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Are George Galloway’s rape comments reasonable?


Respect MP George Galloway has come under fire from the party’s leader, Salma Yaqoob, who said his comments regarding the sex allegations made against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were “deeply disappointing and wrong”. But are they?

Galloway has been quoted as saying that even if the complaints made against Assange by two women in Sweden were "100% true", they still could not be considered rape “At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it.”

He also said “Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you're already in the sex game with them. It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said: 'Do you mind if I do it again?' It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape, or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”

Skill RaffleHowever, Salma Yaqoob clearly has a different point of view and said “Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex”. As a Muslim, it would be interesting to know her views on sexual relationships within her faith, where women appear to have very little say (in some countries) on this matter.

Traditionally, rape has always been viewed as a sexual act carried out by force (usually in a violent way). George Galloway and many of his era are more familiar with its original meaning, not the modernised version that we see today. Perhaps some distinction should be made between the two? Maybe rape should relate to forcing someone to have sex in a violent way, and other offences treated as “sex without consent”.

I think we have to be a little careful of the road we take concerning “rape”. If we insist that a man or women must ask permission before having sex, isn’t that going to kill off the more romantic situations?

Without knowing the full details of the sex allegations against Assange, it is difficult to make any accurate judgement.  But as George Galloway suggested, the woman with Assange appeared to consent to sex the first time, but wanted him to ask permission to have sex a second time. Let’s be honest, how many couples would do that?

Having never “forced” a woman to have sex, I have no idea how difficult that would be. I can only guess that a woman would put up a fierce struggle in such a case and if the man succeeded in his attempt that would certainly be considered as rape. However, if the woman allowed the sexual act, but made it very clear that she was not interested (for whatever reason), that seems to be more of a case of “sex without consent”.  Both would be unacceptable, but the latter would seem less serious, in view of the fact that sex took place earlier (with consent).

I would tend to agree with George Galloway that Assange is not guilty of “rape” in the true sense (on the information available), but if the allegations are "100% true", maybe there is some other penalty more suitable? hosted by - A reliable service with a wide selection of payment options.