Colleen Figg

Men aren't always guilty

2007-11-09 09:37

Colleen Figg

It must be hard to be a man in today's world.

A woman only has to whisper the word "rape" and the man is as good as in jail, convicted by public opinion. This dêbacle on Big Brother Africa the other day made me think on this subject anew; and I decided if I were a lawyer, I would protect innocent men rather than prosecute on behalf of women.

My problem comes in when a woman relentlessly eggs a man on, and then puts the kibosh on the whole deal; leaving the man high and dry. Or when she seduces a fellow, allows sexual congress to occur and then shrieks that that was not what she wanted after all.

A woman will say in court that she went to bed with the guy because she was drunk, but that she never meant to. That her wits were addled. The fact that he had as much to drink as she on the occasion does not serve as a mitigating factor in the guy's case though. It serves to exacerbate the judgement already passed before the magistrate even sat down.

The fact that he was drunk proves to people that he is a sexual predator; her inebriation only makes her weaker. How is that?

The man is left to face the legal music and the woman is consoled and given counselling. This does not seem fair. No matter how he may protest that she was as keen on the idea at the time as he, the fact is that if she said that magical word "no", apparently even in her mind, that is enough to send him down a very unpleasant road.

Spectre of rape

Even if never convicted of rape, the spectre of rape will hang over the man and he will forever be assumed to have raped the woman. People at cocktail parties will nudge each other and mutter that the reason he got off was that he had an extraordinarily good lawyer who found some loopholes.

Women are given the benefit of the doubt in other ways too; in instances of custody of children for example. I heard recently of a woman who tried to compromise her ex's reputation by getting her friends to take pictures of him having a few drinks.

She also got several people to testify that he was on drugs, which was not true. Now I know that men may also engage in this kind of tasteless behaviour when fighting for custody but it seems to me that the women are more easily believed than the men, because of the simple fact that they are women.

The same goes for sexual harassment at work; I've seen a lot of very overt banter going on between colleagues in my time. Everyone has. Who knows when it is real though, when a woman can accuse a man of harassing her for saying she looks nice; where she can use that weapon to advance herself up the corporate ladder or simply to spite a man who may have rejected her?

The laws in place to protect women from men who do rape, harass and harm them are there for a good reason; it worries me to see them being abused by manipulative women, though. Really, it does.

Send your comments to Colleen.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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