Sweden takes in a staggering amount of refugees, because Sweden's social model is based on fairness and generosity. And, Nazi terrorist attacks and other hate crimes aside, it works out fairly well. And that RANKLES. You see, it suits the right to have a common enemy and that common enemy at the moment is refugees. From David Cameron calling them 'swarms', to Teresa May stopping unaccompanied children coming here, to Donald Trump closing his borders to some Islamic countries apparently chosen by sticking a pin in a map of Africa and the Middle East. The rise of the right across Europe is a chilling reminder that all this has happened before, and can easily happen again. But that's not why I'm RANTING AWAY TODAY.
So, Sweden hasn't had a terrorist attack. Trump looks like even more of an addled idiot. How then to make Sweden look bad? Especially as it's one of the few genuinely left-wing countries in the world? I can picture the scene, Farage on the Trump Hotline promising he will sort it out on his widely watched TV show, shown every night on the single British channel. And that very night, on LBC with its listenership of 1.7% of the market share, Farage hold forth. THEY'RE ALL RAPISTS. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.
Now, in a sane world, Farage would be ignored and us lefties would have less ulcers. But for some reason, the media hangs on to his every word, waiting to either praise him or deride him. Like a little Enoch Powell, but without the Parlimentary seat or gravitas, his words have been repeated all over Twitter, to the disgust of Sweden. He cites this graph as proof:
The definition of rape is never simple - in UK law, for example, it has to be penetration with a penis or it's *just* sexual assault. They have just about got around to agreeing that unconscious people cannot consent. In contrast, this is the Swedish definition:
A person who by assault or other violence or by threat of a criminal act forces another person to have sexual intercourse or to undertake or endure another sexual act that, in view of the seriousness of the violation, is comparable to sexual intercourse [...] This also applies if a person engages with another person in sexual intercourse or in a sexual act which under the first paragraph is comparable to sexual intercourse by improperly exploiting that the person, due to unconsciousness, sleep, serious fear, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, physical injury or mental disturbance, or otherwise in view of the circumstances, is in a particularly vulnerable situation
This is a far broader definition than most countries. In Jamaica, where the second most rapes are reported, rape law broadly corresponds to the British tradition, but they don't recognise male-on-male rape because all sodomy is illegal. So, how come Sweden has such a high rape rate?
In Britain, between 5% and 25% of all rapes are actually reported. The rest are concealed, out of fear, out of shame, out of conviction that you will not be believed. Unless you are raped at knifepoint by a stranger on CCTV, there will always be an element of his word against yours, and your past sexual activity will be used against you. It is not easy to report a rape, whether you are male or female. It is not easy to be examined immediately after such a physical trauma. It is not easy to give a statement, to go to court, to defend your honour as well as your word, when you have done nothing wrong. About 85000 women are raped each year in Britain, and about 12000 men, out of a population of 64 million. The majority are not reported. Of those that are, the conviction rate is around 5.7%. About 2500 men were convicted of rape in 2014 in Britain.
Let us compare to Sweden. About 6700 rapes (in a population of 9.5 million) were reported in 2014, with around 190 convictions. But it's not the broad definition that makes Sweden appear more rapey - it's the culture. The culture of equality, the culture of believing victims and the culture of victims believing they will be helped. This is what is lacking in British policing culture - for all the claims that the raped will be believed, the trial of Ched Evans, to name just one, has demonstrated quite the fucking opposite.
But this isn't really about the rape statistics at all, let's be honest. It is the barefaced bloody cheek of Nigel Farage and Donald "pussy grabber" Trump pretending they give one solitary fuck about raped men and women. That graph is from 2012, before Syrian refugees had begun to come to Europe in anything like the number they do now. If Sweden has a rape 'problem', it long predates the refugee crisis. Rape is a serious crime, that tears the heart of its victims for years. It's a crime of power, used by men to subjugate and humiliate, to make sure their victims know that all they are for is sexual gratification. It's a crime committed by all races, by all faiths. It is not a refugee problem now any more than it was a Jewish problem in the 1930s. The threat of rape by invading forces as propaganda is hardly a new one:
Polish propaganda warning about the Russian army, and Italian propaganda warning about the French. Notice how the soldiers are both black, despite coming from predominantly white countries? The first one warns you to defend your women and girls, the second about your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter. Coz fuck knows, men don't care about rape unless it's happening to someone they love.
Rape has long been weaponised. It has long been used as an incentive to fight. But we are not at war, whatever Farage and Trump think. At least, not yet.