And yes, if a man assaults a woman he is to blame
Channel 9 media celebrity Kerri-Anne Kennerley has attracted attention for her comments on Mornings with Kerri-Anne, likening women who are picked up by male footballers to strays. She was discussing with former AFL star footballer Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt, the alleged assault of a 20-year-old university student by a group of men including two Collingwood players after their premiership win.
Everitt had posted a number of tweets on the incident, suggesting it was a case of morning- after regret and that girls who go home with footballers shouldn’t be expecting Milo.
Men, said Kennerley, “put themselves in harm’s way by picking up strays”. She also asked what was it women expected in such situations and said that in alcohol fuelled scenarios at 3am “no one party can be blamed”. In a statement of ‘clarification’, Nine said: “Not one party can be blamed for this. The responsibility lies with the girls as well as with the guys when you’re talking about alcohol-fuelled situations at three o’clock in the morning.”
Let’s unpack these comments a little shall we?
“Picking up strays”
Women are to be compared with stray animals, like cats or (worse) dogs? We know that 85% of victims will never report to police. And people wonder why. When they risk being called, liars, sluts and now “strays”, why would any woman who has just been through a terrible ordeal also want to sign up for that?
It is probably unintentional, but Kennerley is sending a message to rape victims and to girls everywhere that if they are raped they will be vilified and humiliated. In so doing, they are re-abused.
“What do they expect?”
Maybe they expect not to be subjected to rape? Maybe they expect they won’t be sexually assaulted or subjected to any other criminal offense?
“They have to learn”
They have to learn that they could be seen as causing the assault? Leading him on? Contributing to it in some way? Women have to learn because they should expect to be sexually assaulted? As a commenter here said, “Men will be men”. And another: “The law holds men responsible for their behaviour whilst inebriated and specifically does not hold women responsible for their behaviour in the same state. Hence this situation is inevitable.”
More rape apologism suggesting rape is inevitable.
“No one party can be blamed”
If a man assaults a woman, is he not to be blamed? If a man takes advantage of a woman who is under the influence, she has not given consent. Therefore it is unlawful.
Drunkenness is not an invitation for sex. The inability to say no doesn’t mean a woman has said yes.
Sexual Assault for Dummies
Remarkably, grown men still need to be taught that if a woman is out of it, she can’t agree to sex. In the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility manual, under a section of checklist items to help a man know consent has been given, it states:
When is consent freely given? When she’s conscious – AWAKE!
MTR comments on The Morning Show
I also responded specifically to Kennerley’s comments on Channel 9’s Today Show this morning. Please follow this link to view.
There’s been some excellent commentary on this issue the last couple of days. These pieces deserve to be read.
‘A little bit sexually assaulted: a cup of milo and a bad lie down’ by Lauren Rosewarne
A woman can’t be a little bit pregnant, she can’t be a little bit dead, she can’t be a little bit equal, and she most certainly can’t be a little bit sexually assaulted.
If consent is absent, rape has occurred. There is no grey.
While the details get shuffled about – the code, the players, the seedy nightclub providing the backdrop – in essence the same story is being retold. Footballers and sexual assault. The same story and frequently, the same public reaction: scepticism. Read more.
‘Women cop blame (again) for sexual assault’ by Nina Funnell
Women ask to be raped. Women fabricate rape allegations to assuage guilt. Rape victims are sluts and strays. These are some of the attitudes that have been unearthed this week following a police investigation into sexual assault allegations made by a 20-year-old woman.
The woman alleges she was the victim of a sexual assault involving a number of men, including two Collingwood players. The incident was said to have occurred in South Melbourne on Sunday morning, just hours after Collingwood defeated St Kilda in the grand final rematch. Read more.
In my perusings of the modern media landscape, a worrying trend has come to my attention: young men who apparently just can’t stop having non-consensual sex with others. It’s a tricky problem, and one to which there are, clearly, no easy solutions. I mean, it’s all very well to say “No means no”, but as popular ex-footballer/arachnid Peter “Spida” Everitt says, when a girl goes home with a guy at 3am, it’s not for a cup of Milo. So we can see there are two sides to every story: on the one hand, a young lady might feel violated, but on the other hand, why do these women keep going round to strangers’ houses in the hopes of having some Milo? Why don’t they buy their OWN Milo? Young people today, I ask you. Read more.
‘Rape probe hysterics an assault on justice’ by John Silvester
So here we are again – women are sluts and men are morons.
That would appear to be the view of many who have decided to venture opinions on the police investigation involving a number of young men, including two Collingwood footballers, over allegations of sexual assault.
The facts as known are simple. A young traumatised woman has told police she was raped. Experienced detectives used to dealing with sexual assault victims found her credible. Read more.
See also: ‘Not rape, just boys acting up’