened alleyway? How can you possibly think that? Belittling the phrase ‘no means no’ as a cliche gives rape victims the finger everywhere – well, I have to admit I’d argue for a particularly light sentence for anyone who had experienced sexual violence reading this who, in the heat of their rage and offence ran over to your place and murdered you.

    And what about the fact that the vast majority of rapes are not carried out by strangers but by people who the victim already knows? The fight for proper, just sentencing for rapists, and to encourage victims of rape to speak out (only 10% of rapes are actually reported) is far from over – and posts like this from alledgedly respectable, knowledgable people do more damage than you can possibly imagine. I am absolutely disgusted.

    • Ben Aldin says:

      You write:

      “I can only assume, Roger, that if I got into bed with my boyfriend tonight and said no to sex, if he went ahead and raped me anyway, you would argue that he should have a lighter sentence than someone who leaps on me in a darkened alleyway? “

      My opinion aside, I think if Roger had said that – and that was all he had said – the vast majority of people in Britain would have agreed with him.

  32. Helen says:

    Oh dear, Roger, you don’t seem to have much support on this comments thread – and for good reason.

    Rape is always about power and control, if a woman (or man) says no and a man continues to violate her(his) body he is exercising his physical power (strength) to control her/him. This is the case in ALL rape, and believe me, if you had experienced it, you would understand it.

    As for your naivety theory, you could also argue that it was naive of a woman to walk at night in a park alone. The subconscious intimation of your comments is that women are to blame for male violence. No matter how you try to flannel your way out of this, it is a clear subtext.

    As many more have said, you are wrong about this, deeply deeply wrong. Men are not animals who cannot control their urges and women are never to blame for rape. Rape is a decision made by the rapist.

  33. Ian Rennie says:

    so if, after you have made these comments, a woman was so rightfully offended by your idiocy that she came up to you and kicked you in the groin, would you share part of the responsibility?

  34. Adam Sheppard says:

    If she says “Stop”, then he knows she does not want to have sex. His expectations and desires have nothing to do with it. He is just as guilty as the “masked individual” because he has been EXPLICITLY told that she does not want to have sex.

    As for men being unable to control their urges, there are many men who have been told no and stopped. I have been in that position myself and stopped. ‘Male urges’ is no excuse. If there is no consent, then there should be no sex.

    Do not blame the victim or make excuses and apologies for a criminal and traumatising act. It is incredibly irresponsible for someone in your position to peddle excuses for rapists.

    • bryan robson says:

      what about the ones who would go back with someone whilst they’re both drunk. They both go back to the same room no force, both consent (if you can when drunk…) and then in the morning, one of them decides to cry rape and say she never wanted it and they were lured back etc, but the truth being it’s because they’re married and felt guilty for what they had done and this being the only way out for them? I think people who cry rape who lie should be fined heavily. As it destroys the life of the person accused as that will always be on file against them.

      • sianushka says:

        yes, falsely accusing someone of rape is a crime and if a woman or man is found guilty of it they will generally receive a custodial sentence. However false allegations of rape are far rarer than the way rape is reported in the media would have us believe, and you are more likely to be falsely accused of benefit or insurance fraud. The home office stats tell us that 100,000 women are raped in the UK each year, the conviction rate is 6.5% and flash accusation rate is 3-5%. It is a bit of a detailing point tbh as that is not what is being discussed.

      • Gina says:

        I think you’ll find that false accusations of rape are punished with more than just a fine. Unfortunately there was a case of this in my area recently and the person in question was given a prison sentence as well as a fine.

      • sianushka says:

        Sorry, that should say ‘false’ not ‘flash’ accusation, and ‘derailing’ not ‘detailing’ -rubbish predictive text!

      • Rob Ray says:

        You know how often claims of rape are found to be false? Between three and eight percent. You know how often rape is successfully prosecuted? 2 per cent of cases.

        Not because women are lying, but because it’s very hard to prove and judges tend to take a similar line to you and Mr Helmer here that “boys will be boys.”

        The reality, Mr Robson, is that the cards are well and truly stacked in favour of the rapist – so rather than whining about how bad men have it, perhaps you should sort your priorities out.

  35. Ray says:

    Disgusting. You should apologise.

  36. Roger Myring says:

    You’re probably sat reading these columns either thinking everyone still doesn’t get yours or Ken’s points or that you don’t care what these people think, as they’re probably all “lefties” (or any other Daily Mail type term). But just know that you’re incredibly wrong on this. Again

  37. Cllr Chris Burke says:

    Rape is wrong, it forces a person to have usually violent sex. A huge number of victims go on to commit suicide so I would argue that Mr Helmer’s complacency is culpable towards a capital offence, frankly a disgraceful position for any elected official to be in. You should resign.

  38. Ruth says:

    Your views on ‘expectations’ and victims sharing the blame disgust me. I am extremely disappointed you hold a position of some power in my country and feel the right to pontificate on something you clearly understand very poorly. Words fail me, but I suggest you read the comments made here with an open mind, and attempt to correct your ignorance.

  39. hayley says:

    could the poster who was going to write to his superiors please post their contact details or where to find them here so we can all do the same?

    this man has no right to be in a position of representing us.

    the sad thing is that you don’t even realise that you have outed yourself as a potential, or past, rapist. your words are basically saying, as they always say when men trot this out, that you could totally imagine yourself doing this, that YOU couldn’t control yourself therefore you understand others not being able to.

    being naked and in bed with someone does not mean you’re going to get to penetrate them and have the right to even if the person says no. if you are unable to control ‘urges’ to rape, unable to control deviant behaviour that you experience as ‘instincts’ it is best to remove you from society and get you diagnosed and treated for your pathology or locked up for your criminality. by ‘you’ i mean anyone.

    that person would be ill or dangerous. to suggest all men are ill and dangerous is ridiculous.

  40. Michael Bater says:

    ‘The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.’


  41. Robin says:

    Is this not like saying that a peadophile who abuses his own daughter is less culpable than one who abuses a stranger?

  42. bryan robson says:

    Hi Roger, I can see how you are compairng the different situations, but would like to draw your attention to the differences between the 2 examples you use for murder. The one to do with the milkman would be convicted of voluntary manslaughter as he would be able to use the loss of control under the coroners and justice act 2009 for a partial defence plea and thus not be convicted of murder. He would be sentenced but it would be much leaner due to the circumstances and them being taken into account

  43. Alex says:

    let’s assume that in the second rape scenario it is your daughter being raped, you going to tell her it is her own fault for getting undressed and into bed? I sleep naked next to my boyfriend, I’d never worry he was just going to be ‘unable to restrain’ himself from raping me!? Maybe you don’t have any kind of self control, but most men do!

  44. Jenny says:

    What a sickening article. I don’t know what has a chance of getting through to misogynists like you, but here’s a hypothetical scenario for you to think about:

    A woman and man have been seeing each other for a few weeks and have discussed her penetrating him anally with some implement or other. One night he voluntarily goes to her house, voluntarily goes into the bedroom and voluntarily gets undressed, perhaps naively hoping for sex. After kissing for a while she asks him if he’d like some anal penetration – he says ‘no’. But by this point she is unable to restrain herself and so anally rapes him, despite him struggling and protesting.

    Do you see how ridiculous it sounds? Please stop spreading this woman-hating, rapist-excusing drivel.


  45. Pingback: Rape Isn’t So Bad If It’s For Lust & Not Money

  46. Aliquant says:

    Roger, if you had taken a woman out for the evening and she came home with you, got into your bed and then said “no I don’t want to have sex with you I just want a cuddle”, would YOU feel justified in raping her because she was naive enough to put herself in that position? Would you rape a woman just because she got into your bed? Would you believe she was asking for it? Would you rape a woman because you couldn’t restrain yourself? Would YOU rape her, Roger?

  47. Jenni Payne says:

    If you are the sort of man who suspects he may not be able to ‘control himself’ if his partner asks him to stop having sex with her (or him), I suggest that the responsibility is on you to not have sex with anyone, in case this situation occurs. Then instead of the victim-blaming mentality of ‘well why did she get into bed with him if she didn’t want sex?’ we would have the much more logical ‘well why did he get into bed with her if he knew he wasn’t capable of not raping her?’

  48. Lou LaRoche says:

    “So far as I can see, while agreeing that rape is always wrong, never defensible, that NO means NO (add your own )”

    Really enjoyed the spite there, Roger. Please, don’t “represent” me any longer in Europe. “No means no” has become a “cliché” because men like you have needed – and still need – to be beaten over the head with it for thirty years.

    Actually, no really does mean no. While that truism underlines much of the victim-blame hate outlined in your blog, it’s something women still don’t get to take for granted because it’s something men still largely ignore.

    And that’s because men like you – white men in positions of authority – willfully neglect to ponder on why things like this need to be repeated and, instead, decide to take the “sexy” course, thinking it’s clever and cool to be contraversial and write blogposts like this.

    No absolutely and unequivocally always means no.

    A final wee tidbit of info. In the last 400 cases handled by The Bridge Rape Crisis Centre here in Bristol, less than 1% have been cases of stranger rape. That means – in case you’re already reaching for ways to ignore the obvious again – more than 99% of rapes in the SW of England were committed by people already known to the victim.

    Still want to insist that “no means no” is a cliché which merits no more than a sneer in your blog?

    I’d have thought you’d learn to think before typing after your Adventures In Twitter in January ( for anyone curious for more) – what a shame you haven’t. Still, with gay men and women now off your hit-list, I guess it’s time to go offend ethnicities next, no?

  49. Kate says:

    Roger, it speaks volumes that precisely NO-ONE is leaping to your defence here. You are so hopelessly wrong and out of step with just-thinking people everywhere I don’t know how you dare represent any of us in any parliament.

  50. elise pickersgill says:

    I personally have never heard this description of ‘date rape’. Are you aware of what ‘date rape’ is? I would suggest that the poisoning of a stranger’s drink with drugs to take them home against their will and have sex with them is equal to jumping out of the bushes, raping them and leaving them unconscious. I hope this is just a slip and not complete ignorance to what the world has been talking about when we say ‘date rape’.

    • Gina says:

      This is part of the massive misconception of what ‘date rape’ is. and why it should be called ‘acquaintance rape’ more widely. Because it is often just knowing, or having some social contact with, the attacker prior to the attack. And is so commonly connected with drugs and alcohol. Yet the misinformed will assume it is someone the vicim is ‘dating’. Which isn’t the case.
      And even so, a relationship is not ownership and automatic rights over your partners body.

      I had been attacked by a boyfriend as a teenager. Apparently us being in a relationship meant he could ignore me when I told him that I didn’t want sexual contact. The fact that I can accepted his kiss did not been i had given him consent to have sex with me, and be telling him and making it clear that he did not have my consent for sex should have meant a lot more than it did. Obviously it was my naïvety to think I had any rights over my body.

  51. Jon says:

    Just to clear up for a few people:

    I don’t think anywhere in the post it said ALL men are unable to contol their urges

    He also did not say the second case of rape the action was “allowed” or ok

    Rape may well be about power but who is to say that that is the motivation of the attacker in every case? Surely in the second scenario the motivation is just sex?

    For info I think rape is rape and there should be a hefty sentence for all rapists but I fail to see what is so controversial about expressing the opinion that there may be different levels of culpability.

    • no name says:

      well said! i agree.

      • Peter Fran says:

        Jon, could you explain what you mean about “different levels of culpability”? Do you mean that if the rape is about “just sex” then the man is less to blame? That the fact that he “just” wanted sex from the victim means he is less guilty than the man who wanted to dominate her? I don’t get your reasoning at all. Are you saying that the victim will feel less horrendous because it was “just” about sex? I’m sure you’d feel absolutely fine if your best mate whom you were sharing a bed will stuck his penis in your anus because he “just” wanted sex. You’d be fine and and dandy and would forgive him I’m sure. What a total and utter idiot you are.

  52. Sue says:

    This is easy!

    NO means NO means NO

    As far as most of us females are concerned (and probably most men too), even if a woman is married and says NO to her husband who then promptly forces himself on her, that is rape.

    If a man cannot control his urges, he has nobody to blame but himself!

    • bryan robson says:

      true, but up until the 1980’s a married woman had no choice, 1980….. what took so long to get rid of a horrible piece of legislation

  53. Fitzgabbro says:

    There isn’t really much I can add that hasn’t already been said. I just wanted to let you know how repulsive your views are. While I do think Ken Clarke has been somewhat mistreated, with people reacting to what they think he implied rather than what he said, you have been very explicit:

    The victim is never to blame. If the perpetrator is so lacking in self-control that they are unable to resist raping people then they are dangerous and should be locked up for the safety of society.

  54. Fitzgabbro says:

    (I didn’t format the citation corecctly above and it has disappeared. Here’s what I meant to say)

    There isn’t really much I can add that hasn’t already been said. I just wanted to let you know how repulsive your views are. While I do think Ken Clarke has been somewhat mistreated, with people reacting to what they think he implied rather than what he said, you have been very explicit:

    the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility</cite.

    The victim is never to blame. If the perpetrator is so lacking in self-control that they are unable to resist raping people then they are dangerous and should be locked up for the safety of society.

  55. Alex, West Bridgford says:

    Perhaps you could expand on your theory, Roger. If the woman in your ‘classic rape’ scenario is wearing a short skirt, is she more culpable than if she’s wearing trousers?

  56. Tony says:

    Sad to say, this is the Government, that whilst the majority did not vote for, what we are stuck with !!!

  57. Don says:

    I go along with the consensus on this. You added assault and GBH to the first scenario, if you drop that then you are saying that less terrible to be raped by someone you trust than by a stranger you have never seen before and will probably never see again (detection rates being what they are.)

    You seem to be lacking in empathy as you clearly cannot understand how, in many cases, the reverse might be the case.

    In your second (less bad rape) example you seem to have no idea that couples who share beds, whether married or not, do not have an expectation of sex from the mere fact that their partner has undressed and got into bed. Cajoling is acceptable, force is not.

  58. Elizabeth Brett says:

    The idea that a violent, unexpected “stranger” rape is a real rape and other forms of rape are not “real rape” or are less serious or harmful is a pernicious and vile one.

    When you say that acquaintance rapists should be punished less severely than stranger rapists, I’m not sure whether it’s because you feel the harm is less or whether you feel the rapist is less deserving of punishment.

