20.11.17

Sexual assault in the news - a polite rant at Morrissey

I wasn't going to comment on the news and the seemingly ubiquitous sexual assault stories, I was going to follow my own advice and keep quiet about events I had no first hand knowledge of. But then I read this on the BBC website and thought, nope, I think that Morrissey needs to be told.

Hi Morrissey,

I'm glad that 'nothing like this has ever happened' to you. Sadly that doesn't mean things like that don't happen. After all, I have never been killed in a car crash or bitten by a shark but I'd be silly to say that means those things are fantasies invented by the bored or the disappointed.

I agree that going to someones bedroom might be unusual as a meeting place, but I can assure you that going to someone's bedroom doesn't mean you will be assaulted or even propositioned. I have stayed over with guys I met in clubs on several occasions, twice sharing a bed, in every case the men were polite, they made it clear they were attracted to be, politely, and when I said that my plan was just sleep and then breakfast and a goodbye, all were, if not happy, at least polite enough to pretend to be happy with the situation. No assault, no rape, just a comfy snooze, bacon, a chat over coffee and a lift home. So bedrooms don't equal assault.

The fact that 'many famous people slept with underage fans' so we should ignore it is not really a very good argument is it? Did your mum never say (in response to 'but everyone does it') "If they all walked off the end of the pier would you do it too?" No I'm sorry - "but every one did it" is a whiny immature excuse not worthy of an adult.

It is true that things were different in the past, but only last night I watched an old episode of Dad's Army in which a bus 'clippy' was spoken to in a sexually inappropriate way and Captain Manwaring was appalled and called out the man concerned. In history women were often respected more, not less than they are now.

I would be lying if I said no one ever made anything up about sexual assault. But making it up is much, much rarer than sexual assault actually happening.

When sexual assault is reported and you don't know what happened, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that speculation and victim blaming isn't helpful. Maybe shh eh.