What’s the difference between group sex and gang rape?

These are my confused thoughts on a complex topic.  I do not speak for all feminists although my thoughts are informed by a feminist perspective.  This post, which is probably attempting too much, is on the one hand about a group sex/gang rape case that took place in New Zealand in 2002.  On the other hand its about the dangerous mix of football, sex, success, fame and glory and the adulation of aggression that takes place in our sports loving culture. (If in regards to the case of “Clare” from New Zealand you are going to engage in some victim blaming, I suggest that you read the following link and comment when you aren’t going perpetuate Rape myths)

After reading this news story, (which really was just a “heads up” about this 4 Corners program about footballers and sex;  transcript here, the program can be watched from here -but only for the next four weeks) about a “group sex” incident in New Zealand involving football personality Matthew Johns,  I got thinking about the fine line between group sex and gang rape.  And I had a few thoughts.  

(The 4 Corners program discussed various aspects of the footballers and sex issue, and one of the most disturbing parts of the program was a description of the events in New Zealand in 2002, involving member of the Cronulla Sharks and a young woman the program calls “Clare”.  She was nineteen at the time, and while waitressing she was invited back by two players to their room.  About a dozen players ended up in room, and the events so traumatised Clare that seven years later she is still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress)


Consent is obviously a key issue.  Absence of “No” does NOT mean that consent took place.  For this reason it is illegal to have sex with someone who is unable to say “no”, someone who is unconscious or asleep for example.  Just because they didn’t say no, doesn’t mean that rape did not occur.

Just because a man does not believe that he raped a woman does NOT necessarily mean that he did not. ( From Tigtog’s post on rape myths: “One in 12 men surveyed in this study admitted to acting in ways that satisfied the legal definition of rape or attempted rape, with 84% of these men believing that what they had done was “definitely not rape.”).  So in terms of the group sex cases discussed in the 4 Corners programs, just because the guys involved don’t believe that rape took place, doesn’t mean that it didn’t.

So if we are discussing the New Zealand case we have to consider whether a young woman is truly able to consent when surrounded by big, strong, football players? (From the transcript of the program: CLARE: “They were massive, like ah big Rugby players, I felt that I just had no idea what to do.”).  Consider this comment from this blog discussing the story:

Lisa S : I don’t believe it is “man bashing gone mad”. In the instance of the girl from new zealand it is very, very hard to get out of a situation like that, especially when there are a pack of men who are very large, and are “egging” each other on. In fact it is terrifying. I was followed into a bedroom once at a party by three rugby players. I had been speaking to one, (briefly because it wasn’t a very interesting conversation), I went to get my jacket from a room, and they followed me in. I was lucky that a friend had seen them, and came and got me. Why is it always about the woman having to take responsibility, when is going to mens turn to actually decide to not participate in that behaviour as well.

Her presence in the room does NOT equal consent.  If two guys say “Come to our room for a drink” and someone goes to their room for a drink, the drink is all they consented to.  Presence does not equal consent.  And while I’m on the topic, a drunk woman does not equal consent, flirting does not equal consent, skimpy clothes does not equal consent.  No woman, EVER, asks to be raped.  No matter what she’s wearing, where she is or how much she’s been drinking.  In this case it seems that something along the lines of “come to our room for a drink”, really meant “come to our room for group sex”, which really meant “come to our room so you can be the prop for our homosocial bonding session”.  This young lady certainly did NOT deserve what happened to her just because she did not understand the coded messages that were really being spoken.

If and when a girl consents to sex with one guy it does not mean that she is consenting to sex with any and all companions that he has with him.  This reminds me of this case, and I feel that the old virgin and whore dichotomy continues to run its insidious thread through society.  It seems that some pockets of society continue to hold the false belief that if a woman is willing to have sex with one guy than then it means that she is open to all comers whether they ask her or not.