    Either way, you’re wrong. Being raped by a stranger or being raped by someone you know and possibly love and trust- there’s no way to say which is objectively “worse”. Each is a devastating experience.

    As far as the act of the rapist- forcing sex upon another human being is an evil and indefensible act. It is also a purposeful act. The boyfriend who doesn’t stop is exactly as guilty of rape as the stranger in the alley.

    As for your point about the culpability of the victim- you should be ashamed of yourself. There is no place for ideas like that in modern political discourse. I have written to David Cameron, the European Conservatives and my MP to demand your resignation.

  59. Sophie says:

    Roger, I resent your comment about “over simplications trotted out by the feminist tendency”. It is extremely condescending and suggests that they are wrong when infact it is you who is wrong.
    I also don’t think you have considered the serious psychological harm that would come to the victim after the second scenario which would be the same, if not worse than the first. The victim would feel unable to trust any male, even those whom she loves after being betrayed by someone so close to her. This is the most important factor, the harm that came to the victim, not the rapists motives, rape is rape and you CAN control yourself.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Having been in a situation much more with the expected outcome of sex that the one you describe – in bed with my boyfriend, kissing, touching and generally encouraging him to have penetrative sex with me, but upon having sex it being painful and asking him to stop, I can say that he stopped IMMEDIATELY and with no complaint. Indeed, apart from the physical pain it would have caused if he’d carried on, I am sure that the violation of trust of someone I loved would have haunted me for years to come. I fail to see at what point in this situation rape is a more understandable crime. What really saddens me is your apparent belief that it is only ‘extreme feminists’ (“add your own cliche here”) who feel that rape, in whatever circumstance and influenced by whatever factor, is always one person making a choice to defy the wishes of another to control his or her own body. It doesn’t matter if it is, as you say, about sex, or power, or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if sex is expected. It is wrong to the same degree, and the perpetrator is culpable to the same degree. I hope your views are not an indication of those of your voters, but, given the famously horrific figures on rape conviction, I fear that they are.

    • anonymous says:

      Yes. I have also asked partners to stop during intercourse and they have stopped without complaint.

  61. Becky says:

    Before you write a blogpost, I suggest actually looking up the accurate terminology, date rape does most certainly not cover the situation you describe.

  62. Rebecca says:

    I had a friend who was raped at 15 by a boy who “couldn’t stop”. She committed suicide 2 1/2 years later. Ask her parents if her rapist should get his sentance reduced to a year and a bit.

  63. Rob H says:

    Disgusting comments coming from anybody, let alone an elected official.

    You are scum and should resign.

  64. Most of these criticisms appear to come from people who have not actually read what I said. A number of commentators insist that “Rape is wrong”. I agree, and I said so in my piece. A number have said “No means No”. I agree, and I said so in my piece. Some are saying that men should “control their urges”. I agree. That’s why I said that both men in my two hypothetical scenarios are offenders who deserve to be convicted and punished. Anyone disagree so far? But I still insist that the degree of culpability varies from case to case, and that the sentence should be appropriate to the circumstances.

    • Guy Patching says:

      Where the problems lie:

      1.Both of your scenarios are straight up rapes, earlier commentators have pointed out that the aggravating factors do in fact lengthen punishments but because they are aggravating factors, not because of the difference in the act of the rape itself.

      2. You lay ANY of the blame onto the woman in scenario 2.

      Perhaps that’ll help you understand why people are offended. I have read what you said, and I’m not pretending you think any rape is OK.

    • Elizabeth Brett says:

      Degree of culpability- as offensive as your other points may be, it was this one that made me realise your utter unfitness to be a representative of your country, or for that matter, a decent human being. In short, you believe that in acquaintance rape, the rapist is less culpable because the victim shares responsibility.

      The idea that survivors of rape are in any way responsible for a violent act enacted upon their bodies without and against their consent is not only stupid, it is offensive. Promoting this idea is rape apologia.

    • sianushka says:

      I read what you wrote three times. you said that by undressing and getting into her boyfriend’s bed, a woman is ‘establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind’ and you’re suggesting that by going to bed with her boyfriend, if he then rapes her she ‘shares a part of the responsibility’. You go on to say in the comments that a woman is ‘naive’ to ‘undress’ and ‘go to bed with a man and for him not to draw the obvious conclusion’.

      people are criticising what you said, not what they thought you said. they are criticising what you said because it is victim blaming, because it argues that if you go to bed with any man, be that husband, partner or friend or stranger, and he rapes you, then you are partly to blame and that should be recognised in the sentencing, and because you argue that men are out of control who can’t stop once they’ve started.

      you said these things and people are right to criticise you for saying them.

      • Sean O'Hare says:

        To paraphrase Billy Connelly when talking about the withdrawal method

        There is not way my arse will go in that (backward) direction once I’ve started

      • Chris says:

        Re: Billy Connolly. He doesn’t say that about starting to have sex. He says it about the point of ejaculation. There’s paraphrasing, and there’s making a decent joke sound rapey.

      • Sean O'Hare says:

        Re: “At the point of ejaculation” Actually I’m glad you brought that up! As I recall there is a build up in excitement leading to that point. How many milleseconds before ejaculation would you expect a man to withdraw if the girl suddenly yells “No” after leading the guy on?

      • Theo says:

        Re: Sean O’Hare

        0.0000000000000000001 milliseconds is what I’d expect, personally speaking.

        having been in this situation (in bed with a naked woman who suddenly decided she didn’t want to proceed) I can tell you it is entirely possible to refrain from raping somebody.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have also read (and understood) what you have written. What you seem to be saying is that while all rapes are wrong, some are less wrong than others because (as with your second example) the rapist’s bad intentions are less calculated.
      I think the point that I and many others are trying to make is that all rapes are equally wrong and that the victim never – NEVER – should share any of the blame for the rape happening.

    • Eleanor says:

      People are criticising you because you state explicitly that the women in your second “scenario” are partially responsible for their own rape, which is absolutely disgusting.

      If a woman says ‘no’ to her boyfriend or a stranger, in her bed or in an alleyway, it means ‘no’ and there are no such ‘obvious conclusions’ to be drawn.

      I will be writing to the leader of your party suggesting he expel you, so for the sake of your career I suggest you retract these ridiculous statements immediately.

      What a Neanderthal.

    • Evelyn says:

      As I said above, and others, there aren’t varying degrees of culpability. What you hopefully meant is that there are additional crimes, call them factors if you will, committed alongside the rape itself: at knifepoint, beating or other forms of GBH/assault such as HIV infection and so forth. These are reflected in the sentencing, a rapist may be convicted for rape and GBH for example, though the starting point for these sentences should be far higher, on a par with minimum sentences for murder or child abuse.

      Most importantly, none of the circumstances around the rape make the male or female victim guilty of any degree of culpability. People aren’t cars, sleeping next to someone isn’t like leaving your car door open as an invitation to steal it: the car can’t say “no please don’t steal my cd player” because its a car, a belonging, its actions are entirely controlled by the whims of its owner. The owner rescinds the invitation to steal the car by locking it, as a person has their own freewill or “personhood” our clothes are not a symbol of our unwillingness akin to locking the car door. Men and women have a voice that says yes or no, this voice is our lock, not our underwear, regardless of any other factors.

    • Anon says:

      The only person responsible in either of these scenarios is the rapist.
      End of story.

    • I read what you wrote and understand it perfectly. Yes, you have said that both scenarios are wrong, but you persist in claiming that the woman’s actions extenuate the second man’s guilt.

      You wrote:

      in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind

      In this passage, you have explicitly claimed that the victim shares responsibility for her own rape; that part of the “wrong” you have conceded was done was done by her. You have also described the second rapist’s attitude towards his victim as “reasonable,” and characterised him as “unable to restrain himself.” Unable. Would you accept that he is not unable to restrain himself but is making a choice to ignore his victim’s wishes and force himself upon her?

      It is worth remembering that while this is hypothetical for you (and, thankfully, for me), for many people it is not. You are saying to actual rape victims that, if they were raped by their boyfriend rather than by a stranger, then their experience wasn’t so bad, the rapist couldn’t really help himself, and that they were partially to blame for their own ordeal.

      Just try to imagine trusting someone and having both that trust and your body violated. Imagine what that might do to your life. Everyone responds differently, but imagine how difficult it might be to trust someone again. Then imagine being told that it was all partly your fault and you made it happen.

      Are you reading the comments explaining that your first attack is worse because the rapist has committed additional crimes such as GBH, not because the rape itself is qualitatively different?

  65. Alex, West Bridgford says:

    Roger, by repeatedly using the word “culpability” you are saying that in some cases it is partly the victim’s fault. If the rapist is not 100% culpable, the victim has to share some of the blame. That is what people find so offensive – it is a massively outdated attitude that takes us back to the Life On Mars era of policing. The idea that one of my elected representatives can stand up and say it’s partly a woman’s fault for getting raped if she behaves in a certain way sickens me to the core. It is an unspeakably vile position to take. I thought Britain, and the Conservative Party, had moved on from such attitudes. Clearly I was wrong.

  66. Axelle says:

    I’m sorry, but no. I suppose, to you, if a woman ‘dresses like a hooker’ then she ‘deserves’ to get raped because her being dresses as such derives an ‘obvious conclusion?’ Because that’s pretty much another way to put the scenario. You’re disgusting and old fashioned and it’s my ‘obvious conclusion’ that you’re still stuck in the 1950s when it was okay to beat your wife if she so much as walked out of the kitchen.

    A GOOD boyfriend asks before assuming, for one. A GOOD boyfriend stops when his girlfriend says to.

    I feel this is a form of projection and I wouldn’t be surprised if you or someone you know has raped someone as such. You’re filthy.

  67. david says:

    you sir are an idiot

  68. andy says:

    Straight talking idiocy.

    • andy says:

      in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility.

      in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility.

      in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility.

      in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility.

  69. Vikki Price says:

    I believe that if any man, be it in scenario one or two, is unable to control his urges and commits an act of sexual aggression against a woman, against her will (which we all agree is the case in both scenarios) then they are a threat to society and should be dealt with….

  70. Ruth says:

    Are you seriously suggesting a man is not responsible for controlling his own body? Does not have the capacity? we do not have the right to hold him accountable for his own descisions actions.
    One could assume that your opinion of men is that they are lesser beings.
    What a dreary irresponsible re-hash of a damaging myth. That serves only to cloud make a mockery of any intelligent or valid opinion you may hold. Your words are a dis service to both sexes.
    I hope you will educate yourself, meanwhile I’ll carryon my voluntary work as a therapist with survivors of such crimes , struggling to afford basics,whilst you, no doubt make a comfortable living from such ignorance.

  71. Natalie says:

    This is an MEP? Oh dear. I can’t say anything more than what has already been said – you sir are brainwashed and clearly unable to grasp the response to your comments. No wonder rape is so prevalent in society if this is how supposedly intelligent people think. I am very glad that your generation will soon die out and I hope that will mean rape victims will begin to get the justice they deserve.

    Do yourself a favour and start to research the topic instead of relying on the myths you grew up with, maybe you will be some use after all before you peg it.

  72. Rachel says:

    In the second scenario you are saying that the woman is also responsible, are we not allowed to change our minds once we have gotten in to bed with a guy? Am I not to share a bed with my make friends in case they mistakenly believe I want to have sex with them?

    This reminds me of the recent comments from a Toronto police officer. Would you say that the man in the second scenario would deserve a lower sentence if he was provoked by women who ‘dressed like sluts’. Maybe he just couldn’t control his animal instincts too…..

    I was always taught that dinosaurs were extinct, seems my teachers got it wrong.

  73. Rachel says:

    I forgot to add, ‘No means no’ is not a cliche it is a fact!

  74. Burnley Jane says:

    Your naivety is incredible. You assume that date rape equates a woman getting into bed with a boyfriend after getting undressed. Date rape is a much wider spectrum than that you total donut. Let’s dissect your scenario by degrees. What if the date rape happens when the girl goes back to his, or – and more likely – invites him into hers for a drink after he’s taken her home. Drink in living room, fully dressed. Is that an obvious precursor to sex? What if she was expecting a lift home and he’s had a drink and suddenly can’t drive and the local cab firm are “busy” when he rings and he suggests she beds down at his the night – nothing expected; she sleeps fully dressed but he rapes her all the same? Still classed as date rape but where was the establishment of any “expectation of sex”? You do know what they say about assuming things don’t you? That it makes an ASS out of U and ME…well all I can say is you’re incomprehensibly stupid and I hope you’re deselected quick smart.

  75. Roger’s right.
    Whenever a girl says “stop” to me, I just assume it means “don’t really stop” and carry on. If she screams, i just slap her. Afterall, she shares responsibility for anything that happens after she’s got into bed, right? She probably deserves it to be honest. We men can’t be blamed for this.

    First women want the vote, and then they want to not be forced to have sex. It’s the political correct brigade gone mad. Thank god for us Tories!

  76. Emma says:

    Non consensual sex is rape. End of.

    The fact you feel that the victim in case 2 shares responsibilty is evidence of your misogynistic views and I find it disgusting.

    How you can claim to represent the women in your area, or the men who you think are animals, not capable of control, I don’t know.

  77. Tom White says:

    No, the victim of rape in the second case bears no responsibility. I’m trying not to call you ‘really really thick and unworthy to be any kind of representative’. Oh, sorry, difficult to control my ‘urges’…

  78. Becky says:

    Seriously, you need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. The girl in the second scenario is in no way at fault, ALL wrongs are done by the man and if anything he should get a LONGER sentence because he has caused her more harm thana stranger. This is a person whom the girl thinks she can trust, who possibly loves her and is supposed to respect her and care about her feelings and yet he cannot control his urges….. you are seriously wrong here.

  79. saffron choumanidis says:

    This is shocking and disgusting. “unable to control himself”? Please. Plenty of men do control themselves and all men can. Both scenarios are equally as heinous, your inability to see that is disturbing and sickening. And what is the “feminist tendency”? You utter, utter moron.

