The worst continuing saga in the news these days is the ever growing list of girls and women who claim to have been, or are being, sexually harassed. Just one case is too many, nobody would disagree with that. But then just one case of any type of sexual harassment by anybody on anybody else is totally unacceptable and inexcusable. Take the case of George.
A normal middle class boy of average looks, academic ability and pleasant if slightly shy personality, he always tried to get on well with all his peers male or female. The last thing George would ever do would be to make any type of unacceptable approach, verbal or physical to anyone. Touching up girls or boys, calling out names with sexual inuendos or any sort of groping were actions he would not even contemplate. He was quite normal in everything he did, or any games or social events in which he took part. And yet he had few friends. Not real friends, but it was no accident. The poor boy had the misfortune to celebrate his fifteenth birthday in the year 2015. His parents asked him if he wanted to ask any school friends to a party or do something special to celebrate the day and he thdought about it for just five minutes.
“No thanks, I don’t think so. I don’t think any of us would enjoy it very much”. The trouble was that he would not tell his parents his reason for his answer. He had a lot of children in his class whom he would have liked to ask to a party but just couldn’t. He was getting very annoyed with them and finally started to question their behaviour. He began with John, a boy very close to himself in age.
“John, when you and the other boys have late night parties and things, do you always have to do drugs and watch porn?” John thought he was raving.
“We don’t have to, we just enjoy it. The girls do to, so why not? Our parents are seldom around and most would understand even if they were. Why? Don’t you like porn and drugs and things that make you feel great? None of us think you’re gay or anything, are you a religious nut or something?” George shook his head.
“No John, it’s not that. It’s just that drugs are dangerous and although a lot of the girls turn me on I don’t want to upset them by having sex with them, maybe getting them pregnant or upsetting them by seeming to share in enjoying watching porn with them, which I don’t.” John just wandered off, bewildered.
Next George asked a well known siren in the class, fourteen year old Katie, why she behaved as she did? She was not so much surprised, it was George after all, but saw no reason why she shouldn’t be honest with him. “Look we’ve known each other four years now, George, and I’ve changed from a little girl into a young woman. What do you expect me to do. I enjoy most sexual activities so I go with a lot of boys. We enjoy it. I admit drugs are a bit dicey and I’m not really into them, but I pretend to be or I might not be invited to the all night porn show and sleepover dates. It doesn’t affect my school work so why should I worry?” George was getting seriously worried about himself. Finally he asked his headmaster if he could have a personal chat with him.
“Well of course, George, I have to uphold the standards of decency demanded at this school, but you can see it’s impossible. If I or any teachers tried to interfere with activities outside school we’d be in court on trumped up rape charges from the girls, or homosexual and paedophile charges from the boys. Parents never back teachers so we just keep our heads down and hope to survive from day to day without finding ouselves suspended or arrested. I wish all the pupils were normal and pleasant like you, but this digital age has made that a pipe dream.”
Poor George. There were 16 girls and 17 boys in his class all aged between 14 and 16. He could honestly name only two boys, both obviously gay, and four girls, one a mouse, two lesbians, and the fourth an academic genius who just got on with her own life, who did not indulge in fairly regular orgies of some description. When his seventeenth birthday came along he was thoroughly depressed and summonded up the courage to ask the ‘mouse’,
“Carla, it’s my birthday tomorrow and I wondered if you’d like to come out with me, you know, to a film or maybe a dance. Whatever you like, you say. She just stared at him. She was far more scared and frustrated than he was. The girls made fun of her because she would not join in their high jinx, and the boys just pinched her backside or made lewd jestures at her while making it clear they would never want to have any more meaningful relationships with her. Sheblushed and almost accepted George’s offer too fast.
“Oh yes, George. yes please. I haven’t got a boyfriend at the moment, well I’ve never had one really. Do you mind that? I mean I’m still a virgin and everything, would it put you off me?” George had never felt so sorry for ayone in his life.
