Acquittal of Female Stripper for Male Rape Demonstrates Discrimination Against Men

August 9, 2009 by
Filed under: Australian Law Reform, Australian News 

Last week, female stripper Linda Naggs was acquitted of raping a man by shoving a sex toy into his anus, during a performance at a buck’s night. This article is not about whether that particular act should be considered rape, but the double standard applied by the law to the accused, depending on whether they are a man or a woman.

I am 100% certain that if Ms Naggs were male, and the participant were female, Ms Naggs would now be in the slammer getting ready to be the participant in another inmate’s act.

Most members of the public who commented on this case (see the article linked above) have also expressed outrage at the verdict. This article analyses the case and discusses other instances of sex discrimination in law.

Under Victorian state law, the simple act of penetration without consent is sufficient to constitute rape.

The following facts of the case are not under dispute:

  • The man advised the stripper beforehand that he did not consent to penetration
  • Following the strippers use of the sex toy, there was bleeding from the man’s anus, which indicated that there was more than a ‘slight penetration’
  • The man immediately expressed his displeasure to the female stripper
  • He reported it to the police promptly the following morning

Ms Naggs’s attorney said that “any penetration was accidental”. Frankly, I consider this to be a load of nonsense, and it would never pass in any other case. The stripper was not drunk and she was a professional performer who knew what she was doing.

This was a jury trial, so the verdict is not the fault of a rogue judge – the jury were members of society who have been conditioned to accept a double standard, and that it what makes this case all the more troubling.

The most common argument by others who support the acquittal of Ms Naggs are along the following lines:

“The man agreed to participate in the stripper’s act by getting undressed – what did he think was going to happen?”

This is exactly the same as those who say to a female rape victim “you dressed up in skimpy clothes and went to his place – what did you think was going to happen?”. 

No consent is no consent. Everything else is irrelevant. The man clearly stated to the stripper that he did not want any contact with his anus.

I fully support equality of men and women under the law, and equality in employment opportunities and career progression. Sadly, the legitimate quest for equality by feminists appears to have evolved into a quest for revenge – indiscriminate and untargeted, and that is wrong.

Sadly, this case is not an isolated incident – I have seen in the media a number of cases where men were defamed or convicted for sexual crimes in circumstances that were fraudulent or at least very far from being clearcut.

In the Australian media (and other Western media), men have often been portrayed as predators or deviants, and woman as helpless and innocent, e.g. the TV campaign “Violence against Women – Australia says no!”, when in fact, men are often victims of domestic violence.

Recently, a naive 18 year old Belgian girl asked to have one side of her face tattooed with 56 stars. Her father did not like it, so to escape his wrath, she concocted a story about falling asleep in the tattooist’s chair and stated that the male tattooist misunderstood her instructions and grotesquely defaced her. It was perfect fodder for an attention-grabbing theme – ‘Evil looking tattooist turns innocent girl into a freak’, except one element of the story lacked plausibility – falling asleep during the procedure. As anyone knows, getting tattoos is painful. The girl, when confronted, admitting to making it up and the reputation of the tattooist was restored.

Another more serious case is that of the Duke University Lacrosse team, who were falsely accused in 2006 of gang raping a black stripper.  Inconsistencies were found in the stripper’s statements. The accused had strong alibis and the prosecutor was ultimately convicted for malpractice.

But sometimes, justice comes too late. The most tragic is the case of the ‘30 second rapist‘ that took place in 1987 in Western Australia. A man named Kevin Ibbs lived with his wife and her female friend. One day, his wife and her friend decided they wanted to get him out of the house, so they concocted a plan – the friend would have have sex with him, and then change her mind halfway through, in order to take advantage of a newly passed WA law that made ‘continuation of sexual penetration without consent’ a crime. Ibbs was sentenced to prison after the judge ruled that he continued to have sex 30 seconds longer than he should have. He eventually proved his innocence – it took him over $1 million and 14 years to clear his name. His former wife and female friend received a paltry 6 months in prison. The man never recovered following the ordeal – he had lost most of his friends and his career as a tradesman, and he committed suicide a few years ago.

Other more frequent cases include men convicted after having sex with women who consented whilst drunk.

I propose the following reforms to be made to laws concerning sexual crimes:

1. Sexual harrassment laws must indemnify a person who asks another for consent to a sexual act in ALL circumstances, until they receive a response from the other party. e.g. you should be able to ask someone directly “Do you want to sleep with me?” This will help ensure that there is no misunderstanding when it comes to consent.

Only if someone pesters you continually to the point of annoyance following refusal of consent, may the provisions of existing laws apply. “I do not want to sleep with you and my decision is final. Do not ask me again”.

2. Many times cases of disputed consent involve one person’s word against anothers. I say that a person who does NOT consent to a sexual act should say it at the earliest possible opportunity, even before the other party has made a request, e.g. “OK, I’ll come over to your place to see that movie, but I won’t sleep with you. Are we clear?”. They should note the time that they refused consent, and if appropriate, have witnesses present.

3. A person who has consumed alcohol in a public place should NOT be considered to be of diminished capacity to consent. Unlike with motor vehicles, people do not breathalyse each other to see if they are above “the limit”. Drinking is one of the main reasons who people go to bars and clubs, so individuals should be held personally responsible for the amount they drink. Such a reform would deter people from drinking to excess.

What do you think?


One Comment on Acquittal of Female Stripper for Male Rape Demonstrates Discrimination Against Men

    […] as another blogger notes, this is an issue of consent. Naggs did not have it. She was repeatedly told not to penetrate him, […]

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