  80. Ruth says:

    So you’re the third politician this week to spout ignorant, confused dangerous thinking.
    Please remember men are often victims too.
    Attendance of an awareness raising course on the subject of such sexual crimes , their impact surrounding issues survival should be mandatory for you people. For anyone at all connected to making descisions around such issues. Otherwise what gives you the right to speak or presume anyones interested in what you have to say. Ultimately, back in the real world there’s alot of good people acting with intelligence humility to seriously help prevent such crimes. We have educated ourselves, through choice or not.
    I challenge you to educate yourself join us.
    Perhaps you were merely seeking attention for yourself.
    I ch

  81. Bla says:

    Women will use sex for power, control and domination as quickly as any man. Only that is legal because the damage is not physical. The trauma can be the same…

    • Guy Patching says:

      Not going on a date with you doesn’t count as sexual abuse. Grow up, the trauma is nowhere near the same.

    • Thomas MckEE says:

      Bla, kindly shut up. Your comment is vague, has nothing to do with the arguement and seems to equate some kind of relationship based manipulation with physically violating someone.

  82. penguirl says:

    Unable to restrain himself? You are seriously going to reduce culpability because the man was unable to restrain himself? That is the same kind of victim blaming that keeps Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women in social bondage.

    I’m willing to bet that if the roles were reversed you would feel very differently. Marital rape is rape regardless if the couple are dating or married. No means NO.

  83. Ben says:

    Roger, Ill start by refering you back to a comment by sianuskar – “I would suggest you go to a rape crisis centre…” etc. To expand on this: I am training as a mental health nurse and have met clients still suffering from terrible psychological consequences many years after the event. In addition,as a 21 year old man I am probably a good contender for the role of rapist in the “date rape” scenario. I can assure you, however, that I would NEVER assume that sharing a bed constitutes any form of sexual consent and I deeply resent the suggestion that as a young man I would be unable to restrain myself. Ill close by describing my deep shame that you represent myself and other british citizens in Europe, and can only hope our fellow europeans dont assume that all Britons are as ignorant and insensitive as you.

  84. Emma Giffard says:

    If you murder me, you are culpable. If you steal from me you are culpable. If you rape me YOU ARE CULPABLE. People like you sustain the notion that in some way the needs and desires of a woman are of less importance to those of a man. You are a cretin.

  85. matth says:

    Enlighten me:

    (1) If someone goes out and leaves their house unlocked, they are held at least partly culpable if their house is broken into.

    (2) If someone gets a little bit tipsy (but remains marginally under the limit) and then crashes their expensive car, the insurance company would very likely wish them to share at least some of the damages.

    (3) If someone allows their child to ride a bicycle to school without a helmit and they are involved in an accident, social services would very likely try to hold the parent at least partly cuplable in some respect.

    (4) If someone goes to a bar (alone) in a seedy area and gets very drunk and loud and oppinionated and gets beaten up, many people would say that person bore at least some responsibility for what happened.

    Have I got this right?

    • matthu says:

      (Yes, but there is absolutely nothing a woman might do that would be reckoned to increase her risk of being raped. So she should never bear any responsibility for that. I think I’ve got that right, jusding by some of the comments above.)

      • sianushka says:

        Erm, women’s bodies aren’t cars, or houses. Why do ppl always want to compare rape with someone stealing a tv or bumping their car?

      • Thomas MckEE says:

        Because sadly some scum equate women and their role in society as that of objects, even if only subconciously.

        In reply to Matth, I disagree with some of those examples. If you dont lock your house, it is still the burglars fault for committing the crime. I have walked past many unlocked houses and never once gone ‘Fuck it, I have an uncontrollable urge to steal stuff’ Just as any man should be able to refrain from violating a women just because she doesnt have clothes on.

    • Guy Patching says:

      In (1) no they aren’t – only one person has committed a crime. They might have increased their risk of the crime taking place, but it doesn’t make them responsible. In (2) they are responsible for the crime because they are driving their car. In (3) they are responsible because they should be making sure their child wears a helmet. In (4) again you may well have increased your risk but it doesn’t make you responsible for the act.

      I’m kind of confused as to what this has to do with anything. I can only imagine you were planning to say that the woman takes responsibility for a rape if she isn’t dressed like a nun and only travelling in daylight with a (female heterosexual) bodyguard at all times.

      • matthu says:

        My point is that in all 4 scenarios above the person involved would bear some of the responsibility. Yes, even in (1) – that is why the insurance company would in many cases not pay anything out.

        Yet for some reason, women seem strangely reluctant to bear ANY of the responsibility if they end up being assaulted or raped. They can both be viewed as crimes of violence and both can be provoked by one of the parties.

      • Thomas MckEE says:

        Because your examples do not equate to the same thing as rape. An insurance company is not there to place legal blame on someone. In the law, that thief is 100% culpable.

    • 3am Wisdom says:

      I don’t actually have a lock on my vagina. Should I get one installed to deter rapists?

  86. Denise Ellerman says:

    For heavens sake what is wrong with you? I don’t know what planet you live on but it surely isn’t the same one as me. A woman can realise she’s made the wrong decision at any time and this ‘man who can’t restrain himself’ should obviously not be allowed out unaccompanied in my opinion. If he is, then he should be carrying some bromide with him!! Or a knee in the nuts works quite well too I’m told. Get a grip man, you’re a bit long in the tooth to be spouting such drivel.

  87. Ellie Cumbo says:

    Of course sentences vary with aggravating and mitigating factors. But you could have made this point without suggesting the woman in your second scenario “shares a part of the responsibility”.

    This is an entirely different point, and a deeply offensive one both to women, whose right to safety in their relationships you treat so dismissively, and to men whose empathy and self-control you essentially place on a par with that of toddlers and animals.

    You should apologise as a matter of urgency.

  88. Tania says:

    You are a disgusting man

  89. Philo says:

    Your whole argument appears to be based on some primeval assumption that the male has an inalienable right to sex whenever he chooses and that, once stirred, his ardour cannot be suppressed. All you have described is that the second rape has a different motivation than the first. They are both heinous and repulsive and neither is any more excusable than the other. Yours is an archaic and immoral opinion from the perspective of a man who still appears to want power over women and is unable to control his primitive urges. Whether or not this is empirical is for you and your conscience.

  90. Emily says:

    These views are despicable and quite frankly indefensible, Roger. I have nothing to add to the eloquent views stated above other than the fact that I am incredibly disappointed that someone with such horrendous views represents the British public.

    You simply must apologise or resign.

  91. Becky Lindeman says:

    You seem to be confused about the meaning of “date rape”. I’d suggest actually researching terminology before writing a blogpost. Date rape is in fact a rape by a stranger or acquaitance who generally uses drugs to overpower or stupefy the victim in order to rape them.

    I’d also consider rape by a boyfriend or partner to be far worse than by a stranger or even an aquaintance, the betrayal of trust involved creates a far greater degree of culpability.

  92. jessica grehan says:

    If I were to ‘like’ this blog post I’d be the first of my ‘friends’ apparently – Oh, I’d be the first of anyone.

  93. Sean O'Hare says:

    I don’t think Roger’s scenarios were the best examples he could have come up with to make his point, but come on people give the guy a break! You know he only meant to support Ken Clarke’s viewpoint that there are degrees of culpability, which after public debate, most sensible people now seem to agree with.

    If a girlfriend of mine had stripped, jumped into my bed and allowed me to paw her for a while, I would not have forced myself on her but I would make have made it very plain to her verbally that I wasn’t best pleased. She would have instantly become my ex-girfriend.

    • Jeff Stevenson says:

      and she would of been a very lucky woman.

    • no name says:

      exactly – an honest response

    • kelly says:

      “paw her”, you make it sound as if she is just a piece of flesh. And if she changed her mind, why would you dump her, would you not ask her why she changed her mind. Maybe if you tried a technique other than pawing she might not turn you down flat. If a woman gets into bed with a man, and then during foreplay realises he is rubbish of course she is going to change her mind. What pleasure would she get from some guy who thinks foreplay consists of pawing.

    • Mrs B says:

      I would ask then if you have ever actually been in a long term relationship, in the majority of normal relationships it is perfectly acceptable to have some sexual relations without having to have full penetrative sex, and the very fact that you would end a relationship purely because a sexual encouter did not result in penetrative sex is incredibly frightening. You may say you would not have forced the woman, but your viewpoint is still similar to Mr Helmer’s in that a woman has an obligation to go through with full sex if she gets into bed with a man!

  94. MP says:

    I find it disappointing and actually quite embarrassing that elected representatives can write with such little attention to detail with the language they are using. you write:

    “The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.”

    You later clarify in a comment:
    “You think that everyone is well able to control their instincts? Try sitting in a magistrate’s court for a few hours.”

    And hence are very clearly implying:
    1. With your use if “naively expecting mearly a cuddle” in the womans case, that she is at fault for expecting a cuddle when naked. Since when can a woman not expect to crawl into bed naked safely? Everyone is allowed to change their minds.
    2. That the man deserves some level of “forgivness” , as he is “unable to restrain himself”. I’m sorry, what? No level of sexual arousal would be an excuse for not stopping in this situation. What were you thinking when writing this? How is this a justification?
    3. That people not being able to “control their instincts”, are some level of an excuse for rape. It is not, and never will be. You should write with more care. Take your job more seriously.

    I don’t care if you meant to imply these or not, the point is, you have. Read back through what you have written. I havn’t taken this out of context, you have implied this. There is a reason 60 people have already commented saying how wrong you are. The only point you have made successfully, is that there is a difference between a premeditated rape, and a non-premeditated rape. You have then used two unsuccessful examples to illustrate this point.

    As an elected representative of the people, you should damn well have a duty to proof read your own pieces of writing. You should be ashamed. And if these implications are actually your views, then you should be locked up.

  95. Orlanda says:

    Here’s a scenario. A woman goes out for coffee with a male friend. She’s known him for years. Nothing ‘romantic’ has ever passed between them. After the coffee, he suggests a quick drink. There’s a band he wants to see playing in a local bar. The woman says she can’t afford it. The man offers to lend her £20. They have a pleasant night. At the end of it, he says he’s missed his last bus home and asks whether he can stay at her flat? The woman is uncomfortable about this. The man adds pressure ‘I loaned you £20. I haven’t even got the taxi fare now.’ The woman reluctantly agrees that he can sleep on the sofa – she has a bedsit. Within an hour, she has been savagely raped. She is distraught – angry that she let this man stay over. Feels that the rape is somehow ‘her fault’. She tried to be a ‘good person’ but was punished for it. Using your logic, Roger, it WAS her fault. The so-called friend couldn’t control himself – poor chap. She’s left with the threat of hepatitis and HIV. The Police emphasise that it will be a difficult case to prosecute despite her obvious injuries. This is the reality of so-called ‘Date Rape’. The rapsists are people we thought we could trust.

  96. Alan Murray says:

    Are we living in a civilised society? If we are then you are just wrong.

  97. hazelnut says:

    Any young man who has been mid-coitus when a parent walks in knows that it is always possible to control your instincts.

  98. Iveta Cherneva, human rights writer says:

    Let’s talk international standards here. The European Court of Human Rights found Bulgaria at fault in a recent case, for laws defining rape through the brutal force element instead of consent as the defining factor. Ken wouldn’t pass that test too because, alike these outdated laws, he says: “for serious rapes where there is violence and unwilling woman” while he shouldn’t be saying “violence”, but only “unwilling woman”. That’s where he goes wrong by thinking of the outdated standard. Brutal force is not a part of rape legally speaking.

    Secondly, to say that serious rape includes unwilling woman is also wrong because “less serious rape” would also by virtue of being rape involve necessarily and by definition an unwilling woman. The category he creates “serious rape” with two elements (violence and unwilling woman) turns out to be wrong and non-existent. One, because physical brutal force is not of relevance as to whether an act is rape, and two because unwilling woman is what all rapes are about. Serious or light rape do not exist as categories. If UK laws are in conformity with human rights standards, at least the justice secretary doesn’t know that and doesn’t have the mental and vocabulary process to reflect that reality, perhaps because in his mind, he is stuck to his own mental outdated definitions.

    Third, contrary to what some may have said, he did not mean to say statutory rape instead of date rape. He puts those two together in the category of lighter rapes comparing them to the wrongly created category of serious rape. When prompted by the reporter he confirms that: date rape is not serious and falls in the other lighter category including the teenager scenarios. So there is no mistake of words here.

    Finally, I disagree with those that say it’s just poor phrasing and he just could’ve phrased it differently. He means what he says, irrespective of how differently he can phrase it. So in general he just seems very ill-prepared using outdated definitions and concepts. As I said when I started, this kind of thinking is against international legal standards. All rape is rape and the defining factor is consent. There are no degrees in rape, so all rape is serious. There may be aggravating circumstances like punching the victim, for example, but this is only on top of all that, on top of it already being serious rape as any rape. So, that’s an extra, on top. And it isn’t what defines or segments rape. It may sound technical and ordinary folks might say: “well, sounds the same thing to me: aggravated circumstances – serious, poteito – potato”, but it’s a crucial difference underpinning a whole different societal attitude. So no, it’s not just poor phrasing – he just thinks of rape in that different incorrect way. And plus he is a lawyer; he knows pretty well the difference in these words, and doesn’t see these words as ordinary people do; he knows their meaning, it’s not just a slip of the tongue.

    To conclude, regarding your blog post, I find it amusing that you would excuse to some extent murder based on jealousy by a husband. Again, the concept of male honor sneaks in through the back door in your example. And this concept, again, is exactly in the base of your stand on the issue of rape. Now, isn’t that ironic? Your murder example is what makes your blog post so easy to read through and dismiss.

  99. Pixie Noone says:

    I cannot believe that an elected representative is still claiming that men are such animals that when they hear ‘No’ they simply ‘can’t control themselves’. Men are perfectly capable of controlling themselves, and if they are actually interested in sex and enjoyment, then they would not enjoy themselves with a partner who does not want sex. A man who would ignore his partner’s lack of consent and force her to have sex is a rapist, and this IS about power and control.

    The rape apology in this entry makes me sick. Rape is rape and the trauma from it is no lesser or greater depending on the circumstances. Rape victims and survivors still need support and funding to get justice – all comments like these serve to do is to trivialise rape, and to justify the withdrawal of vital services from those who need them (such as Ken Clarke closing specialist rape services, and the government cutting funding for rape crisis centres).