Privilege (Message to the people of my town)

Just because someone is a famous football player it does not mean that every woman that they meet wants to sex with them.  (Granted a proportion do, but by no means all).  It is an abuse of privilege to presume that that is the case.  It is an abuse of one’s position to use it to degrade women, to make someone dress in bunny ears and give an entire team head jobs [example from 4 Corners].  It is an abuse of privilege to defaecate on the floor of a crowded pub, because you’re a famous hero in your town, and no one can touch you [local anecdote]. Its an abuse of privilege to grab a woman’s wallet and throw her money away because she winced when you hit her broken shoulder and you didn’t like that reaction [happened to a friend].  It’s an abuse of position to enter an unlocked woman’s room and expect that she is going to want to have sex with you because are you – young, famous, and hot [from the program].

We enable these behaviours when we as a society, excuse them.  When we apologise for rapists and blame the victims.  When we let young men get away with their anti-social behaviours, and excuse them as though they had no control over their actions.  When we laud them as heroes and praise them for their aggression, the fact that they are ” risk takers”.

From the transcript of the 4 Corners program:

STEVE BURRASTON, CEO NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS: These guys are pumped up, they are playing a very aggressive game and they are putting their bodies on the line, it’s fearless. It’s not as bad as going to war and I wouldn’t suggest that, but it’s probably like the old gladiator days and they get out there and they belt the hell out of each other and there’s probably no other game that is like it…When we want them on the field we want them to be aggressive. They’ve got to make tackles, they’ve got to be fearless, then we want them to do things that other people don’t do. So we attract an aggressive, young, risk taking male.  We give him a shower, put a suit on him and then say now we want you to be, you know, a submissive male. We want you to go out there and not have any problems, it’s very difficult to do that. [Emphasis mine]

Ok Steve, I know that you are trying to change the culture of the Knights and educate those young men, but sending the message that putting on a suit and acting in accordance to the norms of common decency is being a submissive male, is just not helping your cause.  You know that the men can follow the rules on the field, well do not excuse them for breaking the rules off the field. Most players do the right thing, get rid of the ones that don’t and if the team has too lose a valuable player, so be it.  A small price to pay to save further women from being raped, and it would be a decent contribution to stopping the perpetuation of a this particular culture.

The way Steve and others speak about these guys it sounds as though they are bulls being bred to fight, and we wonder why they behave like animals.  As human beings, we have control over our actions and that is one of the things that seperates us from the animal kingdom.  Elite sporting stars should be held to the same standards as everybody else, not excused on the basis that they have to take risks on the field.  Some football players manage to separate their on field and off field behaviour quite well, so it can done.  Footballers are not a special species that need protection and apologists for their down time antics.


One of the saddest aspects of the program, of the whole situation, is that these guys need an education program to learn how to treat women.  And from the glimpses we got in 4 Corners it doesn’t seem like the classes are working. SIMON WILLIAMS, NYC RUGBY PLAYER: It’s not during the act, it’s the way you treat them after it. Most of them could have been avoided, if they had put them in a cab and said thanks or that sort of thing not just kicked her out and called her a dirty whatever. It’s how you treat them afterwards that can cover a lot of that stuff up.

FAIL.  Sorry, pal, its not how you treat them after that can cover a lot of that stuff up.  Its how you treat them before, during and after.  Its how you view women.  It is about having respect for women and treating them as fellow human beings.  Treating their sexuality with the respect that you treat your own.  It not treating them nicely afterwards in order to prevent a rape call from being made.  Its treating them well with every interaction and respecting women so there’ll be no ambiguity, because you won’t be able to rape them, because you respect, care, and love women and their well being is important to you.

I’m not saying don’t have fun.  Lots of respectful consensual fun can be had by all.  But at the basis is respect.  Women are not playthings to be handed around between team mates.  Women are not tools for your homosocial bonding.  They are not the spoils of victory, they are not reward for your glory, props for your homoerotic fantasies, their bodies are not yours by right.  They are living breathing human beings who deserve to be respected as such, and not degraded because “sharing” with your mates is more important than their dignity, because it is not, ever.


From the transcript (Excerpt of footage from television apology on THE FOOTY SHOW)  MATTHEW JOHNS: It caused all parties enormous pain and embarrassment.  Um, for me personally it has put my family through enormous anguish and embarrassment and has once again, [sic] and for that I m just, can’t say sorry enough. There were no charges laid. But there has been a lot of pain and embarrassment to a lot of people.

