With Julian Assange too focused on issues of political asylum and extradition to make mention of accusations of rape and sexual molestation of late, the charming George Galloway has taken it upon himself to clarify for the foolish public what does – and does not – constitute rape. No longer satisfied with a reputation for bemusingly low production values and bizarre intonation, Galloway has strived to get a name for video podcast Good Night with George Galloway as a front runner of wilful stupidity and total misinformation.
Missing yet another opportunity to just shut up and stop being a twat, Galloway took to YouTube to assure the anxious public that Assange's actions do not constitute rape under UK law. To have penetrative sex with a sleeping woman, George claimed, is only 'bad sexual etiquette' because 'not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.' By defending a woman's right to refuse intercourse, we allegedly 'bankrupt the term rape of all meaning'.
Not only a foul rape apologist, Galloway is also painfully misinformed. Assange's legal team have previously twice claimed that the Swedish rape allegations did not constitute rape under English law. They were twice rejected, by both the Magistrates and the High Court, on the ruling that the victim was in a 'helpless state' and unable to consent, 'due to sleep'.
It is troubling to hear that one in ten people described themselves in a Haven Rape Centre survey as 'unsure' of whether they would report rape, more so to discover that feelings of 'shame' were the most popular reason (55%) for silence. Comments such as those made by Galloway perpetuate the ignorant myth that the blame for rape can be shifted onto the victims and, in doing so, further damage the likelihood that those affected by rape and sexual assault will seek justice and support.
In his attempts to attack extradition orders for Julian Assange, Galloway made absurd and erroneous allegations about the nature of rape and consent. This misogynistic outburst is, in truth, not entirely out of character. Nor are his claims that the 'Pavlovian reaction' of outcry against his archaic views are playing into the hands of the Pentagon. His remarks, however, reveal not only his own personal ignorance but also a continued national culture of misunderstanding about the character of rape. Regardless of the truth or falsehood of these specific allegations against Assange, it is critical that we address such attitudes in order to encourage victims of assault to come forward and, if not to initiate legal proceedings, to receive specialised support and care.
Just in case you need a bit of light relief after digesting the streaming shower of shit that comes out of Galloway's mouth, here's him pretending to be a cat on a reality TV show.
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