British Politician Says Date Rape Is No Big Whoop

Former Tory Minister of Parliament John Redwood has much of Britain up in arms this week over comments he made about date rape. In a blog post published last Friday, the politician, a crony of Conservative party leader David Cameron, slammed the opposing Labour Party for its "doctrine of equivalence", which treats stranger rape and acquaintance rape in the same fashion. "None of us want men to rape women," Redwood, (shown golfing above), writes, "but there is a difference between a man using unreasonable force to assault a woman on the street, and a disagreement between two lovers over whether there was consent on one particular occasion when the two were spending an evening or night together."



He goes on to accuse the Labour party of "criminalis[ing] the hard working and the law abiding." These comments come just a month after Cameron spoke out against rape, calling for tougher sentences on sexual predators.

On November 12th, Cameron told the Conservative Women's Organization that he would increase funding to rape crisis centers and said that too many men commit rape because they "think they can get away with it." The Home Office Minister in charge of sexual crimes policy, Vernon Coaker, told the Guardian that if Cameron was really serious about his comments from last month, he should immediately apologize for his friend Redwood's remarks and call on him to issue a retraction."

In the same blog post in which he discusses the "doctrine of equivalence" perpetuated by the Labour Party, Redwood also decries the increasing criminalization of speeding and increased regulations on business. By minimizing the crimes of speeding and date rape in the same breath, Redwood seems to be even further dismissing the seriousness of acquaintance rape. Coaker says it best in the Telegraph: "[A]lmost 90 per cent of rapes are committed by men who know their victims, so this type of rape is the biggest problem we have to deal with - not something to be dismissed as a lesser crime."

A Better Class of Criminal? [John Redwood's Diary]
Redwood's Date Rape Comments Infuriate Campaigners [Guardian]
John Redwood: Treat Date Rape Differently [Telegraph]

Earlier: In British Date Rape "Adverts", Rapist & Victim Look The Same