Sunday, 9 August 2015

Learn The Definition

I'm not here to cast allegations. I know that the Buffalo police are investigating the rape allegations made against Chicago's Patrick Kane. I know that the young lady who is the victim deserves and is believed by this writer in her claims. I know that Patrick Kane got himself a lawyer today which is an odd thing to do if one is innocent, but may be necessary if the police want to search his home where the rape is alleged to have occurred. I also know that tonight's episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is more than appropriate considering this topic.

In no way am I accusing Kane of rape and he has yet to be charged with any crime, but I will stand behind the young lady who has made the allegations with absolutely no wavering or prejudice in any way. This isn't to say that I want Patrick Kane to be guilty, but I'm also not exonerating him simply because he plays hockey. In saying that, John Oliver made a very good point about consent tonight that needs to be heard by everyone. Not just Patrick Kane and the sports fraternity, but by everyone on this planet. And like Mr. Oliver points out, consent is pretty easy to determine if we use a sports analogy.
As much as Mr. Oliver makes the joke relating consent to sex to boxing, the truth remains that if one party isn't ok with either sex or getting punched, the second party has committed a crime. There are no gray areas, no fuzzy lines, and no "yeah but" situations here. This is a very clear and concise message that I cannot stress enough in terms of how important this message is.

According to Dan Herbeck of The Buffalo News, he interviewed Mark Croce, the owner of SkyBar, where the victim and Kane allegedly met. Herbeck writes,
Croce told The News that he and several of his employees noticed a young woman "hanging all over" Kane at SkyBar for at least two hours that night, putting her hands on his arms and "being very forward, very flirtatious with him." He said he does not know the woman and does not know her name.

"It was almost like she stationed herself near him and was keeping other women away from him," Croce said. "I noticed it and kind of laughed about it."

A bar manager that night also noticed the woman’s behavior with Kane, Croce said.

Croce said the woman and a female friend "followed" Kane as he left the nightclub with a couple of male friends around 3 a.m. last Sunday.
Nowhere in that statement from Mr. Croce was there any consent from the young woman who has made the complaint against Kane. I want to be very clear about this: there is no such thing as implied consent when it comes to sexual contact, and if either party says "no" at any point consent has been withdrawn. In both cases, we go back to the boxing analogy made by Mr. Oliver and find that an illegal act is occurring the moment consent is no longer given.

This is why the victim has my unwavering support. Regardless of what happened between the time that Kane and his party left the nightclub to the time that the young lady made her complaint, she withdrew consent at some point. If she withdrew her consent, it means that rape was committed. This is not debatable. She said no at some point, and her withdrawal was ignored.

I'm going to guess that this young lady will also be under a lot of scrutiny based upon the fact that she made a complaint against a person of some notoriety. To me, this is utter garbage. If you want to bully someone, feel free to cast your gaze this way. This young lady is dealing with a harrowing experience in which her personal space and, possibly, her body were violated in a way she did not agree to, and now I see a pile of people on social media trying to shame her.

That's absolute garbage, and everyone who is trying to blame this young lady needs to take a long look in the mirror. While I'm not one to suggest that every one of these people is brain-dead, I will suggest that none of them know what the word "consent" means. They may think they do, but I can tell you that they would fall into that 40% that said "yes" in the survey quoted by John Oliver. And that's a problem.

There's a pretty good lesson in these clips by John Oliver and, despite him speaking about sexual education in American schools, the fact that he brings up consent shows that he's far more informed about what consent really means compared to the American public who are shaming the victim and defending Patrick Kane.

No means no. Unequivocally. Without question. Without exception. Learn it, and learn to hear it when it's said. We're a better society for it. Without question.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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