Is Britain a nation of lechers and serial rapists? You'd think so if you believed presenter Pips Taylor. Fortunately, you don't need to.
I Never Said Yes is a one hour film in the short BBC documentary series Criminal Britain, like My Murder. For those who can receive it, it is currently on iplayer.
Pips Taylor is obviously a woman with an agenda, she was, she says, once the victim of an attempted rape in Mexico, and there is no reason to disbelieve her. That is not the case with every allegation of rape or attempted rape. According to the lady, there were around 15,000 reported rapes last year but only 1,058 convictions. Why is this? Well, it could be because women are the biggest liars who ever walked the Earth.
That though is probably not the case, but it is simply not true that every single allegation of rape is made in good faith. First, let us have a definition, and a glorious one it is too. Rape is:
The illicit carnal knowledge of a woman effected by force, intimidation, threats, or deceit as to the nature of the act.
Note that force is not a necessary element. A shop manager catches a checkout girl, stealing and threatens to turn her in to the police unless she has sex with him. She does. That is rape.
A man bluffs his way into a dwelling and tells a housewife that unless she submits to him, he will shoot her husband when he returns home from work. She does. That too is rape.
A woman who is blackmailed into having sex is raped, but some of the creative attempts to brand consensual encounters rape are, frankly, laughable.
If a man and woman go out drinking, both get smashed and they end up in bed together, it is not rape if she feels guilty or can't remember what happened the following morning. It is clear from this programme that a lot of alleged rapes occur in situations where both parties are the worse for drink, or where drink loosens a young woman's inhibitions, and she does things she regrets in the morning, or goes half way towards doing them then changes her mind.
Taylor gives a feminist writer space to spout off about the evils of pornography; this is a perennial debate; sure, pornography loosens inhibitions, but might it not also satisfy the urges of a certain type of man who but for hard core magazines or videos might be prowling the local park late at night wearing a ski mask and carrying a Bowie knife strapped to his belt?
A clip is shown from the ITV soap Coronation Street; although the rape of Carl Connor by the now deceased Frank Foster was not actually filmed, Taylor uses the clip to illustrate the fact that some rapes (many or most in her view) are carried out by people close to the victim. What she appears to be forgetting is that this is a rape that didn't actually happen because Coronation Street is entirely fictional, but it is not only trained actresses such as Alison King who can portray rape victims convincingly.
It's estimated that up to 95% of rapes in the UK are not reported; that could be hundreds of thousands of victims, she says. How does she know? How does anyone? Unless most of them are carried out by serial rapists, half the men in Britain who are physically capable of rape must be in the frame. This sort of nonsense is not unique to Britain. Taylor reckons there is a rape in Britain every ten minutes. In 1999, it was suggested there was one in South Africa every seventeen seconds!
So how many false allegations of rape are there? The surprising answer is a lot more than you would think. Rather than use Taylor's flights of fancy as an accurate source, we should refer to documented cases, and to academic studies, like this one.
Taylor visits the CPS, and a courtroom where she points out that now some alleged victims are able to testify from behind a screen or by video-link. This sort of nonsense is highly prejudicial to a defendant because it gives the impression that if he were to face his accuser he would jump out of the dock and pounce on her. But what of genuine rapes, of which there are sadly far too many - isn't one?
She visits a dedicated police rape investigation unit, Operation Bluestone, which has “improved” the conviction rate for rape - there she goes again.
She pays some attention to gang rape, which is on the rise, but doesn't mention the inconvenient fact that the politically correct ignore, namely that most of these are committed by minorities, in particular a certain type of underclass black (roasting), and of late gang rapes by a certain type of Asian male (grooming) who regard white girls as easy prey. It was left to Jack Straw and of course Nick (Islam is the root of all evil) Griffin to highlight this. It remains to be seen why they regard white girls as easy, or does it?
Some of the former can involve indescribable barbarity, such as this one. As for underage girls being groomed, this begs the question, where are the parents?
One genuine victim Taylor met related how in court her attacker claimed she liked rough sex, but she appears to miss the point that he received an eight year sentence. Attacking the character of an accuser is always a risky strategy because if the defendant goes too far he will alienate the jury, and perhaps even worse, the judge.
Like all documentaries of this nature it asks more questions than it answers, and there are certainly no easy ones. Three that spring to mind are heavier sentences for rapists who are convicted on overwhelming evidence, better education for both sexes - as Taylor suggests - and, although she won't like the suggestion, women, especially young women, must learn not to put themselves in situations where they are likely to be raped, including like so many ladettes, getting smashed out of their skulls, giving a stranger the come on, then realising too late that they have been giving off the wrong signals.