A piece on the BBC written by one of their women in Washington. The start of the piece:
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has insisted she would not engage in an intimate relationship without a signed “consent form”. But who would a codified consent form actually protect – and would it stand up in court?
“If I was a man today in today’s world, before I was engaging in sexual behaviour with any woman, today, I would ask them to sign a consent form,” attorney Donna Rotunno told the New York Times Daily podcast.
When pressed, she added: “Why not? Take all the question out of it. Make it easier on everybody.”
The 41-year-old said she had never been sexually assaulted because she had not “put [herself] in that position”.
Ms Rotunno’s answer did not make explicit reference to Mr Weinstein’s accusers, but it mirrors his denials.
His ongoing defence to five rape and sexual assault charges – fronted by Ms Rotunno – hinges on the contention that the producer’s actions were consensual, including in one “loving” relationship.
Mr Weinstein is one of more than 40 men accused of sexual misconduct defended by Ms Rotunno. Of these, she has lost just one.
Most of the piece predictably adheres to feminist narratives, ending with this:
And some advocates for victims of sexual violence argue that the emphasis on clearer consent is a distraction from the real problem: the actions of perpetrators.
Listening to Ms Rotunno, “what struck me is how ingrained the trope is of ‘this is your fault'”, said Sharyn Tejani, director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, founded in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which is dedicated to aiding victims of sexual harassment.
The insinuation is that “if you hadn’t done X, you would be fine,” she continued. “The idea that it’s somehow on [the victims of sexual violence] to stop it.”
“Lots of people sign contracts when they go into the workplace and terrible things happen to them,” Ms Tejani said. “It’s the fault of the person who’s doing it and the system that allows it to happen.”
Ms Truszkowski agrees.
“You’re putting the blame on the survivor, or the victim,” she says.
“Why do we have to keep teaching girls how to say no when we should be teaching our boys not to assault them?”
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