PAUL VAUTIN, FOOTY SHOW HOST: Alright mate, well said. Alright, let’s get on with the show. (End of Excerpt)

This is not an apology.  This is damage control for Matthew Johns, for the Footy Show, for the NRL.  This is saying what had to be said, so we can all get on with our lives and pretend that the story was never brought to the light of day.  This was an apology to his family, to those that he cares about.  This was not an apology to Clare, because he couldn’t give a shit about this poor young women whose life he was a part of traumatising.  This is a fauxpology and simply does nothing to counter the pain and suffering of the real victim here.  This apology is insulting, so Fuck you Matty Johns, fuck you Footy Show and fuck you anyone who thinks that that measly weasly apology goes anywhere towards addressing the harm done here.

Want more from elsewhere?

From the Dawn Chorus

I was pleased to see training for rugby players about consent and sexual violence but despair that such training is necessary at all.  Such ‘education programs’ further perpetrate the notion that acts of sexual violence can be attributed to a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance of what constitutes sexual assault or consent. Surely respect for women at a deep internal level is not something which can be taught. Further, I shudder to think how one tabulates whether such programs reduce the instances of sexual assault against women.

‘One of the Boys’ Discussion from a man’s perspective

Perhaps this whole emphasis on team bonding and ‘one in, all in’ from the sporting field is translating to an inability to switch off that mentality when the game is over. If so, it is a worrying indication of what team sport is doing for our young men. Far from being a positive influence on our lives, if this is the culture that team sport is engendering, it is indeed a worrying thing.

From Tigtog ‘Elite male athletes and homosocial bonding through sexual coercion of women’

So often we hear “women are throwing themselves at these men, they don’t need to force anyone” (how revealing is that phrase I’ve emphasised with italics – we accept that some men need to, do we? or that a need might make it “OK”?). This is crap. The idea of men turning to sexual coercion out of sexual desperation is simply not an adequate explanation – men turning to sexual coercion due to their sexual expectations, their sense of entitlement due to their status, explains so much more.

ABC’s Background reading and support links


35 comments on “What’s the difference between group sex and gang rape?

  1. tigtog says:

    Very thorough post, Rayedish. I particularly appreciate the point that these men are thoroughly used to following rules on the field that curb their risk-taking behaviours – it really should not be considered “so hard” to get them to follow rules of civilised, respectful interaction with women off the field.

  2. Anja says:

    Excellent post. You have gone through all the aspects of this revolting occurrence. Well done.

  3. I hate victim blaming. It’s just a way to sweep this problem under the rug. If someone’s house got robbed, you think the detective’s gonna be going, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have left the house,” or “Maybe you should have left the light on.”

    Hell no. The greatest shock to me is when you find out that your guy friends who are very intelligent people actually say, “Well it’s her fault.” It is gobsmacking. There’s male privilege for you.

  4. Aileen Wuornos says:

    Amazingly well written!

  5. Stevie says:

    Rayedish, this is one of the more lucid reposnes to this shameful culture I’ve read. Well Done!
    Wendy Voltaire wrote: “The greatest shock to me is when you find out that your guy friends who are very intelligent people actually say, “Well it’s her fault.” It is gobsmacking. There’s male privilege for you.”
    What gobsmacks me more is when the young women say the same thing. I ran a discussion in my class (Senior High School class)on this and the biggest apologists were the females. If you look around you will see many women aplogising and victim blaming, too! I’m wondering if it’s a case of the “virgin and the whore” being policed by women. That is,
    “since “I” uphold the expected norms and mores of my society and am shackled by its expectations, so don’t you dare do something different and if you do, I will cast the first stone.”
    It saddens me that many want to continue “enabling” this horrific way of life by continuing to victim balme and apolgise for the perpertrators. I know as a male teacher I’m going to try and do my bit!

