Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
Broadband from £5.99 a month with an included wireless router when you sign up to Plusnet - terms apply

Wednesday 21 November 2012


NOW, don't get upset, girls. It's only rape.

It's a sign you're attractive, you're wanted, that you can fit in, and have male approval. It's because you dress a certain way, drink too much, go out too often, or because your menfolk don't stop you doing those things.

It's not your fault, of course, but it's just a bit of fun. You like it really. And if you're a bit too young or a bit too troubled well, you've got to learn the lesson sometime. And we'll look after you, and we won't hurt you more than we absolutely have to, if you're good and don't tell a soul.

Because if you do tell anyone they're not going to believe you. Not you, from the children's home, nor you, whose parents don't pay much notice. Not you, who the police are already fed up with, nor you, who had a drunken row with her boyfriend and walked home through the park on her own.

Even if you're white, middle-aged, middle-class, speak the right way to the right people and were stone-cold sober wearing sensible shoes and corduroy while walking the dog one winter afternoon, no-one will think it possible a whole gang of people raped, stabbed, beat you and left you for dead.

People think that sort of thing just doesn't happen, because it doesn't get reported and when it does no-one believes them. So when you run off screaming to the police they'll write it down because they have to, then roll their eyes at each other about another silly girl who's got herself in a pickle. If you've been sensible enough not to scrub all sign of him away and there's a bit of forensic evidence the geeks might mess it up or drop it, and if it gets as far as a jury you'll be accused of lying, whoring, stupidity and mental illness.

Much better, when you're raped, to pull your knickers back up, go home and get on with things. Tell yourself you were stupid to get in that situation, and he was only doing what you gave him the opportunity to.

Maybe after a few years pass, you grow up a bit, have time to think, and worry that man will do it again to you or to someone else or learn that he already has, so pluck up the courage to complain, the very government of this noble country of ours will tell you it is the fantasy of an ovary-driven, inferior mind.

When 2,409 children were found by the Deputy Children's Commissioner (who's a woman) to have been sexually abused by gangs in the space of just 14 months - and that these figures were grossly under-reported and many police forces did not bother to keep proper records - official spokesmen (who are men) dismissed it as "hysterical" and "highly emotional".

They told journalists it was "difficult to overstate the contempt" with which they regarded the claims by the report's author and, by extension, the children who said they were raped.

Rape, you see, is nothing to do with rape. No no no, it's because of the colour of someone's skin, the behaviour of the female complaining, Page 3 girls' two-dimensional breasts. It's a political football, something with which it is possible for those with a cause to hit their opponents where it hurts, which is never their vagina.

Don't like Muslims? Let's bang on about rape. Don't like breasts? Let's bang on about rape. Want to bash the police because they've been irritating you? Well I've got an idea, let's bang on about rape.

Let's not, at any point, actually pay any attention to people like Teegan, raped from the age of 12 by a Turkish man who had befriended her, threatened her family, beat her and sold her on to others for £500 an hour, along with other girls whose photographs and ages were included in a special rape catalogue given to the 'customers'.

Let's not listen to Shaida, 17, abused by a family member, threatened with a forced marriage to cover up her 'shame', attacked by older men she turned to for help, then beaten for being pregnant.

Let's ignore Rebecca, 15, a virgin bullied by a gang of girls into submitting to rape by a boy in the school toilets while he filmed it on his phone.

The only contempt it is difficult to overstate is that with which rape victims are regarded by our government, judiciary, police, politicians, general public and everyone else with an axe to grind.

We have just witnessed a massive scandal, which is yet to be resolved, relating to sexual offences never reported, never acted on, and never accepted as true from as far back as 1959 and linked to hospitals, children's homes, hospitals, prisons for the criminally insane, Parliament and the state broadcaster.

And why in the name of everlasting hell do you think it took us so long to find out about it?

It's not because anyone involved was Asian. It's not because it's all the fault of glamour models or immigrants.

It's because it doesn't happen to men in suits, uniforms, and judicial robes as often as it happens to women and girls who don't have a cat in hell's chance of protecting themselves from something they should never have to protect themselves from in the first place.

It's because there are men and boys who are not ever told that they should not do those things and will get in trouble if they do.

There are millions of men who are Asian, Muslim, or look at glamour models' pictures. They do not all go on to rape anyone as a result, so to say their genes, faith or habits cause rape is illogical and based on fear, not fact.

Of the 1,514 attackers of 2,409 children, 545 were white, 415 were Asian, 244 were black, 49 were mixed race and the rest were 'other' or undisclosed. But seeing as that information came from only 20 police forces while 19 didn't bother to provide a single statistic to the report's authors those proportions cannot be relied on, and even those that did have not detailed offenders' faiths.

Men and boys rape women and girls because they want to control them. They want to subjugate them so they can prostitute them, they want to make themselves feel strong, they want to attack something they dislike - they want, and they take.

The few people who behave that way do so because the courts let men who film up women's skirts walk free. They do it because the police expected to investigate properly can't always be bothered. They do it because the Crown Prosecution Service thinks females who talk to newspapers must be lying. They do it because rape is blamed on skin, faith, drink, broken homes and broken minds.

They do it because the judges, police, politicians, spin doctors, government and yes, journalists too, propagate the idea that rape is about pretty much anything except bad men doing bad things because they damn well feel like it and are allowed to get away with it by idiots who dismiss and denigrate it rather than stare it full in the face and say NO.

Perhaps if they did that more often, then when women and girls say no they might actually be listened to. If I were raped, I think I'd deal with it myself rather than rely on the state to do anything useful.

The only hysteria about this report, admittedly a draft but no doubt published to try to shame a few more agencies into coughing up useful statistics they'd rather not for the full version, is the way in which it has been received.

The way fact, logic and common sense about rape and sexual abuse are ignored while mainly men flap about in fear at the sky falling on their heads and try to blame it on everything except the fact the institutions they have built and maintain without wish for change or improvement fail women and children on an industrial scale.

Even when the facts are plain - even when logic tells you the figures are probably worse than we know - men can still laugh it off, kick it into the long grass, or blame it on something they'd like to blame for everything.

It's sort of hysterical, really. I wish the silly, inferior-minded men would realise it's none of those things.

It's only rape.