Outgoing Corby MP Louise Mensch has weighed in on the controversy surrounding George Galloway's comments on the Julian Assange Saga, telling the Respect politician: "Sexual consent is not football; you can't buy a season ticket."
Writing in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday Mensch, who is standing down as an MP in the coming weeks, said she was "mentally vomiting" after listening to Galloway's attempts to mitigate the gravity of the allegations Julian Assange faces in Sweden.
After facing a storm of criticism for trying to downplay Assange's alleged sexual assaults, Galloway issued a "clarification" on Tuesday afternoon where he said: "What occurred is not rape as most people understand it. And it's important to note that the two women involved did not initially claim it."
Mensch responds: "It is Galloway that is bankrupt of meaning: rape is when a woman does not consent. Because she is, for example, asleep and unconscious. Sexual consent is not football; you can't buy a season ticket."
Mensch also attacked the row surrounding "legitimate rape" in the United States, which has led to calls for Senator Todd Akin to stand aside after he suggested women had inbuilt defences which stopped them from getting pregnant when sexually assaulted.
She also attacked the decision by Julian Assange's supporter Craig Murray to name one of Assange's alleged victims on Newsnight on Monday evening.
"Why do male politicians get this so wrong?" writes Mensch. "Unfortunately, the answer is simple: because they believe what they are saying. Galloway, Akin and Murray represent the tip of an iceberg of resentment and base sexism.
She goes on:
Before his merciful defection to Ukip, Roger Helmer MEP shamed the Conservative Party when he distinguished on his blog in May 2011 between "classic stranger rape" and "date rape", where a boyfriend is "unable to restrain himself" when his lover gets "cold feet and says stop!" He wrote: "Most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case. Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable."
Helmer added that, in this case, "the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend's mind".
"What a loathsome thing, and by a then-member of my own party. I spoke out to condemn it; the party distanced itself, as the Republican Party is now doing from Akin. But we did not withdraw the whip, as we undoubtedly should have done.
George Galloway has been criticised by the leader of Respect for his refusal to acknowledge that his comments about rape were misjudged and wrong. Salma Yaqoob said Galloway's remarks were "deeply disappointing".
"Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex," she wrote on her website.
Louise Mensch is expected to vacate her Corby seat when Parliament returns from summer recess in just under a fortnight. It will trigger a by-election in the East Northamptonshire seat in November, expected on the same day as national elections for Police and Crime Commissioners.
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