Freddy’s blog on the so-called ‘rape culture’ that we in Western democracies are all meant to be struggling under reminds me of an unwittingly important moment on BBC3 last year. It was provided by our colleague James Delingpole when he appeared on something called ‘Free Speech.’ This is an almost comically appalling ‘yoof’ programme which I did once from an ice rink in Doncaster alongside a Page 3 model and Owen Jones.
Anyway, on the occasion that poor James appeared one of the subjects that came up was ‘rape culture’. James – displaying a form which any sane viewer couldn’t have helped but watch with noises of admiration like ‘coo’ – threw himself in quick succession onto the two nearest landmines (you can see the relevant portion of video here). Were he to have had anyone else sensible on the panel they could have clambered over his bloodied body and tried to inch forward. But it was hopeless. Delingpole was ferociously outnumbered. Anyhow – the two landmines were the following.
Firstly he said that he didn’t think that we do live in a ‘rape culture’. Cue outraged booing and heckling from the youthful audience. Then he headed straight for landmine two, pointing out that there are places in this country where a ‘rape culture’ has existed in recent years, such as Rochdale and Rotherham. He didn’t even get to say ‘which people seemed strangely unwilling to talk about’ (or words to that effect) because he was interrupted by another round of outraged booing and heckling. I must say that I found this genuinely fascinating. It strongly suggested that young people in this country want there to be rape where there isn’t rape but don’t want to identify rape – and are willing to continue to try to silence people for identifying it – where it exists.