  6. Rhi&Katie says:

    We think you are brilliant. This is so well written. Our teacher is always talking about you and now we can see why. You are so clever. You made points that we tried to get across in class yesterday but you can word them so much better. YAY. We agreed with everything. Thankyou. You are an inspiration. Go Women. 🙂

  7. […] feminism, football, In the Media, Matthew Johns, misogyny, rape, Sex | No Comments  So the Footballers and sex 4 Corners story, is generating a hell of a lot of conversation, everywhere.  Lots of newspaper articles, opinion […]

  8. kasphar says:

    At the risk of being hammered by yourself, as well as going against my firmly held belief that Johns et al should be pilloried regarding their disgusting behaviour, we surely need to balance this story by taking into account the following.
    1. If Johns’ statement is correct about what happened, she was doing some ‘egging on’ herself. This must have been taken into account during the police investigation.
    2. Her workmate claims she boasted about ‘having footballers’. If this is true, then it rather diminishes her later story (although I agree that she could easily become traumatised later as she realised the extent of what they did too her).
    3. Even the 4 Corners program reported on women who actively sought football players for the purpose of sexual liaisons. These women did not do the victims of these attacks any favours at all.
    My point is that both sides need some form of education – guys respect women and women respect guys.
    OK, attack my 3 points but remember, I basically agree with your post.

  9. KM says:


    I like your point regarding female apologists. But I think there is also an element for girls/women in that when they point to behaviour in rape victims that we believe ‘puts those victims at risk of getting raped’ then we get to reassure ourselves that by being ‘good girls’ we can keep ourselves safe from rape.

    Dangerous territory…

  10. rayedish says:

    Thank you all for the positive feedback, I really do appreciate it when people take the time to leave comments and let me know when they think that I’ve gotten it right (or wrong – I don’t mind a good discussion).

    kasphar -I’m not going to hammer you, you raise your points in a reasonable manner and they are reasonable points. And in this case, us, the general public may know the gist of what has happened but we don’t not know “the facts” so how we interpret it perhaps reflects our own biases. I watched the 4 corners story and witnessed a clearly traumatised woman. I personally have seen footballers behave like absolute pigs and my starting point is to have a very low opinion of them and think the worst of them. In addition the 4 corners story alluded to the Bulldogs scandal of a couple of years ago which was probably similar in circumstance but the specific details weren’t provided. Clearly there is a bit of a problem here. My theory is that footballers may often have an ‘1 for all and all for 1’ rule and that some women are prepared to pay that price to bed the player of their choice, others may not be aware that ‘that is how the game is played’ and that because footballers live in a privileged bubble of fame and glory and feel that its fine to subject women to “group sex” without checking first that they understand -that’s rape. My personal feeling on the matter is that “Clare” may have initially consented and not realised what she was consenting to. So 2 players and then more jump in and she can’t say no? No one checks that she’s ok with whats happening? Because most accounts seem to agree that she wasn’t spoken too or respected through out the ordeal. Once the situation changes from what she may or may not have consented to, she is being raped. Hence the degradation and her subsequent traumatisation.

    As for your second point, my feeling is that even if she did initially boast, (the witness may be unreliable) as you suggested it can take a couple of days for the reality of what has happened to sink it, for the shock to wear off, alternatively, people often boast of things they are ashamed off, as a way of hiding their true feelings. Anyway I don’t feel that the opinion of ex-workmate is worth the same as the opinion of the professional psych.s who diagnosed her with PTSD, clearly this event profoundly damaged her.

    The police investigation obviously hinges on the issue of consent, but for me this whole thing goes deeper than consent. Consent is hard to prove and you have the words of nearly a dozen footballers who are closing ranks to protect themselves versus one young women. For me, respect is a key issue. Its the lack of respect that makes this sort of thing problematic, which is a part of your third point. Some women seek out liaisons with football ‘stars’, and are quite prepared to be degraded as a part of the price of bagging their hero. In terms of that I agree with what Adele Horin has to say here: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/sex-thugs-and-rotten-role-models-its-not-right-if-shes-not-enjoying-it-20090515-b606.html

    “My point is that both sides need some form of education – guys respect women and women respect guys.” That’s how I feel also, and that people need self respect as well, that way they won’t need to degrade others or allow themselves to be degraded (I’m referring to willing participates here, not rape victims as they don’t have a say in the degradation that occurs).

