“Feminist hysteria” over rape

Melanie Phillips is not impressed with the decision to give anonymity to rape defendants. She thinks both women and men should have no anonymity. She is also concerned that rape has been redefined by “feminist hysteria”.

And if women were held publicly to account for the claims they make, the number of those false accusations would undoubtedly drop.

What has happened over recent years is that, because of the feminist hysteria over rape, the bar above which men have to prove their innocence has been raised, while the bar against women making false allegations has been lowered.

Rape has been redefined from a crime in which someone is forced to have sex against their will to cover a wide variety of non-violent sexual encounters.

Thus a woman is encouraged to claim she has been raped when, for example, with the benefit of hindsight, she may become aggrieved about what she voluntarily allowed to happen, particularly when she was rather the worse for wear.

The last point seems to be based on media reporting of particular cases, and probably atypical ones. It certainly isn’t based on any changes legislation related to rape. The 2003 Sexual Offences Act 2003 did not bring in “hindsight”. It did define consent as agreeing by choice, with the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Not making a choice and then changing one’s mind at a later date. The CPS Policy for prosecuting rape is here [PDF]