Friday, 9 January 2015

Don't Have Sex with Someone you Can't have a Reasonable Conversation with Beforehand

I must be getting old but I find myself less and less able to keep my mouth shut. I'm turning into my dad who shouts at the telly. This time it's the comments on social media about the Ched Evans case that have got my goat. 

I'm not going to write about the case because there is still a legal process taking place. These comments are about some of the issues that had an airing on Facebook during the furore as Oldham Athletic hummed and hawed about signing the player. 

I have two sons in their twenties, a niece who is eighteen and at university, a niece who is a teenager and a granddaughter who is one year old. My views are about the world they live in and that they are growing up in. 

A great deal has been said about the behaviour of both people in the Evans case. There was a great deal of alcohol involved and also casual sex. This sounds pretty much run of the mill for many many young people. The legal issues in the case are around the ability of someone to give true consent to sex. It is not about whether or not you should have sex with one or more strangers.

The question I pose is this: would you consider it OK for someone to have sex with your teenage daughter who, not unreasonably or unusually, had drunk herself into an almost stupor, on the basis that she seemed 'up for it' and didn't say no? 

I'm guessing the answer would be no. 

Whether someone's vulnerability is temporary and/or self-induced, the fact that they are vulnerable remains, together with their right to not have their vulnerability taken advantage of. I doubt you would think it was OK to have sex with someone who was vulnerable due to mental illness or disability. I hope. 

I guess if I was to have a father-to-son chat about the subject and wanted a pithy one-liner I'd probably say: 

'Don't have sex with someone you can't have a reasonable conversation with beforehand.' 

The Evans case is an important one not because it is high-profile but because of the issues it raises for our young people and the way they live their lives, we should watch with interest and hope that a new morality will emerge as the result. 

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