  100. no name says:

    I understand what you’re trying to say and think what you’re tring to get across is that every case should be tried on its own merits.
    I myself was raped by being drugged when I was younger and my elder sister was raped in the exact same scenario that you say above – she said no at the last minute.
    My sister on one hand was very upset by this for years and never went to the police, I on the over hand did go to police but there was no eveidence so I decided not to continue with my claim and got on with my life. But we both reacted differently, she was angry and felt she had done no wrong (which she hadn’t), but whilst I didn’t blame myself, I had a lot of involvement when it came to drinks, leaving my friends and getting in a car with a stange man whilst I should of been more responsible – that was down to me and I learnt the hard way.
    I know in some places if a woman is drunk and can’t remember having sex and says its rape, the man is arrested because he didn’t stop the situation and take a responsible approach but what if he was drunk too? why is it only down to the man in this situation to be responsible?
    its never black or white – there is a lot of grey area and you’re never going to ‘win’ this argument.

    • neil says:

      That was an excellent contribution – I totally agree with your point that there is a a lot of grey area.

  101. Abused says:

    Speaking as someone who has experienced sexual abuse I can appreciate the grey areas for both the abused and the abuser in the second scenario. The second scenario is, in a way, more psychologically damaging for the abused. The first is much clearer cut. This is precisely the reason why abuse goes unreported and the abused feel somehow to blame (even though in my case the abuser was more than twice my age and I was underage and there was a very definite power imbalance. But at the same time I was sexually provocative so have blamed myself for 30 years, am still single and unable to form a lasting relationship. Should the abuser not be punished for that? However, were it not for the power and age imbalance and had the abuser been equally young, inexperienced but over-eager, it may have been easier to recover from as it doesn’t feel – to me – as sinister.

  102. kelly says:

    So if you go to a co-worker’s and pass out through drink and he has sex with you it is your fault is it, and not a serious crime?
    In fact most rapes happen in stable relationships, so you are in fact saying most rape victims are responsible for the fact another person penertrated their body with their penis as they trusted them, and therefore according to your theory that rape victims are partly guilty of rape means that trusting your partner is just as bad as rape. Nice man.
    The classic rape you suggest happens rarely and is an atypical rape. Why pick a stranger when MPs and MEPs will support you if you rape someone you know.
    Saying rape is wrong, but then saying that not all non-consensual sex is rape, that rapes by those you know and trust are not that bad, and that so long as rapists take the time to establish a relationship with their victim they are better people than those that pick on a stranger is not saying you disagree with rape. It is saying you do not acknowledge most rapes as real crimes.
    You have no idea of how rape victims feel, you obviously have no empathy for rape victims so follow Ken Clarkes theory that violence which is something you understand most make a rape worse, and that a woman must be comforted by the idea that her rapist was her partner, ex-partner, friend, work colleague. If you were raped would you feel better if it was someone you knew, and had to see everyday?
    And, yes a man who rapes a woman after being told she does not want to have sex with him is trying to control and dominate the woman. Sex is about two people, and if one person does not want to do it then that is that. You claim he could not help himself, but that means he had to physically overpower the women whilst she was resisting, that is not an accidental heat of the moment act. That is deliberate. What sort of a perosn could justify forcing themselves on another person knowing they do not want it, and are trying to stop them. This is not any less traumatic for the victim than the stranger rape, the difference is that they have been abused in the worst way by someone they placed their trust in, how do you think they move on from this?

    • Frank says:

      Well said Kelly. The message Roger is giving to would-be rapists is that if they get to know their victim first they will get lighter sentence. So a politician is advising criminals on the best way to avoid a long jail sentence while still committing the same crime. Well done Roger, glad you’re looking out for the criminals.

  103. Orlanda says:

    No, No Name, I have to disagree with you.

    Your logic suggests:

    Have a few too many drinks – get raped.
    Leave your friends – get raped.
    Get a lift with a stranger – get raped.

    Yes, you could have been safer, but being drugged and raped was NOT ‘down to you’. You were targeted, drugged and raped by a predatory man.

    He is SOLELY responsible for his actions.

  104. a says:

    I hope the Conservative Party is smart enough to realise that you should not be representing this country.

  105. kelly says:

    No name,
    Because alcohol is not a defence to rape. A man is not arrested simply because the victim was drunk. He is arrested if the woman was so drunk that she was incapable of consenting. So if she was drunk and made a bad decision it would not be considered rape so long as she was capable of making said bad decision. The reason why a man could not use his drunkeness as a defence is the fact that he was capable of making the decision as he was the active player so to speak – two people incapable of making the decision to have sex could not actually have sex. One thing I think is wrong and gets overlooked is the fact that by law only men are capable of rape. I see no reason for this at all. Maybe female to male rape happens very rarely, but that is not the point. The law should recognize the right of all people to have ownership of their body against all other people, not just against men.

  106. Hugh Davis says:

    I am considerably saddened by many of the hysterical reactions to Roger’s article above which seem deliberately to misrepresent what he is saying. And clearly the law is on his side of the argument as sentences handed out by the courts for rape vary from five to fifteen years – in other words not all rapes are considered equally culpable. When Ken Clarke or Roger Helmer say this they are NOT denying that any rape is a traumatic and humiliating experience, NOR ARE THEY CLAIMING THAT ANY RAPE IS EVER JUSTIFIABLE, but some of the female bloggers above seem to be suggesting that they would be just as traumatised by being raped by a boyfriend at home in bed when both were in a semi drunken state as they would be if dragged off Wimbledon Common at night by a masked assailant and violated with extreme violence. Frankly I find this hard to believe.
    And would these same bloggers maintain that a forty year old man who repeatedly rapes his ten year old niece is no more culpable than a seventeen year old boy who has consensual sex with his fifteen year old girlfriend(which is also rape according to the law)?

    It is a national disgrace that so few rape victims in the UK get the justice they deserve – the rate of successful prosecutions is derisory, but irrational outbursts against concerned and caring politicians such as Roger Helmer who are most certainly on their side does their case no good at all.

    • Pixie Noone says:

      Consensual sex between two teenagers over the age of 13 is NOT rape, according to the law. It is only legally speaking rape when it involves a minor of under 13.
      I was sexually abused and raped when I was 6 by an older male relative for several months, then as a 15 year old raped by a ‘friend’ who drugged my drink. Both experiences were traumatising, and it is infact useless to try and argue which one was more traumatising from the other as both have left me with PTSD and other major mental health issues.

      Survivors of multiple rapes and assaults do not usually try to one up and say ‘oh well this rape was worse than this one’. They are hideous, life-scarring events, and both traumatising. Comments that trivialise rape, like ‘stranger rape is worse than date rape’ only make rape victims feel they have no right to feel traumatised if they weren’t the ‘perfect victim’ (i.e. attacked by a stranger when they were completely covered up, sober and physically resisted their attacker), to seek help or report their rapes to the police, which is why there is such an appallingly low reporting rate (15%).

      • kelly says:

        Good point, Rape victims never try to say that their rape was worse. It only seems to be a certain type of man hysterically running around trying to diminish the suffering of rape victims because they were not beaten. I wonder if Rodger and Hugh would rather pass out at a party and wake to find men ahd had sex with them, or be beaten up as they walked across the common.

    • anon says:

      Hugh Davis,
      First of all why are the reasctions from the women hysterical? Disagreeing with someone does not make you hysterical. You ae just using that term to belittle women as in silly little hysterical women.
      Have you ever been raped by someone you trusted. How do you know that the women here (I notice you do not pick on the men responding) are not speaking from experience. I would rather be dragged off the common by a stranger. I should also point out that in this case the stranger would claim she consented anyway, and she would be torn to pieces as some drunk who regretted coming on to a stranger.
      The law does not recognize different degrees of rape, it recognize that other crimes may be committed by a rapist. And a 17 year old who has sex with a 15 year old would not be considered a rapist if it was consensual as the law recognizes that 14 year olds and over can consent. They would be guilty of sex with a minor if the CPS decided to take it forward.
      And no Roger is not on the side of rape victims. read his statement he says that if you are raped by someone you know you are partly responsible for rape, and he also says that some rapists are less deserving of heavy punishments for the actual rape ( he does nto say that we should punish the other crimes that may be associated with a rape, he says the rapes themselves are less serious).
      Please do not tell me how I should feel about rape, and how men like you are on the side of rape victims, you really have no idea. It is because of attitudes of people like you and Rodger, that most rape voctims do not want to go to court.

    • Ben says:

      Give it up. I agree that Ken Clarck’s original statement simply questioned the application of “rape” in cases where the girl was underage etc, but as has been pointed out repeatedly in other posts Roger has expanded on this with two poorly thought out examples. Can I also point out your attack on “some female bloggers” and your expression of doubt that they’d be as traumatised by the second example? This isn’t a defence of Roger’s blog post, it simply has the same mysogynist thinking behind it. Who the hell are you to judge the “correct” level of trauma? In addition to that, most of the “hysterical responses” have been in reaction to the statement “the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility,” To sum up in one sentence: Both you and Roger need to not talk about sensitive issues if your not going to get your facts straight.

    • Elizabeth Brett says:

      Hugh Davis, you don’t get to say whether or not rape survivors have the right to be traumatised, or what level of trauma survivors should feel.

      Survivorship is not a competition. We do not get awarded trauma points, based on where you believe our rape lies on a spectrum of severity.

      “…of the female bloggers above seem to be suggesting that they would be just as traumatised by being raped by a boyfriend at home in bed when both were in a semi drunken state as they would be if dragged off Wimbledon Common at night by a masked assailant and violated with extreme violence. Frankly I find this hard to believe.”

      I don’t care what you believe. I haven’t seen this stated, but in the past I have heard similar things from survivors of multiple assaults- that it was betrayal from a loved one that utterly destroyed them. People experience trauma differently. What one person might be able to survive could devastate someone else. When you make assumptions about what the legitimate response to an attack is and is not, you are dismissing the lived experience of survivors.

      Again, whether or not you are a survivor yourself, you do not get to say how traumatic someone else’s rape is. You just don’t.

    • Frank says:

      Hugh, if you were punched and cut by a random stranger on the Common, or punched and cut by your wife, which would find more traumatising? Do you seriously think that having your body violated by someone you love and trust is less traumatising than having it violated by a stranger? If a woman is raped by her boyfriend not only does she have to contend with the obvious physical and emotional hurt, she also has to come to terms with the fact that the person she trusted and loved has no respect for her, and that the relationship is over. Having the rug pulled out from under your feet in such a manner is beyond devastating.

      You don’t seem to understand what rape is (and I find this is often the case with men). Just imagine having something forcibly shoved up your anus and you’ll come close. Now imagine your wife did that to you. Yeah, not too nice is it.

  107. sfortunata says:

    Roger, don’t you think that when about 99% of the 151 (so far) eloquent comments on this blogpost object to what you write, it might be time to think carefully about the arguments being put forth against your own, rather than make the patronising and somewhat implausible suggestion that none of the commenters have read or understood your point?

    I believe you when you say that you think that rape is wrong, and that you offer this qualification in good faith. And I accept that it is right of course, that with rape, as with all crimes, particular circumstances are taken into account with sentencing. But I’m afraid that the attitudes you betray (eg, “the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind”) are offensive, harmful, and quite simply contradict the principle (hardly a cliche) that no means no, which you claim to espouse.

    The fact is that acceptance of the idea that women bear even a part of responsibility in rape cases is a factor contributing not only to the lamentably low conviction rate for rape in this country, but even to the mindset which allows men to commit this crime in the first place. This is not an argument over semantics or an abstract legal puzzle: attitudes, prejudices, and the blaming of victims make a difference in the real world, and the only way the number of rapes will be reduced, and the number of convictions increased is if we manage to reform people’s attitudes.

    Please try to think carefully about the arguments being put forward by commenters, and understand why so many people are so offended and appalled.

  108. Mrs B says:

    I am quite frankly horrified that someone with views such as yourself is allowed to represent our country in the European Parliament.
    Firstly I find it interesting that both scenarios in which you describe the ‘male’ perpetrator of the crime as having lesser responsibility that somehow it is the ‘fault’ of the woman, in the first instance for having sexual relations with someone not her husband, and secondly for daring to undress and get into bed with a man and then not give her consent to sexual intercourse.

    Imagine if you will, a young woman with little or no sexual experience, embarking on her first real relationship. She is nervous and frightened about her first full sexual experience, and after ‘undressing and getting into bed’ with her partner, and even perhaps partaking in some sexual activity she becomes distressed or frightened and simply is not ready to take it to the next step. Yes I can imagine it would be very frustrating for her partner, but you are actually advocating that if her partner then decided to continue after she had asked him to stop that she would be partly to blame for being raped!
    If a man is unable to control himself when aroused then he should not be allowed to be around women as he is dangerous and not in control of his actions. This has absolutely nothing to do with the woman who has ‘aroused’ him but to do with his own self control.
    I find your views draconian and misogynistic. I also find your assertion that this is somehow purely a feminist issue laughable. This is not about women vs men, it is about people being responsible for their own actions. Unfortunately in this case, the majority of rape is carried out by a male perpetrator towards a female victim as pure physicality means a man is able to overpower a woman but vice versa it is much more difficult.
    I hope you take account of these comments and think more carefully before you make statements such as these!

    • feminismblog says:

      I agree, Mrs B, but I take slight issue with your use of the ‘virginal victim’. The notion that virgins are somehow more legitimate recipients of sympathy, less deserving of assault, less knowing, than sexually active women is a myth than needs busting. That said, your post is otherwise spot on.

  109. Elizabeth Brett says:

    Also, although my hysterical, irrational outbursts may be doing my case no good, I am not a caricatured fifties housewife screeching at a mouse. I have debated this issue articulately and in good faith, as have the vast majority of the people who have commented. Dismissing the comments of a hundred people with gendered language is disingenuous to say the least.

    I sincerely doubt that Roger Helmer is a caring, concerned politician. He is most definitely not on my side. I do not want misogynistic rape apologists on my side. If Roger Helmer was on my side, I would start a new, better side.

  110. chris says:

    Hey Roger,

    I’d like you to take a step back here and think about this subject in a completely new light.

    Imagine we (me and you) were friends, out one night getting drunk and having a laugh with nothing seedy going on. When all the bars close we get in a taxi which will first take me home and then you. Halfway through the taxi ride you realise you don’t have your wallet.
    “That’s fine Roger” I say. “You can stay at mine, I’ve only got one bed, but we can share.”
    On arrival at my house, we’re both rather tired and make our way straight to bed, our clothes have got wet on our brief walk from the taxi. We both take them off. I now decide that I really, really, want to have sex. You are the only person around so I start having sex with you, you’re drunk at first so you don’t really notice, but halfway through you turn to me and say stop!

