Actress Helen Mirren believes that female jurors are more likely to think rape victims had “asked for it”, because they are sexually jealous. In the interview to Britain’s Sunday Times magazine, she said:
- “Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don’t know. But other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they’re sexually jealous.”
She has been pulled up for her basic lack of knowledge about the legal process. She ought to be taken to task for trying pop psychology. Billions of years ago, when primates ruled, it was the male who had to preen and prance to get female attention. The women could sew their feathers and fur without ruffling them.
Tribal jealousy works more at the level of bonding than branding. As regards antagonism, is it personal? Is the rape victim in any way better than the juror? If there is an assumption that sexual attractiveness of one as opposed to the lack of it in the other has brought this about, then again Ms. Mirren should have her head examined. For rape is not about sex, but power. The rapist does not give a damn what his victim looks like as long as he can control her. It is unlikely that he would get any sexual pleasure where he is essentially playing with himself.
Unless he knows her.
This brings us to the other controversial comment made by Ms. Mirren a couple of months ago. She had stated then that women who have been date-raped should not take their attackers to court as it would be difficult to press charges against someone they had planned on being sexually active with.
Does going out on a date necessarily mean planning to have sex with the person? I do understand that it is possible for a woman to cry foul, but how many young women would risk their reputation for it? If such planning is part of the agenda, then why are teen girls stuck with unwanted pregnancies? Where are the guys who were part of the planning?
Has she not heard about marital rape that even the law recognises because it is against the wife’s consent?
Celebrity women ought to realise their responsibility, not only towards women but society. Such sweeping statements merely reveal that someone indeed has a lot of time to look back in anger.