What’s Current: UK man sentenced after filming himself raping his wife while she slept

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news round up.

Newcastle Crown Court

A UK man who filmed himself repeatedly raping his wife while she slept has been sentenced to nine years in jail after pleading guilty to three counts of rape, one count of assault by penetration, one count of attempted rape and one of sexual assault. The victim was unaware of the attacks until she discovered the videos on her husband’s phone; he turned himself into the police after she confronted him.

New research shows that, in British Columbia, the opioid overdose crisis is “particularly devastating” to Indigenous women.

Jacinda Ardern became the leader of the official opposition party in New Zealand and she could be the next Prime Minister. Male journalists really want to know if she’s planning on getting pregnant.

ProPublica and NPR continue their investigative series on maternal mortality in the US by talking to women who experienced life-threatening complications, many of whose concerns were initially dismissed by medical professionals.

Elizabeth Nelson on how Both Lives Matter, an anti-abortion campaign in Northern Ireland, is hijacking the language of Black Lives Matter to promote the subjugation of women:

“Playing on Black Lives Matter is not just cynical, it’s offensive. A campaign started by three black women — Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi — to highlight the gross injustice and racial dimensions of police brutality in the US, it owes much of its strength not only to the mothers of the men and women killed by police, but to women of colour writ large, who bear the brunt of America’s institutionalized racism and sexism.”

Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • lk

    What is the deal with men documenting themselves violating women? (videoing, taking pics, snapchatting it, texting friends about it and etc)

    There is something really insidious about violating a woman’s body and keeping evidence of it.

    I can’t wrap my mind around someone doing this to their partner, to the mother of their children…and doing it repeatedly. If she hadn’t found that video, was he just going to keep on molesting her?

    • Cassandra

      Dominance/power. An additional layer of violation so they can watch themselves being king over and over.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I think that he kept the video evidence because males think that rape is cool and funny. He is proud.

      And is hoping to shame her. Because in male society, the rapist is the victim, and the woman who he raped is the slutty, slut that had it coming. Male society shames the women that males rape knowing that’s one of many tricks to keep us silent.

      He was proud of his raping. And he was also counting on his wife to not make a fuss if she found it because she would be shamed for it. Not him.

      We are just a grouping of holes. When we aren’t making their fucking sandwiches or doing their laundry.

    • Dr.Z

      He didn’t molest her, he raped her. There’s a big difference.

      As to why men do this? It’s scary when you think about it. They have all the porn they can possibly imagine, usually for free, but they still take creepsheots. Married man rapes his wife. What they want is lack of consent. They want to violate us mentally and physically.

      IDK ladies, all I can say is stop having male children that’s an option for you.

      • Daniela Sanabria

        I would say that many men don’t know this is rape. Many don’t have a clear idea of what rape and consent mean. We need to teach boys more

        • JingFei

          By now, with so much education out there, it’s hard to believe men don’t know what rape is. I do think though that they believe when they are in a relationship they are owed sex. They can’t visualize what it’s like to be female in anyway so lack empathy about what it feels like to have something like this happen. And as it is, we know many men think that rape is “no big deal”. They see it as not painful, not like getting beaten, or anything else. Then with a partner they think that since they have sex anyways, why should it bother a woman if she’s not even conscious? It’s sick to think about, but with all the porn out there, with how women are constantly sexually objectified, how sex is portrayed as this meaningless act of male satisfaction with females serving as mere props, men see us as less then human.
          Just gross to think after all this time, some men still don’t care about consent or don’t bother to think about it. Deep down, I believe they know very well that an unconscious person can’t agree to sex- they choose to ignore it and even film it. I think a part of that is that there is a culture where even men caught red-handed raping an unconscious woman ( Brock Turner) don’t get punished.
          The courts don’t take it seriously unless it’s cases of rape + extreme violence (even then, they barely serve time) – so why should any male take it seriously when it’s their partner who will probably not report them to police?

        • Yisheng Qingwa

          BULLSHIT. They know. They just don’t care.

          • Hekate Jayne

            Once enough of us understand this, then we will put a stop to it.

            They. Don’t. CARE. They absolutely know.

            Once enough of us understand this basic, obvious fact, we WILL put a stop to it.

            Saying “they just don’t know” is giving males an excuse. They are essentially gaslighting us by feigning confusion.

            If they really were that confused, their rapes wouldn’t be planned, calculated, hidden. They know.

        • Melanie

          If they don’t know it’s rape why do they hide it? Why not tell his wife about it? Why wait till she’s asleep? Men bond with other men over these crimes. They know exactly what they’re doing. I once woke up to an ex partner ejaculating onto my face and hair. He later raped me at knifepoint. I don’t have relationships with men at all anymore. It’s not worth the risk. There are too many sick fucks out there and you never know when your ‘nice guy’ is going to turn on you.

        • Witch

          Of course they know what rape and consent means. When it comes to them.

          Any man would feel raped and violated if he found out that his wife has been shoving dildos up his ass while he was sleeping.

          They just don’t care when it happens to women.

          • Hekate Jayne

            I don’t understand why we have to teach males anything.

            They can’t understand “no”. They can’t understand “please don’t do that, it hurts”. They can’t understand “stop”.

            They think that a sleeping/passed out woman is perfectly OK being fucked.

            They are unteachable. Or they absolutely do understand, but ignore our wishes because they just want what they want when they want it. And lack empathy.