    Should I be given a more lenient sentence seeing as you laid down naked with me?

    I literally cannot believe you are an MEP.

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  112. carolyn says:

    Roger – would you feel the same if this happened to your daughter, your wife, your mother?

    Doubt it. All rape is vile, all leaves permanent mental scars.

    A very ignorant poin of view.

  113. neil says:

    I think that everyone here is clearly misinterpreting (quite childishly at times) what Roger is saying. Please take the time to reread the article – he is not suggesting that getting into bed constitutes consent!!

    There are literally 100 emotional comments here which attack a position he has not even made – it is quite depressing really. How can there be social progress if people do not even take the time to read and logically process an argument, before responding to it!

    Finally, for the record, I don’t even fully agree with him, but I cannot bear to see him being slated for something he clearly isn’t saying!

    • Guy Patching says:

      Most people are infuriated that he is putting any part of the blame onto the raped. Which he actually did. In this paragraph:

      “… in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.”

      • neil says:

        “The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.”

        Yes, and in that scenario, I do believe that he is not expressing an unreasonable opinion. If you say stop, during consensual sex, as a man is about to orgasm, then you certainly are more responsible for being “raped” than if you are assaulted and never consent initially.

        I also believe that his opinion, should not, as it has been done here, be interpreted as being extensible to many more severe circumstances, just to apply where at the last minute a women says stop to her partner.

    • kelly says:

      1) Helmers specifically states that in some cases rape victims should share the balem of their own rape.

      2) He repeatedly states some rapists are less deserving of blame (that is what culpable means, deserving of blame).

      3) He says some men rape out of instinct, sexual reasons, and cannot help themselves and are therefore less culpabale

      4) he uses the phrase stranger rape in reference to a very rare type of rape that of a stranger. In fact if we took clasic rape to mean the avergae rape it would be between a woman and her partner.
      A woman does not give up the right to her own body just by knowing men, those that are suggesting that rapists who choose victims they know are less culpable are just as bad as those who advocate lashing for women who dare to be alone with men they are not married to.
      I would also like to point out that if Helmers had written about a subject traditionally associated with male victims no-one would use the word hysterical or emotional. But as soon as the victims are portrayed as mainly female sudenly those who disagree with the article are referred to as hysterical, over emotional, illogical rampent feminists etc.
      I should also point out to those that claim that rapes in relationships are not real rapes, that most murders of women occur in relationships too. In fact almost two women a week die at the hands of partners in Britain every week on average. Perhaps if we started treating those who abuse partners as fully culpable we might be able to decrease that a bit.

    • Philo says:

      To be frank I feel that you are guilty of your own accusations. You say that others of being ‘childish’ in misinterpreting his comments but you, yourself, have chosen to interpret those comments from a perception that no-one else can recognise. Nowhere does he mention that this hypothetical man is about to orgasm when the young lady says ‘NO’ and, with the best will in the world, that is an extreme scenario and not one that anyone else recognises from Mr Helmer’s description. The ‘last minute’ does not mean at the point of ejaculation and only a fairly obtuse observer would interpret it as such. I suggest that the ‘last minute’, as portrayed in the scenario, occurs long before penetration and is seen, from the males point of view, as his point of arousal. The fact that a man can become erect often has little to do with any activity or action by a female and much more to do with his anticipation. This is often due more to an imagined outcome rather than a realistic one. The pure fact that he gets a hard on does not entitle him to full penetrative sex. It is not naive for a women to expect to go to bed to sleep. Mr Helmer speaks of her attacker as her ‘boyfriend’ so she might reasonable assume that he is trustworthy and respectful enough not to force his attentions on her, no matter how much he is aroused. Therefore for him to continue, with no consideration for her feelings or desires and in full knowledge of the fact that she has asked him to go no further, is rape. The fact that he wants sex does not give him entitlement to it.

    • Frank says:

      Neil, at no point does Roger state that the woman in the second scenario says “stop” just when the man is ejaculating, so it is YOU who has chosen to read into what he is saying and to misinterpret it. Even in his later replied Roger hasn’t stated that this is what he meant, you are the only one to have mentioned it.

      It is very clear from the phrasing and tone of his post that Roger means that getting into bed sets up an expectation of sex for the man and if he then proceeds to stick his penis in an unwilling, possibly struggling partner then he is less guilty than a man who does the same thing to a woman who didn’t take off her own clothes.

      • neil says:

        Sorry I interpreted “at the last moment” as meaning just prior to orgasm(probably wrongly). My reasoning was that if she shouts stop, it suggests they are having sex, therefore the “last moment” is orgasm.

        Regardless of the difference in interpretation, I still can understand and tolerate Neils position.

        I see nothing particularly disgusting in his suggestion that date rape is less serious than premeditated stranger rape(as he puts it). I think most people agree that it is. Most peoples anecdotal arguments against him are not examples of date rape at all, which means they are rather irrelevant(although very sad to read).

        People are just attacking a fake position here – if you have a problem with what he is stating then you are disagreeing with the law, as much as with him.

        It is so ridiculous anyway – such indignation- over something that is scientifically certain. If a man goes on a date with a women and after it she undresses and gets into bed with him, he will almost certainly expect sexual behavior. Of course, so will she!Maybe they will have sex, maybe not, but either way there is absolutely no doubt prior expectations will exist for both of them.

        Is she responsible for creating this expectation? Yes, absolutely. Is it her fault she was raped? No, not at all. In my eyes you are only at faults if you are aware of the likely repercussions of an action e.g. if you start your car and a car bomb wired underneath explodes, that is not your fault.

        Therefore I feel the circumstances can be taken into account, without blaming the women and, in my view, it is hard to justify why the male does not deserve some leniency (in comparsion to a stranger rapist), so long as it was not premeditated.

  114. neil says:

    And for the record if you believe rape in the heat of the moment does not deserve more leniency then rape in a premeditated assault… well, the law certainly disagrees with you! Maybe consider than Roger’s opinion, while different to your own, is not really as absurd as your strong emotional response may suggest.

  115. Nigel says:

    or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle.

    This is the clincher isn’t it. The women “naively” only expected to be cuddled. You are out there. That because a women gets into bed with a guy then it will inevitably lead to penetrative sex, and in your words she’s naive to expect anything less. And once penetrative sex has begun, the man has to finish inside her…Not only do you not seem to understand the definition of rape, but you also seem to be using a rapists argument to justify it.

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  117. ros marie says:

    Roger, your views indicate that an aroused man is the same as a dog, like it’s there so take it. Where are all these women who get into a man’s bed naked and then stop sex happening? Obviously a minority. You sem to be taking us backwards to when a woman was a belonging of a man. If she says ‘no’ at any stage and means no, any man ought to respect this, as annoyed as he may be. Do YOU get pleasure from sex with a wman who doesnt want it. That would be rape, an ofence against the person and is WRONG. You worry me. If I’m on a nudist beach then, does a man have the right to rape me, are you going to claim ‘It’s the woman’s fault, she wore a short skirt and was asking for it. You should take on board what 99% of the comments on here say to you.

  118. Elaine says:

    Reading this was pretty disturbing to say the least. Of the 2 men I was raped by, the first guy was 17 & I was 18 at a festival with my family, I went for a walk with him. 2nd guy was a couple of years older than me, I was 31 and it was a first date at his friend’s family house party. With both it was about power and of not allowing me a say in the decision of if he would get his own way or not, in both cases in different ways and in both cases it had been made clear sex was not on the agenda. Down to the basics, it was treating me as if I was a commodity not a human being with autonomy. Because I was under threat of being beaten the first time I avoided any more physical abuse along side the sexual abuse by complying as if willingly, while internally shutting down. My response during second rape was to cry throughout after the repeated no was ignored and I went limp, he told me afterwards he thought it was okay. He also thought it was okay to grab a different woman by the wrists and try to force her on his sofa when she went back to his flat in the day, she got away. He has never been prosecuted and I know of other women he has also forced himself on. I didn’t report my rapes for exactly this kind of thinking and the ordeal was bad enough the trauma of reporting was not something I could deal with at the time. I was already in danger of suicide.

    I managed to live a productive life for a while and work through my shattered self worth, trust etc etc. I am now ill and am treated as if it is nothing. That I just need to pull my socks up, get some confidence, get a job and I will be fine. I just need to be treated as a human being by the system then maybe I could have a chance to recover and work. You may say this is off topic but PSTD experienced after rape is not taken seriously or properly supported and maybe I wouldn’t have got so physically ill on top if it were not for these kinds of assumptions where the victim is blamed or partially blamed for their being in the presence of the man unable to suppress his desire to use a person for his own pleasure. It is all further abuse to the victim to be treated as nothing all over again.

    • miamarshmallow says:

      I’m so sorry Elaine. Our entire society needs a complete overhaul when it comes to rape, attitudes, consent and the law. Then maybe people would be able to trust the system and report the crime, and see actual justice carried out.

      • Elaine says:

        Thank you, I agree. It isn’t just attitudes to rape but disability and post trauma difficulties, often a part of ‘invisible disability’ that these days is often an excuse for people to attack those who may or may not be depending on benefits to live just because they see them as lazy spongers…

  119. Tanith says:

    roger- a persons body is there own male or female to do with what they will and any encroachment of that should be punished! no exseptions! no one should ever asume just because you are with them your body is theirs…just because you get into bed mith some one does not mean you are automatically fair game! your argument is as flawed as the man you base it on!

  120. Kisty Smith says:

    You, your views and this blog are disgusting.

  121. Louise McCabe says:

    Roger, you’re a rape apologist. Thank you for alerting the world to the fact. Rape is always a crime. For the victim, it’s devastating – and no less devastating that someone you know, trust and love forces you to do something you don’t want to do.

  122. Malcolm Edward says:

    Roger it looks like by you writing a very reasoned piece it gives the “unreasoning brigade” cause for upset. It troubles me that so many people attack you for in effect not being like themselves; simplistic, absolutist, puritanical and emotional.

    In the real world in all manner of things there is a continuum of behaviours, including wrongdoing and crime. Therefore there needs be a range of punishment open to the courts in order to deal with the degree of severity of an infraction.
    Most of the above commentators are wanting to treat all rape cases as equally severe, which logically means the perpetrators receive the same punishment – does that mean they all are given the most severe punishment (life time in jail) – or should they all be given the least severe punishment. Should someone who gets carried away with the passion of the moment (who otherwise leads a productive life) be considered no different from someone who gets his way by use of premeditated violence (and will always be a danger to society).

    I’m sure the commentators have not thought through the consequences of what they write, and nor have they understood what you (Roger) wrote.

    Where there is a problem as I see it, is not that Ken Clarke wants a range of punishments available, but he wants to reduce the average punishment rather than increase it for those who show no remorse, or for repeat offenders.

    The other problem is that, from what I read, sometimes Judges are rather inconsistent in their sentencing and they are sometimes too lenient towards some of the worst offenders, and hence fail to protect the public from an avoidable repeat offence.

    I am glad that the electorate in the East Midlands has chosen a classical liberally reasoned person such as yourself to be their MP rather than a representative from the unreasoning classes.

    • Aaron says:

      A) He’s an MEP, not an MP, meaning that due to EU rules he has about as much effect on the world as your average dormouse.

      “It troubles me that so many people attack you for in effect not being like themselves; simplistic, absolutist, puritanical and emotional.”
      Better that than be pretentious, uncaring, factually incorrect and out of step with the modern world.

    • anna says:

      someone who can commit a crime such as rape because they were caught up in the moment is just as big as danger as somen who plans to rape. What sort of person gets so caught up in their desire to have an orgasm that they ignore the other person begging them to stop. And as for the east midlands choosing him as their MEP, I think given his comments on curing homosexuality, and transgener people just feeling like they want to be the other sex, togther with this article and his comments his days as an MEP are numbered. He will certainly be outvoted at the next elections IF the tories allow him to stand for them, which given the fact several MPS have voiced concern at this article and the tory party have said it does not represent their views or the views of Clarke, that is not one hundred percent a given either.

  123. Theo says:

    Dear Roger,

    Just so you know it’s not just women and liberals who are disgusted by your views. I’m appalled by your outdated, ill-informed and misogynistic views.

    Yet another reason never to vote Tory.

    Member of the Reasoning Classes

  124. Josh says:

    Yeah, she’d totally be bringing it on herself.

    Fancy a drink later?

  125. Stuart says:

    Even for an elderly, clearly none too thoughtful conservative the stance you take, Mr Helmer, is astonishing in its most basic misunderstanding of the entire issue. The fact that your equally clueless supporters are reduced – as neil is above – to creating strawmen to attack or – as Malcolm Edwards – merely to parrot your vile views sycophantically is indicative of the utter lack of foundation your viewpoint stands upon.

    One can only hope the electorate take this into account and remove you and your rape apologist kind from office at the earliest possible opportunity.

  126. miamarshmallow says:

    so i suppose spousal rape doesn’t exist to you right? Attitudes like yours are terrifying.

  127. Maurice says:

    Can I urge everyone who is as appalled as I am by the comments of this man to contact their MP or email 10 Downing Street with their concerns and comments? People like this should not hold any position of power.

    • miamarshmallow says:

      i completely agree. it is the scariest thing about the whole thing is that people like this man and Clarke both have positions where their opinions are listened to! I wonder what would happen if his wife of daughter or sister got raped? I wonder would he suddenly change his mind.. chances are very probably.

  128. Jon says:

    I looked up the definition to be clear:Definitions of retrograde (adj)
    ret·ro·grade [ réttrō gràyd ] 1. moving backward: moving backward in space or time
    2. getting worse: worsening or returning to an earlier worse condition 3. inverse: in writing, inverse or reversed, especially in syntactic order.

    You must hve meant definition number 2. The is so much wrong with you position that I do not know where to begin. So, suffice to say that you must be as genuinely stupid as Ken.

  129. Helen Leigh says:

    Is this satire? If so, it’s beautifully done. I can’t quite believe an MEP could not only think this way but publish and continue to defend such an outdated, disgusting point of view.

    Reasonable expectations?

