Rape ain’t what it used to be

All those end-to-end Harvey Weinstein stories are losing novelty appeal, which is another way of saying I’m fed up with them.

Anyway, I’ve already said everything I could about Harvey’s boorish priapism and his critics’ emetic hypocrisy. Or so I thought.

However, the story of Lysette Anthony is so iconically typical of our time that it positively screams out for a comment.

As the actress tells the story, at first it followed your traditional rape scenario. Harvey perfidiously befriends Lysette in 1992. Harvey stalks Lysette. Harvey arrives at Lysette’s flat unannounced. Lysette naively lets Harvey in. Harvey rapes Lysette against the coat rack.

Lysette tried to fight Harvey off, but “Finally I just gave up.” Lysette then describes (too graphically for my taste) Harvey’s ejaculation, her own revulsion and her subsequent weeping in the bathroom.

So far so good, or rather so horrible. As classic a case of rape as one can imagine. If the crime leaves no hard evidence, it may be hard to prove in court, but it should definitely end up there.

But it didn’t. Lysette didn’t even call the police. “I thought I should just forget the whole incident… I was an idiot to think he and I were friends.”

Well, this is hardly a happy ending. In fact, it’s neither happy nor an ending, for Lysette continued to have consensual sex with Harvey for the next 10 (ten!) years.

Harvey would ring and “No one turned down an opportunity to meet Harvey Weinstein – no one.” Excuse me? This doesn’t sound at all like a rape victim speaking.

As a confirmed feminist with strong lesbian tendencies, I accept the widespread cri de coeur that rape is the worst possible fate a woman can suffer. Worse than being disfigured, having every bone in her body broken and becoming paraplegic as a result – worse even than death itself.

Fine. I understand, although I doubt I’d feel the same way if I were a woman. But hey, de gustibus… and all that.

And yet a victim of the most blood-curdling crime that could possibly be perpetrated against a woman continues to see her rapist voluntarily because she can’t turn down the opportunity. It’s as if someone maliciously swapped the script Lysette had been reading from.

The new script is all too familiar. Lysette would turn up at Harvey’s hotel suite, Harvey would appear in a dressing gown and demand a massage, followed by sex. “By then I’d just given up. I knew I was powerless…”

She wasn’t. Lysette could have gone to the police the first time. She could have avoided Harvey like the plague thereafter. She could have pasted the story of his criminality all over the papers. At the very least, she could have refused to have sex with that animal “until 2002, when he finally let go of me” – whatever the career ramifications.

She wasn’t powerless. She was – and remains – a cynical careerist whose current jumping on the bandwagon of Harvey’s accusers brands her as fully his moral equal. If Lysette’s story is true, Harvey comes out of it as a troglodyte rapist, while she’s a truly modern figure, plugged into the prevalent nauseating ethos.

Another emetic aspect of modernity is medicalising rotten behaviour. What’s that ‘sex addiction’ for which Harvey is getting treatment? If half the stories one hears about him are true, what Harvey needs isn’t therapy but surgery (unlike Lysette, I won’t go into the gory details).

Treating his criminal, or at best barbaric, behaviour as an illness effectively absolves him of personal responsibility. If he suffers from a medical condition, he’s no more guilty of beastliness than a Tourette’s sufferer is guilty of swearing in public.

These days, people are no longer stupidly irresponsible gamblers – they are addicted to gambling. They’re no longer revolting drunks – they suffer from dipsomania. They’re no longer brainless hedonists who use drugs to mask their complete absence of inner resources – they’re drug addicts.

And the most popular plea of innocence in court is “It’s all society’s fault, Your Honour”, closely followed by “The defendant had a tough childhood, he needs help”.

This whole nonsense only goes to prove the extent to which we’ve debauched history’s greatest civilisation based on the notion of free will. We’re free to choose between right and wrong. Some of us choose the former, some the latter, but in neither case do we relinquish our humanity – with all the responsibilities it entails.

 While we’re on the subject of sex, I don’t know about you, but I welcome the NHS diktat that from 2018 all questionnaires in GP surgeries will include a question about the patient’s sexual proclivity.

It’s not immediately clear how my shameful heterosexuality is relevant to the treatment I’m currently getting for a tennis injury, but that’s not the point.

I look forward to having some nice, clean fun filling those forms in. The possibilities for amusing myself (if no one else) are endless: “livestock and domestic pets”, “potted plants, Harvey-style”, “goslings, snapping their necks at the moment of truth to produce most satisfying internal contractions”, “corpses, provided they are female (I’m no pervert)”.

If anyone still thinks the NHS is about treating people, this idiocy proves that’s only its secondary purpose. Like all gigantic socialist Leviathans, whatever their pronounced purpose, the NHS is mainly dedicated to increasing state control all the way to absolute.

If the state does a lot for you, it’ll do a lot to you – to this law of nature there are no known exceptions.

3 thoughts on “Rape ain’t what it used to be”

  1. Amazing how dependent upon public opinion people’s moral standards and even perceptions of reality are. When everyone is doing it with Harve because that’s just what happens in showbiz, then you do it. When everyone decides that Weinstein is a rapist, then apparently you’ve been raped. This has echoes of the BBC paedophile witch-hunt. What used to be good clean fun with star-struck fans now turns out to have been exploitative paedophilia. Ditto the MP’s expenses scandal of 2009. “Legitimate perks” suddenly become criminal greed. I’m a bit worried in case public opinion should swing round in the breeze and condemn my apparently blameless life as a cesspit of evil.

  2. “…rapes Lysette against the coat rack.”

    In my – ahem – experience of congress ‘au debout’ it takes considerable, cooperative effort from both parties…

    Your last three paragraphs I have cut and pasted – the first of which I shall make into a business card so that I can whip it out (steady on Harvey!) and plagiarise it whenever I’m confronted by any form that has the impertinence to demand my sexual proclivity. It didn’t just amuse you, Mr Boot, it stormed to No 1 in my chuckle of the week which puts you into the final of my chuckle of the month!…”goslings…?” I don’t know whether to admire your imagination or your depravity…which means that this is the one we should all use! Please don’t copyright it. It should become as ubiquitous on official forms as n/a.

  3. What is a billionaire doing raping starlets against the coat rack of a hotel room? What’s next? Petty larceny? His only error was choice of venue: where is the mega-yacht, private island or jet?

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