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UK Politician Attacked for Denying Assange Rape Claims

UK Politician Attacked for Denying Assange Rape Claims

Following the exposure of Todd Akin’s idiotic views on rape, a UK politician has this week caused controversy for stating that the accounts of the two women Assange is alleged to have attacked are, even if 100% true, ‘not rape.’

In a YouTube video published on Monday, George Galloway, MP for Bradford West, argued that the act of having sex with someone who is asleep after previous consensual sex cannot be called rape. As he put it so charmingly, “not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.”

Galloway’s claims have subsequently caused a storm of controversy and debate. Commentators, women’s organizations and politicians have lined up to denounce him. Rape Crisis, a UK rape center, called his views “offensive and deeply concerning“ and Galloways’ own party leader, Salma Yaqoob, followed by condemning his opinions, powerfully stating “let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex. George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong.”

Although Galloway has since attempted to ‘clarify’ his comments, his Twitter account suggests little remorse describing his critics as a “liberal chorus of Pavlovian reaction.”

What Mr Galloway fails to understand is that, regardless of the political complexities of the Assange case, his comments feed into the dangerous and sexist concept that the only rape victims entitled to protection and due diligence from the state are those who, under this ideology, have done “nothing wrong.” They are the women who have been attacked by strangers with brutal force. Not those who go on dates, drink or wear suggestive clothing. Somehow, these women are “asking for it.” And those who actually have sex immediately lose the right of self-determination completely. As Mr Galloway would understand it, one “insertion” somehow entitles free access to all future insertions.

Yet, as women’s organizations have been shouting for years, over 80% of rapes are committed by perpetrators known to the victim. The idea that rapists are all out in the bushes waiting to attack unsuspecting women is simply a myth. Slowly but surely, this myth is being debunked and it is heartening to see the outcry Galloway and Akin’s comments have caused. But more than heartening, the condemnation of their words and assumptions is essential if society is to truly understand that: “whatever we wear, wherever we go; yes means yes and no means NO!”

Related Stories:

Remove Todd Akin from the House Science Committee

Santorum to Rape Survivors: Make the Best of it and Have a Baby

Ron Paul, What Exactly is an “Honest Rape”?

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Photo Credit: Sophie Scott

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93 comments

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7:08PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

This is an attempt to put everybody's attention off the real issue, wit Assange there is NO RAPE case no even the slightest hint of it, it's a complete setup and typical CIA discredting attack to crush free speech by discrediting the messenger. Those women are prostitutes and criminals, going to parties with Assange and boasting about their relationship with him afterwards, then suddenly making up outlandish lies, the women with former ties to the CIA dropped out of sight to avoid any embarssing questions. The first time the laughable vague charges was brought up of "broken condom" or some other clown charge, Swede DROPPED the case because it was so feeble. Then political pressure was brought to bear and a corrupt attorney was orchestrated to bring up the same "case" again. Sweden is not neutral its heavily involved in CIA rendition activites and American's attack on free speech.

6:07AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

read an interview several months ago were he claimed that the majority of his votes came from women. well he can wave goodbye if he stands in the next election.

11:42PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Actually.....insertion while she was asleep...was she bonkered on booze or drugs to be sleeping that heavily......????

I would hope he had previously had taken an aids test...educated people do take aids tests......they should anyway.

Condoms do break sometimes without people realizing it....also ....as I learned in Africa when one volunteer blew up a condom provided by peace corps and it had a minute hole in it not visible to the eye...anyway condoms are prone to developing holes in extremely warm climates so watch out over there ....

Seems to me any educated man who is active in life should have an aids test sex or no sex for a while....so should a woman that is active.

I just wonder why it did take these women so long to come forward......since he was not their husband or something.....

8:20PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

In the case of Assange, there are a lot of special interest in seeing him extradited to Sweden. It's simply because the United States wants to punish him for being exposed to their vicious tactics in the Middle East.
Bad people do not like being caught and this is simply why these rape charges are being laid.
Originally the two women simply wanted him to take an HIV test because they were concerned.
This never translated to rape. It's the US driving this and Sweden and th UK are going along with it.
I am sickened that Assange has not been given any assistance by the Australian government and I only hope that he can get to a place that is safe.
As for the comments by Galloway, not surprising since there seems to be such a backlash against women lately.

6:21PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The 29% are men! Galloway is an idiot, and Assange is innocent until proven guilty.

6:11PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

In one case, the condom broke - the other was sleepy morning-after-the-night-before sex - if there was a problem, why wasn't it dealt with earlier?

1:52PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

I wouldn't pay too much attention to George Galloway's opinions on this, or anything.

No-one here in Britain does.

11:20AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

...That being said, the accused is supposed to have a fair trial where evidence is presented and testimony is heard by a judge and/or jury.

11:16AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

It is time that the world stopped blaming rape victims. If a man or woman or child did not give, or is not mentally and legally capable of giving, any kind of consent for sex with another man or woman during the decision-making moment or moments, or if a man or woman or child asks for an act to stop at any time, continuing to proceed with any sex act is rape. Beating, attractiveness, mode of dress, time of day, prior association--none of that, nothing else plays into the definition of rape. If one of two people about to engage, or engaging, in a sex act says "No," or "Stop," or if there is a clear power differential or imminent threat inducing fear in one of the participants, then continuing to engage in that sex act is rape.

11:01AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The Swedes have correct attitude to rape. Insertion foisted on someone who's sleeping without their consent is rape. If Assange did that then he is guilty of that. My question is why did it take the two women so long to come forward? It makes you wonder.

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