    I kinda wish that Matthew Johns hadn’t been singled out so much in this case, because this whole problem is bigger than him and in much of the public’s eyes it turned into a ‘poor Matty’ thing. Not poor Matty, lets examine the whole culture surrounding the NRL (hey and other codes as well while we are at it) and see if we can’t do better.

  11. kasphar says:

    The ‘unfortunate’ part of this incident may be the fact that she had consented to Johns (and maybe one other) but Johns is being ‘held responsible’ and has taken the rap because of what happened to her afterwards. We do not know all the facts, as you point out, but the police do, and they did not proceed. From a moral viewpoint, I believe that the footballers are more culpable than ‘Clare’. I have no sympathy for them at all.
    However, it now transpires that ‘Clare’ had entertained two footballers in the hotel’s toilet the night before. If this is true, there wasn’t a great deal of respect for each other on either side.

    Could you give your views on this. These thoughts, by Professor Catharine Lumby, were recorded in an interview
    in 2004. She said that she had no problem with any behaviour as long as it was consensual and the players showed respect to woman during and as she was leaving (doesn’t your Simon Williams’ quote in your post above give the same impression?).
    Ms Lumby went on to be the NRL’s gender advisor. Her ideas fit neatly into footballing culture – probably why she was chosen.

  12. KM says:

    Kasphar – I’m going to jump in on a couple of things you’ve stated as well…

    Firstly, the 3rd point in your first post – that women who DO ‘chase after’ football players don’t do the victims of such attacks any favours. I believe that you are probably referring more to the perpetuation of a culture, rather than explicitly placing blame for rape on women who are not actually the perpetrators of the crime of rape. But in the end, we all choose our sexual partners based on very personal criteria. I may not agree with the taste of women who choose football players as partners, but it’s not ANYONE’S job to police the sexual preferences of consenting adults. And by your reasoning, as I am a fairly sexually assertive female who prefers to bed smart and artistic men, that then makes me culpable in rapes perpetrated by poets, for instance. It’s a problem with reasoning that I see in the statement that you’ve made.

    Additionally, you refer in your second post to the assertion that ‘Clare’ had ‘been with’ a couple of players the night before in another hotel. This also seems irrelevant to the issue at hand. That she might be promiscuous on her own terms at other times doesn’t make her any less raped when she gets raped.

  13. kasphar says:

    NO, In my third point, I’m saying that the type of behaviour displayed by those girls on the 4 Corners program gives the general public something to beef on about (see the comments in the general press) and this detracts from the enormity of the incident, diminishes the compassion that should be shown to the victim and clouds the culpability of the footballers in question. It’s just that we seem to be using two different moral codes to judge each group. We judged women who are promiscuous by a more liberated code but men by the code of a bygone era.
    It’s sort of karma really because, many years ago, promiscuous women were regarded as morally bad and promiscuous men were judged to be ‘ just boys being boys’. How the worm turns.
    As I said in my first post, both sides need to respect each other and, through education, try to avoid these situations occurring. We can see that the consensual sex proposition as discussed by Ms Lumby may not necessarily be the answer.

    By the way, if a woman can be promiscuous on her own terms, how can a male be promiscuous on his own terms?

  14. tigtog says:

    Men and women can both be promiscuous on their own terms (i.e. we’re just having fun here, aren’t we?). As long as everybody is having mutual fun then everybody is treating each other respectfully, no matter how promiscuous they are being.

    The only problem lies when deception, intimidation and coercion enter the liaison.

  15. rayedish says:

    KM and Kasphar – I think that you are in agreement here about the women who do chase footballers, the role they play in the “perpetuation of a culture” and “detracts from the enormity of the incident, diminishes the compassion that should be shown to the victim and clouds the culpability of the footballers”. I have definitely heard reflections of this IRL, people basically saying that “girls who sleep with footballers deserve”..& “what do they expect”.
    “if a woman can be promiscuous on her own terms, how can a male be promiscuous on his own terms?” short answer, what Tigtog said. Long answer, guys have been able to be promiscuous on their own terms for a long time and now culture has started to shift and hold them accountable when their actions harm women/girls. Women have undergone a sexual revolution and due the construction of male sexuality its not seen to be a bad thing if women use men (ie a guy scored, is he going to complain?) I don’t agree with this attitude and feel that people need to explore their sexuality on terms that include respect for others, a mutual principle that should cut both ways.

