Letter: There is only one rule in the sex game, and that's consent

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The Independent Online
GEOFFREY Wheatcroft complains that Mike Tyson and Angus Diggle, both serving prison sentences for rape and attempted rape respectively, 'might be called victims of society' ('The male victims of date rape', 19 June). He whinges that 'they didn't understand the changing rules of the game'. What game is he referring to? Rape?

Judge Patricia Gifford did not fail to quash Tyson's sentence because he refused to admit his behaviour was 'inexcusable', but because the evidence dictated that he was guilty of a violent rape. Date rape is no less violent than the Bosnian gang-rapes that Wheatcroft mentions. Are women supposed to be grateful that

this is not happening to them?

Wheatcroft fundamentally distrusts women, stating condescendingly that when 'lovely woman stoops to folly', she calls it date rape. This displays a total lack of understanding about the impact a serious sexual offence can have on the individual victim, and sinisterly attempts to blur the lines between consensual intercourse and rape.

I believe Wheatcroft is not expressing a view commonly held by men. All the men I know are horrified that men like Diggle and Tyson pleaded that they were confused about the parameters of acceptable sexual behaviour. Diggle's protestation to his arresting police officer that he felt sex was his due for an expensive night out makes well-balanced adults cringe.

Wheatcroft can lament the loss of liberty of a man who crawled on top of his dinner companion, wearing only glasses and lacy cuffs, and attempted to have intercourse with her while she slept, but he should not delude himself that this pathetic behaviour is due to the 'changing rules of the game'.

C B Witcombe

London N7

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