May. 18th, 2011

naomi_jay: (dragon girl)
I decided to delete my previous wangsty entry and try to be more upbeat. So here are some things that are happening with me right now:

1. I'm looking for work as a trainee librarian. Yes, I've only been in the new job a few months, but some things just don't work some times and this is one of them. I always said when I graduated I'd love to go work in a library. I got put off by a horrible temping job, but that was, like, six years ago. Time to hero up, frankly. So I'm in the process of filling in a tedious University of Cambridge application form and pestering my friends who already work in the University libraries for help with a cover letter. I actually want this a lot more than I realised.

2. I finished up a novella over the weekend which I feel dubious about. It's very short - 13k - and I don't know if it works or not. I only worked on it because the alternative was giving my full attention to A Serbian Film. Anyway, if anyone has the time to beta read it and just tell me whether it's a pile of pants or not, I'd be very grateful.

3. Kyle is (we hope) going to start an IT training course next month. It'll make money tight, but it'll mean he can escape his horrible day job and go do something he likes. I find it funny (in a not-really sort of way) that he's desperate to get into a 9-5 office job and I'm determined to escape one. If only I was any good at sales, we could job-swap.

4. I got my first freelance article-writing cheque yesterday. Eight whole pounds! Lol. So that was okay. I also have some royalties from Evernight Publishing to accept via Paypal, but every time I follow the instructions to accept the payment, Paypal tells me there is no such transaction, so that's not okay but I don't know what to do about it.

5. There isn't really a five, but I wanted to end on a five. So ... um ... Yeah. That's me right now, minus the wangst.
naomi_jay: (mad monks)
I've been seething over this all day. According to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, the government is considering a policy which will offer rapists reduced sentences if they confess early. Ostensibly this will somehow (in ways I admit I'm not clear on) improve life for rape victims. Really it's all about budget cuts and keeping our prisons free of criminals.
 
Clarke then goes on to explain his sliding scale of rape, and how there's "serious rape" with an "unwilling woman," and then there's date rape. Which I guess is hilarious as it only happens to drunken women who would be willing if they were sober enough to say yes, right? Because being incapable of saying no is pretty much the same as saying yes, as we all know. 
 
He does backtrack later and says he has no intention of offering "discounted" sentences to rapists. Can I just say how much I hate the word "discounted" in this context? We're not buying sofas, Mr Clarke. And really, it's too late. The damage is done and we all know now for sure that this government is more interested in saving money than helping victims of crime.
 
I don't think I can express how angry this all makes me. So much of the message about rape is not "do not rape" but "do not get raped." I hate that. Not only does it make the victim responsible for a crime committed against them, it paints all men as uncontrollable brutes who can't help but do it because they're just mindless sex-obsessed animals. It's so wrong, and Clarke's idiocy doesn't help change anything. I can't speak for rape victims, and I hope fervently I will never be one, but if I was a rape victim, I would take no comfort in knowing my rapist could be back on the streets in fifteen months for, as Clark puts it, "not messing about."
 
Rape in the UK has a 6% conviction rate. Victims are afraid of coming forwards for fear of repercussions. There are numerous cases of false allegations, cases that have been dismissed because alcohol was involved, because the victim doesn't remember things clearly, or just because it's one person's word against another. With the system for dealing with rape already so chaotic and unsuccessful, where's the incentive now for victims to speak up? Their attacker could be free in just over a year. And don't tell me the accused will plead guilty for the victim's benefit. The kind of person who will rape another is not the kind of person who will show compassion to their victim afterwards.
 
The transcript of Clarke's interview I linked to is well worth reading through. Gabrielle's comments about her own ordeal and Clarke's response (it's Labour's fault!) is just deeply unsatisfying. In one breath he says nobody's talking about halving rape sentences, in the next he's saying there's the possibility of a 50% reduction for early guilty pleas. Which is it? And please don't say things like "your type of rape." Rape is rape is rape. 

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