    For this reason I don’t actually agree with Catherine Lumby’s position, as I feel that her notion of respect (how you treat them before and afterwards) is not as deep as the notion of respect that I would like to see embraced. A respect for the whole person, in which rape of another wouldn’t be possible, not because you ticked the consent box, but because you could not treat others in a degrading manner.

    “Ms Lumby went on to be the NRL’s gender advisor. Her ideas fit neatly into footballing culture – probably why she was chosen.” yeah I think so too. This ‘tick a box’ notion of consent would ensure that NRL players don’t get themselves in legal trouble, but does nothing to address the deeper issues that are underlying these situations. Public worship of these guys as heroes, them having to prove their masculinity over and over again using the bodies of women. The guys being used to and expecting women to throw themselves at them. A recipe for the reoccurring disasters that we’ve seen and Matty John’s role in the NZ example has obscured. I kinda wish that the public at large would move on from MJ and seriously engage with the deeper aspects of this situation.

  16. kasphar says:

    I posted –
    ‘We can see that the consensual sex proposition as discussed by Ms Lumby may not necessarily be the answer.’
    Tigtog posted (after the defence of ‘mutual fun’)
    ‘The only problem lies when deception, intimidation and coercion enter the liaison.’
    Agree, and that was the point of my comment above – ‘mutual fun’ can lead to these very problems you mention. My further comment about how participants can be promiscuous on each one’s own terms all at the same time is at the core of these problems. ‘On their own terms’ implies control of the situation – the initiation, the type of sexual activity and when the activity ceases. How is/should be in control?
    Rayedish posted –
    ‘guys have been able to be promiscuous on their own terms for a long time’.
    That was the point of my karma comment in post 13 (how the worm turns). So if it was wrong then, why is it right now (catch up, revenge, feel good)? You’re are right in saying that this situation has deeper aspects and we should move on. Mutual respect, changing attitudes in regards to casual/fun sex and alcohol education are some of the things that spring to mind.
    A cavalier approach to what should be humankind’s greatest expression of love and intimacy will lead to these distasteful situations and the subsequent use of different moral codes (determined by which side of the fence you are on) applied to the participants.

  17. tigtog says:

    Agree, and that was the point of my comment above – ‘mutual fun’ can lead to these very problems you mention.

    You seem to be implying that mutual fun with sex is itself a problem, that sex should be viewed as more important than that (“what should be humankind’s greatest expression of love and intimacy”). I disagree.

    Sexual behaviour, like any other behaviour, is a spectrum/continuum. There is nothing wrong with being sexually playful, just as there is nothing wrong with reserving sexual expression for intimately loving encounters only. They are both valid options.

  18. kasphar says:

    No, I’m not implying that. I was commenting on Prof Lumby’s position that consensual sex is OK as one of the criteria for how footballers should behave in sexual activity.
    Because ‘Clare’ appears not to have withdrawn consent (due to fear or being disempowered), these footballers have used this consent issue to try to hide behind. If footballers are told that all they need is consent, then girls who actively seek ‘mutual fun’ with them may need to be counselled in what to do if things go further than they bargain. Also men should be educated to realise that when things go too far that they put a stop to activities before people get hurt.

    Wouldn’t it be better if these situations (‘gang bangs’) didn’t arise because people treated each other with mutual respect?

  19. kasphar says:

    And further for tigtog.
    So your advice to footballers (based on your above comments) would sound like this:
    1. Sexual behaviour is no different to all other behaviour.
    2. Sexual activity is not to be treated as anything special.
    3. As long as you are all having mutual fun then this equates to everyone treating each other respectfully (rather than the other way round).
    4. Everyone can be promiscuous on their own terms.
    5. Avoid deception, intimidation and coercion when in these situations.
    Wow, the footballers would love you.