“Don’t be silly! I’m hardly Don Juan, am I? What would you like to do?” Then came the shock.
“We could have a bite at mine, if you like. Dad is away on business just now and mum walked out on us thee years ago. I’m on my own at the moment.” Somehow George felt uncomfortable but having cheered Carla up so much he couldn’t let her down. He just said,
“OK. I’ll come round about six, after my homework. Oh where do you live?” It turned out she lived only four roads away. They had a very nice, friendly evening discovering they liked the same music and both enjoyed the football on the television. At midnight George thought he ought to be going and was sitting next to Carla on the sofa with his arm round her when he remarked on this.
“You don’t have to George, if you want to stay with me my bed’s a very large one,” and she kissed him very seductively as she said this. George wondered what on earth he should do. He could not bear the thought of disappointing her by not making love to her when she so plainly wanted him too, but also he did not have any feelings of love for her and genuinely thought it was something he should not do. In the end he gave her a goodnigt kiss and said he had had a lovely time and hoped they would soon feel more for each other. A very crestfallen Carla said goodnight to him.
Three days later a policeman called at George’s house asking to see him on a serious matter. It was early evening and his mother, but not father, was home. What followed left him staggered. The policeman said he had been accused of rape by one of his school friends as an i-phone had a video on it showing him snuggling up to her on a sofa and another series of still photos showed her in a state of distress with torn clothing. He had to answer the charges at the police station. One can imagine his nightmare. Carla, in her chagrin at being spurned, cried “rape.” She had a medical examination showing she had indeed been subjected to sexual intercourse, but nobody even thought she had phoned another boy and asked him round for a quickie just to substantiate her claims. No DNA tests were possible because she had showered, bathed and cleaned herself too well. The magistrates court summoned George to answer the accusations, while most of the children at school thought the whole thing was a huge joke. The female magistrate, asked him for his version of events. At last he could take no more,
“Madame,” he answered, “I am the victim of respecting the rights and personal wishes of my female colleagues and friends in all matters appertaining to any sort of sexual harassment or interference. I recently read on line eight tips of how males of my age should behave towards females of any age in such matters. Let me enlighten you:
- I should never drink so much alcohol that I feel uninhibted and indulge in any form of sexual harassment. I never have and I do not intend to. I see no question of this raised in the charges against me.
- I should not boast of any worth or personal prowess to impress a woman or make sexual advances following such behaviour. I never have , I never will, and I am not charged with this.
- Calling out lewd remarks or cat calls to women. This is not pertinent to this case and anyway it is the last thing I would do.
- Not to send pictures of my genitalia to a female. I never have, am not accused of it and ayway I consider it disgusting.
- Never treat a woman as if she owes me sexual favours. Well this whole case is about the fact that I did not assume this, was home before my normal bedtime, and would never treat a woman in such a way. If anything it was she who thought I ought to make love to her.
- Not to expect to be praised for NOT indulging in such practices. In short for being a ‘goodie, goodie’. I don’t, haven’t and in this case would hardly expect to be so treated would I?
- In all relationships remember that sexual intercourse must be consensual and that if a woman does not want you to have sex with her at any time I should respect that. Well, what happened here was that it was I who refused to spend the night with her, but she did not accept my reluctance to practice fornication with her.
- Keep your hands to yourself. Actually this is the only one with which I disagree. Neither party should be allowed to stroke or fondle the other if it is against their wishes. Well the video showing us having a goodnight cuddle certainly does not infer that I was doing anything unpleasant or unloving towards her. On the contrary she wanted me to.
“There you have my defence. I have since dicovered that she fabricated all the evidence against me out of spite and by coaxing another male friend to have sex with her so she could cry rape against me. I can no more prove or disprove my case than she can hers.”
Poor George was found guilty of attempted rape with violence and sentenced to six months jail pending time to appeal. Unfortunately, being a normal, consideate, pleasant and kind young man was not enough to allow George to retain his sanity. Two days later he took an overdose of sleeping pills and, as I write, his life is still in the balance.