    Well, you’re only got yourself to blame if a hysterical feminist mob comes after you with pitchforks, Roger. Let’s face it, you were asking for it.

  130. Rich says:

    Either you know very little about rape, or you know a lot and are trying to excuse something. I believe and hope it’s the former.

    You do realise that it’s attitudes like yours that mean so many women’s lives are ruined because they don’t have support (law, society, government…) against their aggressors?

    Sexual abuse is always wrong and your odd choice of scenarios only demonstrates your ignorance.

    You won’t be vilified as the strong-right-wing-martyr you’d be proud of. You’re vilified because you are ill-informed but willing to speak out nevertheless on the side of thugs and abusers of women.

  131. Ray Dunkle says:

    The whole argument is poorly constructed and I suspect deliberately so. In order the analogy to hold, the first scenario should have been as
    1. Someone jumps out of the blue and beats up your wife/girlfriend
    2. You, in the middle of an argument, beat up your wife/girlfriend.

    But in this case the whole construction would have collapsed very easily. Because if,as you do, one can find “justifications” for date rape one should find the same “justifications” for domestic violence as well. Beneath your views, lies the old “the victim has to be blamed, to take a share of responsibility” for the criminal activities against him/her. On that, Roger, you are a true inheritor of the Nazi mentality.

    Also it is really sad that none had anything to say against the case of the murder. What if that guy had killed his wife instead of the milkman, flagratio or not?

  132. Roya says:

    I wish so very badly I could sit here happily and declare this a hoax. Unfortunately, you truly are a complete moron.

  133. Aaron says:

    This blog is a disgrace. Rape is rape. As soon as someone says no, and the other person carries on, then that is rape. There is no grey area except that used by Ken Clarke to justify lowering the sentence for rape, and you because of your Victorian attitude to the world. It is of no importance if the person gets carried away in the “heat of the moment” or not, it is still rape.

    There is rape, and there is consensual sex. That is it.

    Do you believe that there should be a lighter sentence if the person in your first example had used drugs to dope his victim? After all then he wouldn’t have had to hit his victim over the head. Perhaps he could get a couple of years off for being so considerate?

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  135. katie says:

    I completely understand what he is trying to say and on most parts agree. In each scenario the variables of the situation are very different, and because of this, the punishment should vary too. It’s as basic a concept as that.

    He is not saying that the woman in the second scenario wouldn’t suffer as much as the first. But a persons punishment isn’t and shouldn’t be based on the suffering of their victim, it should be based on their actions and their motives behind them. In these scenarios, the rapists and murderers actions and motives vary – as should their punishment.

    • Thomas MckEE says:

      But by using the term culpability, he is saying that the women is also responsible. Laying blame on the vicitim. This then asserts that women have no right to withdraw consent. His language through out the piece is often disgustingly chauvanistic.

  136. miamarshmallow says:

    Another point, what about when the woman changes her mind during sex? I’ve certainly does this in the past but apparently I’m lucky that the guy could ‘control’ himself and didn’t continue to rape me!

    But I guess to you if the the sex is already happening it is ‘naiive’ of me to believe it to be ‘real’ rape.

    Your mentioning of a girl naiively expecting just a cuddle is outrageous.

    How bitter and unlucky with women must you be to hold such old fashioned and dangerous attitudes. So if i get into bed with my boyfriend tonight, i am simultaneously consenting to sex?! Are you SERIOUS?!

    I cannot describe how terrifying an attitude that is to have. You need to go to a workshop on consent, make friends with some feminists, talk to the Rape Crisis Centre about your skewed views on consent and what it is.

    You’re a scumbag of a politician.

    I agree with others who say to email downing street in protest, this man should not have a position where his opinions are actually listened to. As a victim of so called ‘date’ rape, reading this is extremely emotionally upsetting and has pretty much been on my mind all day. My biggest fear is that if my male friends knew of my rape and how it happened they would judge me as the above specimen did. I told an ex what happened to me one night. Rather than give me a hug or anything, he sat up and asked me if it was ‘violent’.(ie, the only rape that counts). Rape myths are EVERYWHERE, even in my relationship apparently!

    It is only all the comment ripping it apart that are so consoling, so please keep it up!

  137. ukliberty says:

    Let me make another point which will certainly get me vilified, but which I think is important to make: while in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.

    Um, no. You have been rightly criticised. What an extraordinary position to hold – for shame.

  138. katie says:

    I would also like to say that there are a lot of people out there that understand where Roger and Ken are coming from, even people that have themselves, been raped – and the rest of you are clearly missing the point.

    I’ll agree that what they are trying to say hasn’t been put out there very clearly and people are finding it hard to understand the principles and look past the examples. But almost ALL of your arguments on this page are based on small examples of this text, picking holes in each scenario and ignoring the parts which don’t back you up. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE – READ WHAT HE IS ACTUALLY TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO YOU.

    At no point has Roger expressed that rape is right and should go unpunished. And those of you that have suggested that he has, have made yourselves look ignorant and stupid.

    • Thomas MckEE says:

      The term culpability is used, he asserts that the victims are also responsible. How can you claim that is the case, and yet also assert that all rapists are equally wrong. You can’t. He is in effect saying that the second example is Less-rapey, for want of a better term. Thats disgusting and old fashioned. and your attempts to insult the reasoned responses reflect badly on someone typing entire sentences in upper case.

    • Katie says:

      Like I said before, since people seem to be picking and choosing the parts they want to read, I don’t agree with everything that was said. The examples aren’t brilliant and he’s shot himself in the foot by suggesting women share the blame – obviously going to attract an angry mob there – but you have all proved my point. You are literally ignoring the main point of the article and picking out words to examine and obsess over! Okay so he used the word ‘culpable’, does that mean the rest of the text and what it means should be ignored because a few words were used in bad taste?

      It is so frustrating reading these narrow minded responses to a text you clearly did not fully read!

  139. ukliberty says:

    Katie, I understand there are differences in culpability in terms of the offender. It is in black-and-white in the sentencing guidelines.

    It is where Helmer says “in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility”, that he is, in my opinion, utterly wrong and ought to consider his position. YMMV.

    • miamarshmallow says:

      agreed. ‘naiively expecting a cuddle’ and what you quoted above are the horrific examples of rape apology and victim blaming, not to mention reinforcing rape myths, which is is obviously doing for a couple of people.

  140. David Moss says:

    Roger, let us suppose that I want your kidney*, you give some vague, non-explicit indication that you’re happy to donate it to me. What is the moral status of me forcibly extracting the kidney from you? I’m sure we can agree that it’s wrong, to say the least, but how much *less* wrong is it, because you gave the non-explicit indication that you’d be happy for me to have it? Further, how culpable are you for my assault, given that you created the reasonable expectation that I’d be getting the kidney anyway? I propose that your culpability would be very low indeed even if you had explicitly said “No problem, feel free to extract the kidney yourself, whenever you like…”

    *This may be of offensively little value, compared to not being raped- and note that I don’t even say that I *need* your kidney, just that I’d like it for some reason.

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  142. anna says:

    he says quite clearly that women can be to blame for their own rapes. he also says that in some cases the rapist is less culpabale. Culpabale means “deserving of blame” so he means that some rapists do not deserve as much blame. Now at no point does he say that people should get additional sentences if they committ more than one crime against a rape victim. He instead very specifically focuses on the punishment for the rape itself, not the accompanying crimes. No-one believes that if you rape someone you are let off sentencing for beating them too. They are saying that a rapist should be punished for the rape he committed, not have his sentence for rape reduced because he did not committ other crimes. There is a big difference. Rape is not beating someone up, it is having non-consensual sex with someone. By all means add consecutive sentences if they also beat someone up, but do not reward them by decreasing their punishment for rape just because they were able to rape someone they knew. All that does is tell rapsist that they should target women they know and get the rape sentence reduced.
    The big picture is that if you do not want to be punished for rape, do nto rape someone. raping someone then whinging that you should be rewarded because you knew him or her, and did not use too much violence is pathetic.

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  144. Jon says:

    Let’s focus on the basic mistake of moral logic you’ve made here, Roger:

    “It is naive for a woman to undress and get into a man’s bed and not expect him to draw the obvious conclusion.”

    With you so far, and let’s say the young man is entirely reasonable in drawing this conclusion.

    However, she then says, ‘Stop.’

    At this point, she has made her intentions clear, the young man is no longer reasonable in drawing the conclusion that she wants sex, and the entire responsibility for what happens next lies with him.

    Very simple. Right?

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  146. Francine Pickering says:

    Mr Helmer, I wasn’t going to post a response to this simply because all the arguments against its mysoginistic and illogical pronouncements have already been well made. However, it appears that you are my MEP so I would like to point out that, with views like this, you cannot claim to represent me.

    That said, I would welcome your fullest efforts to point us all in the direction of any evidence you have around men’s inability to restrain themselves. Is it that they are physically unable to do so? Do they momentarily lose all ability to behave ethically towards other human beings? Or perhaps they develop selective deafness and simply can’t hear the word “Stop”. Such information would be invaluable to women who might be happy to fine tune their own behaviour in the light of hard facts and solid evidence on this matter in order to avoid any “culpability”. So please provide said hard facts and solid evidence. Thanks in advance.

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  148. “The second [case] is “date rape”.Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on…`in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.”

    If you cant see how this is victim blaming and how perpetuating this myth that men are “unable to restrain” themselves then you are the worst kind of ignorant misogynist.

    Furthermore, anyone with a modicum of intelligence should be able to see that being raped by a partner can have just as extreme effects for a person as “stranger-rape”. Imagine being violated by someone you trusted above all others. Someone that you shared a home with. Do you honestly believe that just because its not a stranger in an alley way it isn’t potentially violent, destructive and long lasting in its effects? If not, please refer to my earlier comments re ignorant misogynists.

    Cat @feministletters

  149. Stephen W says:

    I’m sorry, but this article is disgusting and bears no relation to what Ken Clarke was talking about. The idea that a woman who gets into bed naked bears responsibility for being raped is absolutely repulsive.

    I don’t know what kind of weird sexually repressed relationships you have been a part of. But no woman or man I have ever known considers taking one’s clothes off as a standing invitation to sex. This is appalling and disgusting.

    Any time a woman or a man says No to sex then that is a No. It doesn’t matter if they are naked, clothed, in bed, walking home from a bar, or tied up in full scale bondage gear. It’s very simple, no is no. And if someone is too much of a disgusting animal to respect that then they should get exactly the same punishment as any other disgusting animal.

    I am sorry but this article is wrong, a disgrace to the Conservative Party, a disgrace to civilised society, and a disgrace too everything decent people stand for. Please withdraw it, delete it, and publish an apology immediately. It is the only decent, gentlemanly, honourable or moral thing to do. (And just for the record I do believe that you are a decent, honourable, moral person who has just made a horrendous error of judgement in this instance. Please prove me right by retracting it immediately.)

  150. Bella Levy says:

    Who are all these lousy lovers who are “unable to restrain” themselves?

    Normal men, who aren’t rapists, have no problem whatsoever restraining or controlling themselves. A man who enters a woman’s body when she’s made it clear she doesn’t want him to, because he can’t restrain himself, is dangerous to women and ought to be locked up, not offered sympathy and excuses for his rapiness.

    Why are tory men so desperate to stand up for rapists? Are rapists more likely to vote than normal men or something? Or do they just empathise with rapists more than they do with rape victims?

  151. Chris says:

    Since many victims of crime, not only rape, are known to the perpetrator, ought we to share responsibility in other cases too? The absurd, offensive and flawed logic of your argument is astounding.

  152. Hannah says:

    You know what a reasonable expectation is? That a boy will respect the fact that NO means NO.

    No means no if the person is drunk. No means no if the person is dressed like a stripper. No means no if the person is naked in your bed. No means no if the persons says yes first and then changes their mind.

    When no has been said, the girl (I’ll use the genders you used in your situation) no longer has any responsibility; it is the boys responsibility to understand the basic fact that NO MEANS NO.

    It is a reasonable expectation that a man should CHOOSE not to rape a woman. That is the only expectation that matters and the only person to blame is the perpetrator.

  153. Robin says:

    Noooo! Please, Roger, 99% of rape is your “scenario two”. All feminists want is a culture which discourages rather encourages men from this, and anything you can do as a politician to help would be appreciated!

  154. roland says:

    Although the discussion is (or should be) about the mooted changes to the law, it is worth focussing on what the law actually is at the present time, ie how judges view rape cases. It is simply not the case that judges, to date, give out identical sentences to all convicted rapists. It is therefore part of the UK’s body of law that judges distinguish and discriminate between different rape cases and differing circumstances. It is not a question of being raped, or “a little bit raped”, which is surely not to be raped at all, it is a question of finding a way to punish the rapist appropriately, within the legal system that we have, and according to the means that have, with a view to the best possible corrective outcome, safety for citizens, administering of justice etc. Judges already, de facto, administer sentences according to the severity of the offence, and although it is not available in black and white to read, there exists already a kind of sliding scale in rape cases, as with all types of crime. Protesting that this is wrong will not make it go away. Let us focus on the debate as Mr Clarke intended it, ie an improvement of the criminal justice system, and not get sidetracked into this debate, in which emotion plays too large a role.

  155. Jan says:

    No means No.

  156. Amy says:

    Mr Helmer,
    I have a boyfriend, who I live with and sleep with every night. Sometimes I like to sleep naked, however, my boyfriend does not assume this to be a green light on whatever the hell he feels like doing regardless of what I am outright telling him.
    Secondly, your sentence “The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.” has no real evidence to it at all. It has been proven that there is only ever a ‘point of no return’ in rage, lust or other in some cases of brain damage or severe mental illness. Contrary to popular belief, men do have self control. I find your article here, not only disgusting and hurtful; it also deeply worries me that a person in a position of power could be promoting views such as these. I sincerely hope you’ll be publishing an apology for your remarks.

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  158. Ben Aldin says:

    Mr Helmer has distinguished two situations in which rape occurs: “attack rape” and “date rape” I believe his distinction is meaningful.

    The seriousness of the offence is related to the degree of wrong-doing by the perpetrator, not the pain or loss suffered by the victim. Mr Helmer is right to say that the degree of wrong-doing is increased in circumstances in which injurious violence is used; and is lessened in circumstances in which the rape follows what immediately beforehand was consensual sexual activity.

