In an Interview with the times last week Solicitor general Mike O’Brien once again raised the issue of making drunken sex into something that courts potentially class as rape. As tempted as I and all other socialists might be to support any measure capable of raising the woefully low conviction rate for rapes, this proposal is highly problematic, not simply for men engaged in consensual sex but for women.
As the discrimination moderator on the revolutionary left forums pointed out, such proposals ‘reduce women who drink to the legal status of a child’. She is absolutely right. Such proposals seem to assume that women could not possibly want to participate in the joys of drunken sex. It assumes that women, unlike men, could not possibly wish make such decisions in a state other than one of cool, sober rationality. In other words these proposals seek to impose upon women and men a narrow, idealised view of female sexuality. One might ask – at the risk of being pilloried - why such proposals would not apply to men who are drunkenly induced to consent to sex. On one level this might be put down to the obvious power differentials that exist between men and women, both on an individual and a societal level. Yet these proposals also betray a fundamentally conservative approach which views sex not as the collective endeavour of two individuals, but instead treats sex in terms of the woman giving something of herself and the man taking it away. This is why I ,as a socialist and a supporter of feminism oppose mike o'brien's proposals.