New Zealand comedian Alice Brine read a headline about a recent rape. Then she decided she'd had enough.
"A young woman has taken a young man to court because he's raped her," she said in an email. "The justice system in NZ means that the a defence lawyer in this case is allowed to argue that 'even though the victim of the rape clearly said 'no'... she probably didn't actually mean it.'"
"It's totally ridiculous."
The expectation that rape is a violent crime committed only in dark alleys by hardened criminals doesn't account for the countless date rapes and assaults committed by acquaintances, both new and old. And, especially when alcohol is involved, it's not uncommon to see men walk away from such trials with very little punishment. Or none at all.
Brine took her frustrations to Facebook, where she unleashed a searing hot analogy about what exactly 'no' means. Check it out:
Here's the full text of Brine's post:
"I'm gunna start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit. Everything they own. It won't be my fault though... they were drunk. They should have known better. I'll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I'll argue that I wasn't sure if he meant it when he said 'no don't steal my Audi.' I just wasn't sure if he meant it. I said 'Can I please steal your Gucci watch?' He said 'no' but I just wasn't sure if he meant it. He was drunk.He brought this on himself. You should have seen how he was dressed at the club, expensive shirts and shoes. What kind of message is he sending with that!? I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit. He was asking for it. When he said 'no' to me taking everything he owned I just didn't know if he meant it. 'No' isn't objective enough, it could mean anything."
Brine's pitch-perfect post definitely struck a nerve. It's been shared over 68,000 times so far.
Brine says the response has been almost 100% positive. OK, so a few people don't get the joke, but for the most part, the reaction has most been along the lines of: "YES. THIS!"
"Consent is not difficult to understand," she told Welcometoterranova. "If you can get your head around not stealing a car parked outside your house, then you can get your head around not stealing a woman's body just because she's sitting on your bed."
This fundamental understanding of consent is sorely lacking in legal systems around the world right now. "This analogy is one where people can finally see ... just how ridiculous it is when the tables are turned," she said.
An analogy that paints a clearer picture on consent, no matter how silly it might sound, is always worth sharing.