    Where I disagree with Mr Helmer is in his argument that the woman “shares responsibility” for her rape if she begins sexual activity with the man. She has the right to say “stop” and it is wrong to think that if that wish has been communicated to a man that he is he incapable of stopping. He can and should do so.

    Yet the practical issue in the “date rape” scenario – where two people were alone and there are no signs of injury – is that no-one apart from the couple can know what happened. She says she withdrew consent; he says she didn’t. And as he should only be convicted if a jury is sure beyond reasonable doubt that he knew she was not consenting, then a conviction is improbable.

  159. mick g says:

    intercourse without consent is RAPE!simple and to the point, if a woman says no and you continue, you have commited the act of RAPE!

  160. Sonja says:

    Mr. Helme, Let’s put it simply just so you understand (because it’s patently clear that you don’t): No means no.

    That’s it. It’s simple, really. No means no.

    It doesn’t matter what happened before. As soon as someone says no, the other party (male or female) should stop. Anything else is nonconsensual. anything else is rape.

    obviously you haven’t watched Rape Crisis Scotland’s ‘Not Ever’ campaign. As a helpful gesture, I’m including it here:

  161. Steve says:

    Not heard from you on this matter in a couple of days Roger. Is this because you’ve finally realised that your position is completely indefensible (as well as being positively medieval, what next – the return of Le Droit de Signeur?) or because your political masters have shoved a gag over your mouth? Do let us know your current thoughts on the subject.

  162. DonnaLee says:

    I think your above post is disgusting. You stated at one point ‘no is no’, correct. Yet your saying that a young man who is told No or to ‘Stop’ whether by a girlfriend or girl at a party etc is allowed effectively and should be let off lightly just because he was excited….
    You are a ridiculous man and I can’t believe there are people like you in positions of power.

    I really hope something comes of this and you lose the priviledges that you have. Your vile.

  163. DonnaLee says:

    Also, respect goes to the men on here who have shown their disgust towards what this little boy aka Roger Helmer has said. I refuse to call him a man because of the way he portrays a man in his post. Stating about a young man not being able to control himself. Men are not apes, they are intelligent beings with emotions and morals, they do not simply lose that intelligence when faced with sex, they do not simply lose their ability to hear and understand the language spoken to them. Men have self control. And thankfully there are many men out there who are outraged by your comments, these people have the right to call themselves men, YOU Roger Helmer do not. You are a child.

  164. rapevictim says:

    You disgust me.

    I cannot believe someone with these neanderthal views is allowed to be an MEP.
    ‘unable to restrain himself’ – what utter nonsense – unless men somehow have less free will than women or are unable to exercise that free will by virtue of their physiology. Poor biological victims. Why is it naive to be constenting to a certain degree of sexual contact but not sexual intercourse? Is it not fairly normal for many of us to have gradually increasing levels of sexual invovlement with someone? Oh, and by the way Rog, not all sex, or rape takes place in a nice cosy bed – even ‘date rape’.
    I found myself in exactly this scenario some years ago, and for you to suggest that I was even partly to blame for being raped is absolutely heinous – and by the way – the law agrees with me not you.
    Have you a wife? Daughters? How would you feel if they were raped by someone they knew, had shown some trust in, only to have that grossly abused? Maybe you should ask them. I am not into saying that some rape is worse than others, though obviously aggravating factors can add to the horror, but the core act here is the same no matter what. One could argue that to be raped by someone you know like and trust could be psychologically harder to deal with than by a stranger for whom you have no feelings and have no relationship with.

    After I was raped, I felt guilty. That is quite common. I went to confession believe it or not and thank God had a good priest who put me right on that. But it is because of men like you that I blamed myself. Reading your vile comments brings all that back.

    If anyone should be sacked here it is you, because you have gone way beyond Clarke’s clumsy words, and I will be writing to David Cameron to tell him so.

    If you had any deceny you would resign, but then, if you had any decency, you would not be saying this in the first place, would you?

  165. Grace says:

    If I met you, I would be unable to restrain myself from slapping you. Ok?

  166. Berry says:

    Rape is rape and is always a nightmare for the victim. And the victim should never be expected to accept any blame for being violated no matter how naive (or even teasing) she is.

    But the idea that (for example) a naive 18 year old at the height of puberty who didn’t fully understand that no means no and ended up going too far in the heat of the moment is categorized with a predatory sociopath who rapes a woman in an alley at knife point just doesn’t sit right with me.

  167. Philip Davies says:

    I can see where your coming from, as in I see how the first case is much worse than the second. The first case the predator goes out purposefully looking for a victim and rapes her and also if she dies its also murder so that makes it much worse.

    Even though I think that case A should be given a higher penalty, I still believe there is no excuse, no means no, no == no.

    • miamarshmallow says:

      why should case A get a higher penalty. On what are you basing that?

      The fact that it was a stranger makes it ‘worse’?
      The fact that more violence was used? (rape is a violent and painful crime by the way, no matter what the scenario)
      The fact that there was no previous sexual contact?

      If you get raped in either situation, i’d love you to then compare the two. but alas you can spout whatever opinions you like, as you will very likely never get raped, and so cannot empathise with it.

  168. Dave Edwards says:

    I am not sure what to add that has not already been said – except to say that you are not fit to hold public office or participate in the making of either UK or European law. I will be calling on David Cameron to make the right decision about your future.

  169. Mr. Dreadful says:

    You’re an idiot.

  170. Harriet says:


  171. To ken says:

    You, my good sir, are simply describing outdated and differing degrees of false male entitlement. If only you would see past your own ignorance but I see you’re far out of your depth. Zip your trousers. You don’t represent me.

  172. Posie Parker says:

    So you think men are such animals that they can’t restrain themselves….What on earth gave you that idea? Do you really think the sexual lust of a man is such that he becomes like a beast and can’t simmer down? Really?

    The rest of your blogpost is horrendous and many have said it better than I could.

    How can rape not be violent if a man puts his penis inside a woman without consent? What about that is not violent? Would you like something shoved into your rectum without your consent? Imagine how that might feel? And then imagine someone saying it was your fault or that you’re partly to blame.

  173. Jonathan says:

    “The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.” You’re talking about a man unable to show self-restraint and who has difficulty understanding the word no.
    As a man I can understand why it’s frustrating to find oneself in a state of arousal only to be let down, but if one in unable to comprehend why a no has been expressed the grown up answer to that is to put ones clothes back on and go home and calm down. It is never to use force to procure sex. That is rape. I know you seem to like to classify rape in the way that some men like to classify cars; classic, vintage, veteran etc. but it’s time to move on from making this unnecessarily complicated. Rape is rape. Full stop.
    And just as a postscript – I bet if someone pinched your car you wouldn’t argue that there is classic theft of a motor vehicle and second degree theft of a motor vehicle – you’d just want them flogged.

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  175. Andrew says:


    I believe your argument on rape is flawed.

    Let us examine both scenarios. In the first scenario the crimes are assault and rape. In the second scenario there is no assault in the same manner. The rape occurs because the woman says ‘stop’ and her partner continues ‘unable to restrain himself’.

    Both scenarios contain a rape. But, you argue that the rapes should be judged differently in the eyes of the law. This is where you will encounter much disagreement and where your argument is flawed.

    Neither women in your scenarios had a choice. The men in both scenarios continued the act without consent; the woman in the first scenario gave no consent and the woman in the second scenario said “stop”. To argue that the man in the second scenario was overthrown with passion and in the heat of the moment could not stop is rubbish.

    The implication of sex in your second scenario does not take away from the crime of rape. The woman said “stop”. Whatever the man perceived the woman made her mind clear. The man ignored that.

    The rape is equal in measure. The first scenario will attract a longer sentence for the assault. But, the rape in both scenarios should attract the same sentence.

    Surely, you can hear the criticism directed at Ken Clarke from across the media and the wider British society. Rape is rape. It’s clear as that. It’s a deplorable crime. It’s a disgusting violation of liberty. In every scenario.

  176. stu says:

    one of the many appalling things about this article, its supporters, and rape apologists in general, is that there is the application that women deliberately get men all turned on and then say no for no reason – just to mess with them, I suppose. if my partner decided she didn’t want to have sex I would stop immediately and be concerned and want to know if she was ok. and even if it was for no particular reason other than she changed her mind I would respect this. there’s no way I would carry on and find out later. apart from anything, only a monster would get any sexual pleasure from having sex with a partner who wanted it to stop.

  177. Steve says:

    So here’s a scenario. I’m a good looking guy, I have a gay friend. Said gay friend comes over to visit me at home, where we joke around. He finds me attractive, and I appreciate the attention. It’s a compliment afterall, so I suppose I’m “encouraging” his appreciation of me.

    Now, if during our joking around he decided that he wants to bed me, and then forces me. Would that be worse or equal to the second scenario?
    Gay man rapes a straight man. No consent, but some “encouragement”.

    • Bella Levy says:

      Excellent point. In that situation, surely no-one would say it is a man’s fault for being raped? No one would argue that being raped is simply an occupational hazard of being a man, the way it is for being a woman and that if men want to avoid it, they should never be alone unescorted with other men, in case it leads them on.

  178. Marjorie says:

    I am disgusted by your misogynistic attitude, and your total inability to see how offensive your comments are, Mr Helmer.
    You said “the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility”
    You cannot back out & pretend you did not blame victims, or that you didn’t mean it. You EXPLICITLY said that victims are responsible for being the victims of crime.
    That’s simply wrong. It’s deeply offensive not only to rape victims, but to women facing this kind of ignorant, prejudiced nonsense, and to most normal men, who are perfectly capable of understanding that they are responsible for their own actions.
    Your comments about magistrates courts are equally ignorant. There is a difference between being incapable of controlling yourself and choosing not to do so.

  179. Mike Moulds says:

    Forced to resign or sacked.

    When it happens to you which is the worst for you. You will still feel the same pain and anger

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  181. lee says:

    this doesnt surprise me. your the same person that said being gay should be able to be treated as a mental health condition. old fashioned views that have no place in modern society

  182. Alex says:

    Ken Clarke was incompetent with his understanding of what date rape was and so can be excused. Contrastingly, you seem understand the terms but reach disgusting conclusions a world apart from those made by the Justice Secretary. I am ashamed that people like you hold power, even the Tories are distancing themselves from you.

  183. Steve says:

    Good new everyone!
    We wont have this belligerent intolerant bigoted sexist ass-hole around for much longer!

  184. Margie Stout says:

    Rape is means sex without mutual consent. Period! If you’ve never been raped then you don’t understand what it’s like. The horror you feel, the humiliation because you have to tell someone about it and then have them tell you it’s your fault. A man who cannot control his sexual desires is sick and should not be allowed to roam free. A lot of times if they can’t find a woman they turn to a child and then it’s just too, too bad!

  185. Ben Aldin says:

    All of this discussion essentially boils down to two issues:

    First, putting aside the question of injurious violence, do some rapes deserve harsher penalties than others?

    Second, are there circumstances in which a woman can be deemed at least in part responsible for her own rape?

    • miamarshmallow says:

      no. some rapes include extra violence, and the rape PLUS the other crime, kidnapping, beating, drugging etc, are added together for a long sentence.

      However, where is it ‘just’ rape without an extra crime, it won’t get a sentance that includes the extra crimes.

      that doesn’t make it a ‘less worse’ rape, it simply doesn’t have extra crime attached to it.

      No rape is worse or less worse that another.

      A woman is never responsible for her own rape. If she was, then it wouldn’t be rape. it would be consensual sex.

      • Ben Aldin says:

        It is obvious that if violence, kidnapping, etc are involved then these are additional crimes.

        I am not convinced by your statement:

        “No rape is worse or less worse that another.”

        This point doesn’t seem to apply to any other crime: murder, assault, theft, arson, etc. Why is rape different? By saying X is less serious than Y doesn’t mean that X is not serious.

        Presumably, then, you would argue for the same sentence against a man who enters a room at a party and has sex with an inebriated and unconscious woman as you would to a man who is having consensual sex, asked to stop but continues thrusting.

        On the issue of whether a woman can be responsible for her own rape I tend to agree with you. Rape (depending on the jurisdiction) occurs when a man initiates or continues penetrative sex with a person not having reasonable grounds for believing that the person has consented. Therefore the conduct of the person raped is irrelevant.

      • miamarshmallow says:

        so you are saying there are different ways a man can put his penis inside a woman without her consent that makes it ‘worse’ or ‘less worse’ can you explain that one?

      • miamarshmallow says:

        i just re read your examples and i understand your point, it is a common misconception that ‘unconsious’ rape is not as bad as awake rape. However, are you some sort of psychologist that you know the the level of trama is less in the second example? There are EXACTLY the same, and what you are espousing is a rape myth.
        Please contact your nearest rape crisis centre and discuss these things with them, i’m sure they would happily talk with you about them, but opinions like this are the very reason we are living in a rape epidemic.

        I think also you could research PTSD in rape victims, educate yourself in any way possible before claiming to know how much or how little a rape effects someone.
        I woke up in the middle of my rape. Does that make mine a ‘middling’ rape?

      • Ben Aldin says:


        Your focus is on the rape experience for the woman. But the basis on which sanctions are imposed on the rapist has to be on the extent of his wrong-doing.

        These two are not necessarily aligned.

        A woman may formally consent to sex (and hence no rape) but be utterly traumatised by the event. In another case, a woman may call for him to stop, only because the way he is thrusting is hurting her not because she is opposed to sex. If he doesn’t stop, he commits rape. The woman may be sore and angry but not necessarily traumatised.

      • miamarshmallow says:

        what? in the examples you just gave, one is consensual sex, the other is rape.
        If I ask my bpyfriend to stop because he is hurting me and he doesn’t, i am not only sore and angry, i have also been traumatised and raped.

        i think you really need to educate youself on rape and also on consent.

      • Ben Aldin says:


        There might be very little point in discussing this further for the simple reason that you not reading what I am actually writing. Instead, you see the “fallacy” that want to see and then respond accordingly.

        In crime there is often a mismatch between the degree of wrong-doing by the perpetrator and the degree of suffering by the victim. Punishment is determined primarily, if not exclusively, by the former.

    • miamarshmallow says:

      seriously. educated yourself about rape before making the convoluted and pretty irrelevant arguments you’ve been making.

