Signing a consent form - make sure you do it in front of a witness!
Sign the form that is.
- BBC Woman's Hour continue to push there abnormal views of all things perverse.
With an hour's drive ahead of me last Tuesday, I switched on the car radio to see if I could find something interesting to listen to. What I found was Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and specifically a two-person discussion (interviewer and interviewee) on the subject of consent. Consent, that is, to sexual activity, this having recently become a rather sensitive topic as many men have been accused by women (and maybe by other men, who knows?) of rape or sexual assault; while the accused men themselves claim that although they had sex, the activity was consensual.
The interviewee's age was not given, but she sounded like a young woman, maybe in her twenties. She told the interviewer (also female, probably older) how she had gone with a man whom she described as “a friend” to his home, where they had agreed to have sex (they had had sex before, she said, though only once or twice) and he had then produced a consent form for her to sign. This was so that if she subsequently tried to accuse him of rape or sexual assault, he could prove that she had agreed to the activity. She had never come across such a thing before, and was a bit surprised; but signed anyway (after which, presumably, a good time was had by all).
The discussion which followed was about the nature of consent in such circumstances. For example, a woman might consent in general terms, and then the man might introduce some unexpected variation which she was not happy about but which he forced on her.
But I was still musing on the intial circumstances.
The man was “a friend”. This was not a love relationship. It was not even an alcohol-fuelled spur-of-the-moment impulse. It was a coolly-chosen decision: shall we go out for a drink, shall we watch a film, shall we wander round the streets looking at the Christmas lights, shall we have sex? The man's producing a consent form underlies still further the cold-blooded nature of the transaction, as does the woman's agreement to signing it (after her initial surprise).