Tim Spanton wrote:I am sure we can accept the Eagle sisters' assurances that they are not ladies but I fail to see why every other female chessplayer should be tarred with the same brush ...
Tim, I think you have hit the nail on the head. I think that it is mostly a Guardian-reading, middle class obsession that ladies should be women; I think that most working class, Sun-reading, women would prefer to be thought of as ladies.
Jack Rudd FM wrote:that's a horrible abuse of the term
Sorry, Jack, you're right, of course. My writing was hasty and slapdash.
Jonathan Rogers FM wrote:[to Jack] True. I think Paul was referring to the notion of reversing the burden of proof on the defendant in rape cases, something to which the Home Office did give serious consideration some seven years ago. I wasn't aware that Harriet Harman is still discussing it but it would not surprise me if so.
Jonathan, yes of course, that is indeed one of the ideas that la Harman has "mouthed off about" as Simon Spivack put it. I believe I also heard her "mouthing" last year about the idea that a jury might convict in a rape case on the balance of probabilities. The evidence in a rape case where the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator know each other ("date rape") is, of course, very difficult for a jury to convict on, often consisting of little more than she says/he says. What strikes me, though, is that juries have women on them, as well as men, yet juries remain reluctant to convict. Reversing the burden of proof, or shortening the evidentiary yardstick, whilst it might well lead to the conviction of more rapists, would also inevitably lead to more miscarriages of justice, with all the appalling consequences thereto. Let me say, though, that I do think many of the changes brought in by the current government with respect to how rape trials are held have been beneficial. One has only to think of the recent case in which Baby Peter's tormentor and killer was convicted of rape on the testimony of a three year old child whom he had raped the year before. Such a trial could almost certainly not have used such evidence ten years ago.
I simply don't believe that doctrinaire thought derived from zeitgeisty -isms and -ologies untempered by the discipline of scientific rigour work well when plucked from their doctoral theses and applied to the real world.