The Shouty Woman

January 31, 2007


Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 3:32 pm

‘Bees’ and ‘Wasps’ unite! Here’s something we can all get furious about.

Conviction rates for rape in the UK are low, and getting lower. In the worst-performing county in 2004 (go Gloucestershire! What an accolade!), only one case out of 116 resulted in a conviction. One case – that’s a conviction rate of 0.86%. The ‘best-performing’ county, Northamptonshire, managed to reach the dizzy heights of 14%. The average is around 5.7%.

All this is made even worse, of course, when we take into account the number of rapes that are not even reported – generally thought to be between 80 and 90%. The best-case scenario, then, is that 14% of 20% of all rapes lead to a conviction. However you look at it, that’s a hell of a lot of rapists walking the streets.

The extraordinary thing about these statistics is the relentless downward trend. In 1980 women had a one in three chance of seeing their rapist put away. Why, in an age of ‘post-feminism’, when feminism is supposedly no longer needed, is rape seen as an irrelevance?

Look at the comments section of the BBC article. Man after man whines about miscarriages of justice, false allegations and ‘her word against his’. What are the women saying?

“I was raped when I was 15 and still a virgin.”

“I was raped in December 2005 and I never reported it to the police. Mostly because I knew it wouldn’t be taken seriously”

“I was involved in a high profile rape case where a photographer I visited ‘tried’ to rape me. I did not report this as I felt in some way to blame as I felt that I should have not have put myself in the situation in the first place.”

Rape victims are coming forward, speaking up, and still society blocks its ears to their testimony. Women lie; women are sluts; women get drunk; women walk home alone; women wear short skirts, women accept lifts from friends; women are dirty; women deserve it. Never mind the women; what about the men?

What will it take for people to pay attention? How many more suicides? How many more lives destroyed? How many more rapists freed to rape again? Look me in the eye now and tell me we don’t need feminism. We will need feminism as long as there is even one woman who sees her attacker walk free.



  1. Hear hear.

    Well, what -did- happen in the interim? (yes yes, besides the Eternal Subject). In the UK, i mean.

    1980 is pre-Thatcher, for one thing…

    Comment by belledame222 — January 31, 2007 @ 8:44 pm |Reply

  2. BD–it may just be a part of the larger “backlash” against the women’s movement. I wonder if the US has similar statistics?

    Comment by Veronica — February 1, 2007 @ 1:58 am |Reply

  3. It was a backlash against the womens’ movement; it was a reactionary backlash against -everything- the sixties stood for, and more. and it’s been going on for a good generation. and yep i include the Clinton/Blair era in that reactionary-ism, in many ways.

    i wonder if maayyyybe just maybe the tide is finally beginning to shift back again. it’s about frigging time.

    Comment by belledame — February 1, 2007 @ 2:14 am |Reply

  4. “Well, what -did- happen in the interim? (yes yes, besides the Eternal Subject). In the UK, i mean.”

    I think the 80s happened, basically, and we’re still recovering. I really hope you’re right about the tide turning.

    Comment by Lucy — February 1, 2007 @ 9:42 am |Reply

  5. I was actually in the UK for part on the time, and I still don’t know what happened. The rise of lad culture? The general dumbing down of everything? Backlash?
    What truly distressed me when I still lived in the UK was how many WOMEN I heard attempt to justify rape. My stepmother once said (in response to my horrified reaction to the film The Last Seduction) “well, at a certain point men can’t just stop, you know”. To which my response was – why the hell not?
    I’ve kept my distance from her ever since.
    Do you see any real signs of the tide turning? Because I’m seriously thinking about moving back to London and the climate does seem a little more hostile to women than I remember.

    Comment by BritGirlSF — February 15, 2007 @ 2:35 am |Reply

  6. yeesh. thanks, stepmom.

    what exactly is “lad culture?” i mean besides the mags. is there an equivalent over here, or are we just basically soaking in it?

    Comment by belledame222 — February 15, 2007 @ 4:52 am |Reply

  7. Hi BritGirl. I wouldn’t want to discourage you from moving back to the UK, but there are some issues here that seem very specific to Britain. The whole ‘lad culture’ thing has been really damaging, particualrly the rise of genuinely misogynist magazines like Nuts and Zoo. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that women are afraid to walk the streets though – it’s more of an attitude thing.

    BD – as I said above I think lad culture is quite specific to the UK. AFAIK you don’t have equivalents to the magazines we have here – that may change though. I suppose it’s a trade off – you get the insane fundies, we get other forms of misogyny.

    I think it started with the magazines (initially slightly less disturbing ones like FHM, Maxim etc), then kind of spread to other areas. That particular attitude to women (as sex toys and nothing else) seems very prevalent, which is why I think there are maybe more anti-porn etc feminists in this country.

    Sorry for long rambling comment!

    Comment by Lucy — February 15, 2007 @ 9:47 am |Reply

  8. Good points. Did you see there was a rape case recently and the defence suggested that the victim had consented to sex because she was carrying condoms in her handbag. Later a senoir police spokesman mentioned that this issue was enough to throw a conviction off course. Surely the dangers of sending a message out to women that carrying condoms “is consent” are obvious. Puke.

    Comment by Cruella — March 12, 2007 @ 12:39 pm |Reply

  9. Hi Cruella. Yes, I did hear about that case – unbelieveable isn’t it? How on earth does having a responsible attitude to sex equate to ‘asking to be raped’?

    Comment by Lucy — March 12, 2007 @ 12:51 pm |Reply

  10. Firstly conviction RATES do not reflect conviction numbers or rape numbers.
    Or anything else.

    The man thing that they reflect is the increasing nunber of rape victims coming forward. Thats all.
    In the past most rape victims didn’t report anything. These days they are encouraged to come forward and do so. Even if they can’t supply the police with enough evidence t obtain a conviction.

    But a lot of girls have also trivalized the crim of rape and are routinely reporting a rape after anight CONSENTAUSL sex. This is because we aren’t as enlightened as we like to think. The grl, who stil has one night stands, is still either a rape victim, or a slut, paticualrily in the eyes of other girls.

    Comment by paul — June 1, 2007 @ 9:41 am |Reply

  11. Paul, as you may have noticed I’m not updating this blog anymore. I don’t have the time to have endless arguments, on posts I wrote months ago, about why all feminists are evil. If you want to write about the evils of feminism, please start your own blog – I’m not here for your own convenience. Also, you might want to do some research on what feminism actually IS before you try this on anyone else’s site – there are plenty of people out there who won’t be as polite as me.

    Comment by Lucy — June 1, 2007 @ 9:47 am |Reply

  12. Evils of feminism??

    What are you talking about. I never mentioned the word “feminism”

    I spoke only of rape data, and some obvious innacuracies in the data analisis.

    Comment by paul — June 4, 2007 @ 8:28 am |Reply

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