  20. rayedish says:

    (“working” this will be a very quick post)
    kasphar I think that you are miss reading Tigtog, or extrapolating waaaay to much from her brief comment. Click on her name, which will take you to her website, or to her rape myths post that I linked to in the preface to this post to get a more fuller idea of her beliefs about sexuality. While I can’t speak for her, I am very sure that her ideas about sex aren’t those that footballers would love.

  21. tigtog says:

    You have misread me, kasphar. I’m a big proponent of a shift in social standards away from one of consent simply being the lack of a negation towards active affirmation i.e. enthusiastic assent, and that it must be informed assent with full disclosure and everyone being safe and sane while having their fun.

    The only point where I think you have me right is that I don’t see that sexual behaviour is inherently different to any other sort of behaviour, and in any human interaction I see nothing wrong with a baseline standard of avoiding deception, intimidation and coercion. You have listed both of these as if they are bad/wrong, and I fail to see why.

  22. kasphar says:

    I’m quoting exactly as you have posted. In which point have I misquoted you?
    I make no judgement on whether point 5 is right or wrong – that’s your interpretation. When I look at your statements and piece them altogether, I think that footballers may believe that they could handle that criteria.
    However, your post at 21 has now defined consent as enthusiastic assent. So let’s create some scenarios.
    I presume that if some/all of the participants are drunk, then enthusiastic assent would be forthcoming but your next condition of informed assent would quite rightly nullify the situation.
    If the participants are naive, I presume that would be reason enough to stop (safe and sane).
    If a girl just wants to ‘score a footballer’ or a footballer just wants to ‘score a groupie’, then full disclosure may well stop proceedings.
    Maybe there are other scenarios but looking at how these situations they seem to be a combination of alcohol, youth/naivity and power games.
    So your criteria in post 21 would effectively stop the majority of ‘buns’ occurring anyway so basically we are agreeing – just coming from different perspectives.

    Thanks rayedish. I will.

  23. tigtog says:

    Now you have misread “misread” as “misquoted”. I never said anything about misquoting.

    This lack of rigor makes me disinclined to discuss things with you further. We are basically agreeing, and you’re picking a fight anyway.

    Bored now.

  24. […] the will to write about it myself. The Dawn Chorus has a good summary of the 4 Corners program, the Radical Radish analyses some of the issues, there are extensive discussions at Hoyden about Town and Blue Milk, […]

  25. kasphar says:

    It’s ‘rigour’ in this part of the world, not ‘rigor’ – unless you’re from the US. One each.
    You can now retire back to Hoyden-About-Town and blog away by looking into the mirror.

  26. tigtog says:

    A typo is the best you’ve got? I’ve had a quick look over your commenting record here – your MO is nitpicking in what appears to be a very disingenuous and passive-aggressive fashion. Why, it’s almost as if you want people here to waste their time explaining things to you that you actually understand very well.

    Your nym doesn’t appear in the comments logs either at Hoyden or LP, but your style seems very familiar. Who were you before?

  27. rayedish says:

    kasphar “You can now retire back to Hoyden-About-Town and blog away by looking into the mirror”. That’s not the type of conversations that I want to be conducting here. You’re more than welcome to discuss and query but taunting’s not on. And seeing you two (and me), are basically in agreement and have said so,I don’t see why it has to come down to these sort of comments anyhow.

  28. KM says:

    I have no wish to prolong or re-start a circular argument that rayedish feels has been dealt with, but I would like a right of reply on ‘promiscuous on one’s own terms.’ I was the one who raised it, and it seems to have been lifted as a phrase without context.

    I know plenty of men who sleep around. They’re usually pretty open about the fact they’re into having lots of sex with lots of different women, and that they aren’t looking for anything ‘serious.’ I absolutely have no problem with this, and I would associate this with ‘promiscuity on their own terms.’

    However, this phrase does NOT imply carte blanche for one individual to ride rough-shod over the personal boundaries of anyone else.

    Anyway, I see the whole ‘pack sex’ controversy with regards to the NRL as something of an issue with relating to sexual behaviour, but more considerably as an issue relating to bullying behaviour, using sex as a medium.

  29. kasphar says:

    So tigtog’s dismissive comments at post 23 are not ‘taunting’?