  186. Bob says:

    First Ken and now Roger,
    This is like the Salem witch trials. Who else is going to be burned at the stake for disagreeing with the current orthodoxy?
    PS Good riddance to the turncoat DCB – your’e welcome to him.

  187. Alix says:

    A man is unable to stop in the heat of the moment.

    Please explain to me how a man’s lack of self-control is somehow the woman’s fault.

    • If only you — and some of the others who’ve posted comments — would read what I actually said. I never said that a man’s lack of self-control is a woman’s fault — YOU said that. I didn’t use the word “fault” at all.

      • Julia says:

        You wrote ‘in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.’ It is semantics whether you said ‘fault’ or ‘responsibility’- there’s a clear inference that the victim is partly to blame. To argue that you did not say it was partly the victim’s fault is akin to Bill Clinton’s ‘I did not have sexual relationships with this woman’. Either show the courage of your convictions and stand by the unpalatable viewpoint you have expressed here or APOLOGISE.

      • miamarshmallow says:

        ‘to blame’/ ‘at fault’ etc, semantics, Roger.

        You said that some of the blame for the rape was with the woman. When are you going to apologise and retract?

      • NGID says:

        Roger, by saying ‘partly responsible’ you have implied, without using the word ‘fault’ that the victim played a role in what happened- and this is what people are protesting against. You even describe the victim’s actions in this scenario as ‘naïve’- surely you are implying ‘fault’ here by virtue of poor judgement? Of course you didn’t say that what this man did was justified, or that it wasn’t rape, but can’t you see what a callous and destructive mentality this is? Don’t you think every rape victim runs through the horrific event a million times and thinks ‘If only I hadn’t gone out last night’, ‘If I hadn’t trust that guy…’ In the scenario you describe, the victim was no more ‘naïve’ than anyone who puts their trust in another person. But this isn’t even the point. Your posting was cruel, insensitive and unnecessary. It did nothing to strengthen the argument that ‘some rapes are worse than others’. It was purely designed to stir up controversy and generate some publicity for you and your blog. If you had an ounce of courage or empathy you would apologise for the distress your comments have caused and for using your power as a holder of political office to bolster this ‘blame the victim’ mentality, which is all too often used by those defending rape in the courts.

      • Anon says:

        Are you censoring comments Roger?

  188. Alex Kumar says:

    Mr Helmer, if you have any sense of decency you will apologise to all of us and retract your statement. You have offended many people – men, women, right-wing and left-wing alike – and would do well to end this now, until it becomes something you will regret even more.

  189. Hazel A says:

    You are a sick sick individual, and a rape-excuser.

    You really need some mental help. I can’t believe you are in a position of any power.

  190. Ben Aldin says:

    Roger has made points that I don’t agree with, in particular the argument that a woman can in part be responsible for her own rape. We have here a forum to argue against that point.

    All those people think that Roger’s arguments can be dismissed simply by saying that his point of view is “offensive” or “sick” are not making any case at all. Nor does it help to repeat slogans like “rape is rape” or simply tell opponents that they are ignorant of the facts without stating what those fact are.

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  192. charles47 says:

    The actual point at issue here is the suggestion that there are degrees of guilt. In the first scenario, the guilt applies solely to the rapist. In the second, according to Mr Heller, the guilt is shared by the victim. It is this that is so wholly unacceptable.

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  196. James says:

    Where to begin? I’ll pick just one point and a possible many.

    Ken, despite your conclusions the second scenario really is about power, control and lack of respect. If the man can’t accept the woman has said no and proceeds to rape her, exactly what does it say about the power, control and respect in that relationship? It is quite troubling how that question seems to have completely passed you by.
    So, while there is room for discussion on sentencing guidelines for different forms of rape, it seems you are basing the fundamentals of your argument on a false premise.

    As a constituent what I would really like to see is you directly discussing this matter what victims of rape or those organisations which represent them, and do please report back to us on the meeting.
    After the fallout from this blog entry I think it’s important you do this for us.

  197. NGID says:

    It is difficult to know where to begin in pointing out the many things which are wrong with this post.

    To begin with, please don’t tar all men with the same brush in the suggestion that they are physically incapable of not raping a woman once they are naked with an erection. Fortunately- men like this are still in the minority.

    In the same way, when faced with the sight of their lover in flagrante with someone else the vast majority of men (and women) are unlikely to respond by beating another person to death.

    You have absolutely no right to tell any victim of rape that it was in any way their fault. This post betrays not only a pathological indifference to the suffering of others but also a complete ignorance of the subject you are trying to comment on.

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  199. feminismblog says:

    It is not ‘naive’ to expect one’s partner to stop when one says ‘stop’. No blame attaches to the victim in the second case – to go to bed with somebody in the expectation that that person will not rape one is not a blameworthy activity. Nobody is ever ‘unable to restrain’ themselves – by saying so, you exculpate all rapists.

    The scenario you describe second is the most common form of rape – stranger rape, as you must surely know, makes up only around 10% of all reported cases – and Ken Clarke’s propsed changes to the sentencing procedure, and the disgusting attitudes of people such as yourself make it increasingly unlikely that women will be able to confidently and in good faith report their attackers and see them face punishment.

  200. Beth Carley says:

    Human relationships are complicated. If we recognise that two people may get into a situation where each has different expectations that they each believe to be reasonable then we must also recognise the absolute necessity to have regard for and pay attention to what someone is actually verbalising as their feelings about a situation. In a relationship, I cannot understand how the expectation that my partner would have anything other than absolute regard for my (clearly articulated) feelings is unreasonable, as this implies. I am quite certain that if, on any ordinary day in his professional or personal life, Mr Helmer found he was not given space to change his mind on some serious issue, or that his use of the word ‘no’ was treated as ‘yes’ because it suited someone else for it to be interpreted that way, he would be a very unhappy man and he would feel ‘disempowered’ by that, regardless of whether or not the other party was motivated to do so for their own fun.

    Recognising complexity and grey areas also means recognising the importance of establishing baselines for behaviour- the kind of moral code that on other issues Tories love to spout endlessly about. (Therein a great deal of irony.) Young men and women do make bad mistakes, ignorant of the real consequences, which is why the reality that anyone can and should be able to show personal restraint, and that ‘no means no’, should be established as firmly as possible and as early as possible in life- as much for women as for men, of course- so that it is clear that such behaviour is not acceptable under any circumstances- what politicians love to call ‘sending out a message’- when it suits them. The message Mr Helmer is sending out is quite the opposite, though he denies that that is the case, despite his position and years- which really ought to correspond to greater self-awareness and a better command of language than his protestations suggest.

  201. Lara says:

    So is Mr Hemler ever going to actually apologise for his obviously grossly misguided article or is he going to continue hiding away from all those who have commented here? I find it disgraceful that he feels silence is justified when an apology is so long overdue. I have yet to come across a single comment that agrees with your view.

  202. miamarshmallow says:

    He’s not going to apologise. He said he stood by his statements in some newspaper.

  203. Ms Wire says:


    You say Ken was “clumsy” in his wording, then you use the exact same terminology that got Clarke in trouble in the first place. Did you not fully think this post through? Ah, “classic” rape – so much better than these new-fangled modern rapes, eh?

    Except, as has been pointed out already, rape by a stranger has always made up for a tiny minority of rapes, and most women will be raped by someone they know. The difference, I suspect, is that in the past even more women than now sensed there was no point coming forward when sexist attitudes prevail, especially back in those “halcyon days” when there was no such thing as marital rape.

  204. mhayworth says:

    “The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.”

    Unable?! What an appalling statement – and this from the same Neanderthal who said recently on this blog that drag hunting (fox-hunting without the kill) was ‘like sucking a sweetie with the wrapper on’.

    So, needlessly prolonging the death of an animal and ‘date raping’ women are just your natural male instincts are they Roger? I truly hope you don’t have daughters.

    Rape on any scale is about power and degredation and never about sex (whether with a stranger, a boyfriend or a husband). The term ‘date rape’ was coined by men like you – simply because the attacker is known to the victim – but in reality is almost never with a boyfriend or even remotely the way you like to paint it. In fact, for most young girls, the date rapist is usually the most popular boy in school and one who knows he would never be suspected and the girls would never be believed. These boys are skilled at making girls believe in silence that they were somehow responsible because they happened to be at a party or had a few drinks. It is a repetitive act and one where the use of force tends to escalate and continue throughout adulthood. Most girls don’t even realise at the time that many of their friends have also been victims.

    This is about men who feel in some way inadequate and need to use force to prove themselves powerful. Probably the same need that drives you to hunt down and kill animals and have the gall to call it a sport.

  205. Heidi says:


    Maybe you should volunteer at your local rape crisis centre (before they are shut down from all the cuts) before you base your slimy opinions on things you know nothing of.
    You give two scenarios and omit part of the blame on the women assuming a man has no control over his neanderthal ways. Do you really think that men do not understand the different between yes and no? Do you understand the difference between yes and no?
    Do you know that a third of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows? Do you know how hard it is for a victim of ANY KIND OF RAPE to get on with her life and move forward from this wanton act of violence?

    In your second scenario, for example, you have suggested-“The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.” But men ARE able to stop themselves, ESPECIALLY if the woman is clearly uncomfortable (even in circumstances where rape is not happening, pain for example). The continuing with the action is pure violence, is it not? And if he has no problem with continuing his action despite her saying no then HE is the one with the actual problem.
    Your first scenario is entirely mythical. Most violent rapes do not occur in alleyways or parks, they occur in homes, hotel rooms, etc. Who would you assign blame to if a man forces his way into his flat mates bedroom and forces himself upon her? The woman for being there and possibly naked? Rape is not the same as murder. Rape is rape. It is the actions taken when a person choses to force sex upon another person without permission.

    The moment where you assign blame to the women is the moment where you should keep your mouth completely closed. You have every right to write whatever you please on your blog but absolutely no right whatsoever to blame women for their partners psychological shortcomings.

  206. Steve says:

    In reply to Anon (comment posted 28th May and since wiped)………..yes of course he’s censoring the comments – I posted earlier asking if his lack of recent replies was because he’d realised his stance was indefensible or because his political masters had shoved a gag over his mouth. Comment wiped. You have the temerity to suggest censoring. Comment wiped. Lets see how long this one lasts. So much for “Straight Talking”!

  207. chris dawson says:


    There is another significant aspect that sets a rape trial aside from murder, along with other such crimes of the person, which seems to been have over-looked in the scamble over KC’s cock-up.

    During trial, or post conviction, we have never been faced with a corpse coming to life or indeed to be found not to exist at all. Unfortunately there are instances when the alledged victim comes clean and admits that there was actually no offence.

  208. chris dawson says:


    Another point that I feel should be considered here is the position that regardless of dress, attitude, location or provocation a woman can take no responsibility for becoming a victim.

    The Foreign Office has a list of places around the world where it would advise us not to go, indeed I’m sure there are places within the U.K. where you would counsel a person not to venture alone at night.

    I should be allowed to back-pack freely and unhindered in Sierra Leone etc however it is likely that I may be robbed, kidnapped, murdered or indeed raped. This clearly wouldn’t be my fault but that of the perpetrators. Many may understandably claimed that in chosing such a route of action I was asking for it.

    Similarly please read those requiring mountain rescue teams after venturing on to mountains in shorts and t-shirts in December.

    • Just so, Chris. If I walk in Central Park and get mugged at 2:00 a.m., it’s not my fault. It’s the mugger’s fault. But I’d have done a damned silly thing, and I should certainly feel a sense of responsibility for having done so.

      • feminismblog says:

        Once again, Roger: it is not ‘a damned silly thing’ to get into bed with one’s partner in the expectation that he will not rape you. It is a normal, reasonable, rational thing to do… unless that partner is Chris Dawson (above), in which case it is to be expected that he will rape you, since “To suggest that because your lover is asleep and thus doesn’t make a specific request for intercourse requires her to be woken and her opinion sought is ludicrous.”

        Ludicrous, that seeking of someone’s opinion on whether or not they’d like to have sex with you!

        You’re both either bonkers or plain evil. Maybe you should go to bed together?

  209. chris dawson says:

    I did eventually read some of the comments here, specifically the ‘no’ principal.

    To suggest that because your lover is asleep and thus doesn’t make a specific request for intercourse requires her to be woken and her opinion sought is ludicrous.

    However should intercourse commence whilst she’s asleep, through to her her being semi-conscious before she manages to gather her thoughts for a ‘no’ what then? It may sit uncomfortably for some but the vast majority of people engage in sex-play, and not just those in long term relationships. There is ‘no, no’ and there is ‘NO!’.

    Personally a ‘NO’ for me causes all desire to evaporate however under the above scenario and the definition of ‘no = rape’ then I could find myself in the dock even as I had penetrated her without direct consent, although we had had sex together twice before falling asleep!

    On so many issues our society seems to fall foul of agendas, prejudices, dogma (not to mention politics) to the detriment of logic and practicality.

    • feminismblog says:

      If you penetrate someone whilst they’re asleep, that’s rape. No ifs, no buts, regardless of how many times you’ve had consensual sex that night, or in your lives.

      The only circumstances under which this would not be rape is if the person in question had specifically said, previously, that they consented to being penetrated whilst unconscious.

      If you’ve been doing this, you’re a rapist. Sorry.

  210. chris dawson says:

    Well if it’s sound to be personal in places such as this Ms anonymous- feminismblog then I would suggest that perhaps the best position to make such comments would come from having been in a relationship, or two, and not from the perspective of a distressing one night stand.

    However I’m fairly confident that this isn’t the purpose of such places.

    • feminismblog says:

      You left yourself open to personal comments, I’m afraid, when you said the following:

      “Personally a ‘NO’ for me causes all desire to evaporate however under the above scenario and the definition of ‘no = rape’ then I could find myself in the dock even as I had penetrated her without direct consent, although we had had sex together twice before falling asleep!”

      It is not personal, however, to accurately state that the act you describe is rape.

      If you’re suggesting that I’m not in a relationship, or have never been, or that my comment is the product of a ‘distressing one night stand’ then you are mistaken and probably ought not to make assumptions.

  211. chris dawson says:


    I’m currently calculating how much compo maybe forthcoming if I were to pursue sexual assault allegation against a number of girls/women who have woken me during intimate touching and sex acts.

    Yes I’m afraid that there are many females that let down the side of a certain section’s view of feminism so very badly.

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