            Either way the result is the same.

        • Retorter

          B.S. they don’t know this is rape. If this scumbag didn’t think it were a violation and a crime, then why would it be kept a secret from the victim? Puh-lease. (Establishing criminal intent is done by looking at such actions after a crime, btw).
          I think it’s time to stop apologizing for violent males.

        • Wren

          Oh no, they KNOW. They know exactly how to make women submit with or without violence, they know how to manipulate with emotional terrorism, they know how to brainwash, they know how to gaslight, they know how to protect other rapists at all costs, they know how to indoctrinate other men and boys into rape lifestyle. They know everything. This is not paranoia, this is fact. This “they don’t know!!” is the ultimate manipulation. Every time one of them cries this same stupid lie, a woman somewhere believes them, then “education” programs are introduced that do NOTHING in the face of the pornographic education they see every night on the laptop. They just don’t care and are thoroughly enjoying themselves.

          Until commercial exploitation is criminalized and rapists are prosecuted with regularity, OR woman start seeking retribution in any way possible, they won’t stop.

      • Wren

        harsh but maybe true.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I have looked at all of our replies here, and I think that we all managed to miss the most obvious reason.

      Males rape because they want to. And they can. They save evidence of it for the same reason.

      Pretty simple. I think that we are attempting to credit males with a level of intellect that they just don’t have. We don’t go around wondering why snakes bite. We just avoid them.

    • Tobysgirl

      When you are not a predator, predatory behavior makes no sense to you. This is a major problem women face: they cannot conceive that anyone would treat them this way which makes them vulnerable to being treated this way. I do not feel that my mother warned me clearly and specifically enough about male behavior, and I’m not sure how one would do so.

      • Omzig Online

        Sort of reminds me of another Dworkin quote:

        “Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.”

        I think she was a lot less jaded than me, sometimes. I think many men do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

        • radwonka

          Same! Believing that some men have empathy is a waste of time and dangerous.

  • Anne Bonne

    I’ve heard multiple men “joke” about raping their wives in their sleep, in such a way that made it clear they don’t believe forcing themselves on an incapacitated spouse is really rape since sex within marriage is just owed to them anyway. It shocked me to my bones when I first heard it, but I suspect it may be a common feature of some heterosexual marriages.

    Of course this man confesses to repeated rapes and submits that legendary vaunted /video evidence/ of his brutality and only gets 9 years in prison. Maybe in a decade or so he can meet another unsuspecting woman and rape her too.

    • FierceMild

      I don’t know how it works in the U.K., but in the US he would never serve all of that sentence.

      • Leo

        He won’t here either, I’m afraid.

      • radwonka

        Same in most countries.Once prisoners behave “properly”, the judges will always lower their sentences. tss.

  • Tobysgirl

    I am not surprised that opioid use is devastating the indigenous community in B.C. It never surprised me that black Americans stuck in ghettoes with crumbling schools, few services, no grocery stores, would use heroin or any substance to escape for however short a time. But here in the U.S. we didn’t start talking about an opioid crisis until WHITE Americans, particularly middle-class and up, started overdosing and dying.

  • Melanie

    Rapists also get off on fear. They’re very sadistic, dangerous people. I don’t buy that these men don’t know that what they’re doing is wrong. Most rapes are pre-meditated and calculated. They know exactly what they’re doing. We should not make excuses for them.

    • Rachel

      I completely agree with you. I wasn’t meaning to make excuses for them, I just meant that the boundaries of rape have been blurred. So much that people seem to think rape is just about a random guy attacking a girl, when there are so many other examples of rape which are overlooked as they are so normalised. There is no excuse, I completely agree. But society as a whole need to stop making excuses.

  • Hekate Jayne

    And on that same page about the rapist husband, there is a link to a story about an adult male that raped a 12 year old girl while she was passed out.

    He plead guilty. And the judge fucking LET HIM GO. The judge said that the rapist could have believed the girl to be of legal age.

    But she was STILL passed out.

    This is male protection. Even when found guilty, the male systems let the rapist go. They love rape and they have no intention of stopping.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/daniel-cieslak-rape-victim-12-year-old-girl-speaks-out-devastated-absolute-discharge-glasgow-high-a7879211.html

  • ArchFucius

    This incident perfectly exemplifies the need to abandon the institution of marriage and heterosexuality more generally. We should voluntarily commit ourselves to a new system of sexual pleasure. Men should visit their violence on each other and women should restrict ourselves to extracting sperm from sperm banks for reproduction. Males should be aborted on the spot and we should research a way to asexually reproduce. I’m sure it can be done with modern science.

  • radwonka

    Exactly! They know what consent is, they just don’t care (they still rape women even though they know that women are not attracted by them or interested… in fact, the more women suffer, the more they feel powerful… which shows that they know when they hurt or not). They just don’t want any kind of opposition: they want to control everything including their partners. That’s why they refuse to recognize that women’s feelings are important. Their ego matters more and feels threatened whenever a woman refuses to please them.

    It’s psychopathy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    My opinion is that rape very much *does* have to do with sex, because, under patriarchy, violence and oppression is sexualized. So our very conception of ‘sex’ is, 1) heterosexual, 2) rooted in notions of male power and female subordination. Men try to ‘get’ sex from women, feel entitled to it, etc. There is not as clear a line between sex and rape as people pretend.