  30. […] here, and some followup information here.) For further reading, I’d recommend these posts at Radical Rayedish and […]

  31. rayedish says:

    KM – Thanks for your clarification. I feel similarly in regards to sleeping around, ie. “does NOT imply carte blanche for one individual to ride rough-shod over the personal boundaries of anyone else”.

    kasphar – I thought yours @25 was the more egregious example.

    Anyhow this is the last off topic comment – on this thread anyway! ; )I’m going to start removing comments that are particularly unhelpful. Feel free to complain via email: rayedish@gmail.com

  32. […] a scientist at the Queensland University of Technology has seized the opportunity presented by rugby league players raping women to write an opinion piece and get it published in The Australian Higher Education Supplement. No […]

  33. Merryn says:

    Saying that Clare did not “withdraw consent” assumes that once she consents to a) having sex with two men or b) going back to a hotel room for a drink then anything that happens after that is automatically consented to unless she emphatically refuses. Even if it were actually a) she consented to, is it reasonable to assume that the extra 10 men turning up to watch and join in with no discussion with her as to whether she’s OK with then are automatically covered by the original consent?
    I strongly disagree with that view. Consent is not a package deal, especially when the extra people sneak into the room after the consented behaviour is underway.

  34. michael says:

    Lol,feminists are too funny! Where do you get this fantastic idea that a man who is just sleeping with you will also have respect for you? What planet do you live on? If you are woman, and you are having “mutual fun” and that is all it is, (let alone with someone you just met) you expect a man to actually respect you in any shape or form? What cloud do you women live on? All this talk of mutual respect and yada yada…you women have no clue about men. Lol, one day there is a feminist article about how having two men inside you is “enpowering” and “liberating” “owning your sexuality” yada yada, and then another article about how screwing multiple guys at once is rape? I think feminists are sending mixed messages to women. Remember this man’s life is ruined and no charges were ever filed!

  35. Mark says:

    I completely disagree with the sentiment that acting in a certain way does not contribute to an act of sexual aggression occurring. That is not to say that it is consenting to it, nor is it suggesting that it removes any of the blame or guilt for the act, but to suggest that it does not contribute to it is nonsense.

    If a person is struck down by a drink-driver whilst crossing a road that is not to say that they consented to being run over, but the fact remains that they would have been less likely to be hit by the car had they been on the pavement – they still could have been, but it would have been less likely.

    I am not speaking specifically regarding this case, so please do not try to suggest that I have done and point specifics at me as I have no idea about this case or the people involved and am commenting on the wider subject in general. It would be, for anyone with even a basic level of knowledge of human kinesics, pretty simple to spot the difference between a woman looking blithe, cheeky or even wantonly and one looking hunted, chagrined or downcast. If one walks into a room to meet two friends and find them having sex with a woman, these expressions should be enough for one to observe consent, or otherwise, before removing one’s clothing and joining in.

    The question still remains as to how this type of consent could ever be proven. Simply consenting to an act at the time does not (for either party, I may add) prevent someone from later being ashamed of the act. When alcohol or other drugs are involved, that shame could even lead someone to legitimately and truthfully believing that they would not have consented. This is precisely why having intercourse with someone ‘too drunk’ to *knowingly* consent is legally considered rape.

    So, is the answer to restrict intercourse only to those entering into a legally binding written contract? Even then this doesn’t allow for one party to change their mind part way through a sexual act. Lest not we forget that if one party changes their mind during intercourse and requests that the act cease, should the other party continue this, too, is legally considered rape.

    If we insisted that all acts of a sexual nature be recorded on video for evidence this would surely result in far less intercourse for the vast majority and an increase in false rape claims against the rich and famous by unscrupulous types.

    The answer, simply, is that there are grey areas and that there is not a whole lot we can do about it. It’s not okay to have sex with someone who doesn’t consent. Consenting with one does not mean consenting with all and consenting to a drink does not mean consenting to sex. But, it’s also not okay to consent to sex and then cry rape afterwards when you didn’t enjoy it, feel ashamed or want your name in the papers. Unfortunately if we prosecute those who cry wolf too harshly it intimidates legitimate victims into suffering in silence, yet punish them too little and more cry wolf.

    The simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

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