‘But she danced with me!’ No.

by Wednesday.

Trigger warning for rape/sexual assault.

Let me get out my bingo card.

In a trial being covered extensively by the local media, a 28-year-old man has been charged with raping a woman he met at popular nightclub Zouk. Necessarily there is much victim-blaming. Good girls don’t go out dancing, you know. They sit at home of nights, meekly sewing comforters in pictures of utter domesticity, which is a failsafe activity in preventing rape.

When he returned, he found that she was crying, saying she was scared and wanted to go home. He was shocked and calmed her down, after which they tried to have sex but failed. […] Subsequently, he returned to the room and found her on the bed. She was not crying any more and he said they had sex with her consent.

[…]

Ong said before he entered the room, he had thought of checking if she was all right. But when he entered the room, he found her ‘sitting there like a normal person”. He said he did not think of asking after her any more.

Consent is not implied. Consent must be given. Consent cannot be taken for granted. A lack of consent makes sexual activity rape. Rape culture is the denial of this fact. I am exhausted. I am tired of saying this. But I will keep on saying this because when people ignore this, it is rape.

‘He did not think of asking after her any more.’

Ong ‘disagreed with the DPP who said his conduct showed that he almost treated her like a “sex slave”.’ Seriously? Seriously someone describes themself as ignoring someone else’s personhood and then denies that’s anywhere close to the dehumanisation, the depersonalisation, involved in treating a person as property?

In today’s coverage, victim-blaming ensues. Footage is played in court of Ong’s victim dancing with him in the nightclub, and the Straits Times reporter writes,

The woman put her arms around Ong Mingwee’s shoulders in the clip shown by the defence.

Note how the journalist doesn’t even need to elaborate on what is meant by that sentence. The reader is invited, expected to respond by considering that a sign of intimacy, and therefore a sign of consent.

Or, if not consent, then she was leading him on! *shockfuckinggasp*

He claimed she was dancing sexily, as if she was seducing him. […] He said the woman pulled him to the dance floor and that she danced ‘very sexily’ and in a seductive manner.

Protip: Howsoever a person dances, it does not mean you can perform sexual acts on them without their consent. And dancing is not consent. Howsoever a person dances, they are dancing, not consenting to sex. Need this be said? Yeah, this needs to be said. Sad, innit.

The hearing continues. So does the media spectacle, I presume.

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4 responses to “‘But she danced with me!’ No.

  1. hmmmm…..

    the key factor here is why is she in his place?

    Was she so drunk she did not even know how she end up there?

    Can there be a witness to see her in a drunken “helpless” state being helped into a vehicle or witness her “request” to be sent home or even video feed / camera records in situ (Zouk) showing him “helping” her along outside.

    But to be frank the way the guy now is “telling” his “story” and his “twitching” body language speak volumes doesn’t it?

    • the key factor here is why is she in his place?

      That’s not a key factor. That’s an utterly irrelevant factor. Whether or not she agreed to go to his house does not have any impact on whether or not she was raped, unless (as you seem to suggest) you believe that if she consented to go home with him, she consented to all sexual activity. And that is a false assumption; that is a myth; that is rape apologism.

      Of course, whether or not she agreed to go to his house, she was also drunk and did not consent (and – though absence of expressed consent is not consent – she also expressed a lack of consent). Yes, that is an account of rape.

      – Wednesday

    • This post puts it much better than I could:

      It’s very simple. Unless she clearly consents, you are raping her. A short skirt is not consent. A cup of coffee or a glass of wine in your living room is not consent. If you make the logistical leap from “a woman has agreed to come to my house” to “a woman has agreed to have sex with me” then the blame lies squarely and clearly with you.

      – Wednesday

  2. I thought it was utterly repugnant that the single comment (aside from your responses to it) on this post was a rape apologist comment so this is me saying:

    THANK YOU. Yes, it is utterly and abhorrently sad that this must continue to be said, but thank you for saying it.

    <3

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