Editorial: George Hook crossed a line on Friday with his comments about rape 4 years ago

Editorial: George Hook crossed a line on Friday with his comments about rape

It was a shameful show of sexism from the experienced Newstalk presenter.

On Friday afternoon, George Hook brought Irish radio into disrepute with a two-and-a-half minute sermon on 'personal responsibility,' in which he blamed the alleged victim of a rape in the United Kingdom.

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The Newstalk presenter was discussing the case of a teenager who reportedly had sex with a member of the British Olympic swimming team, who then allegedly passed her on to a friend of his.

The teenager claims to have met Ieuan Lloyd in a nightclub before they returned to his room. They are reported to have had sex before the girl alleges she was raped by Lloyd's fellow swimmer, Otto Putland. Putland denies this and the case is ongoing.

In his radio show on Friday afternoon, Hook outlined the facts of the story as they currently stand.

“When you look deeper into the story, you have to ask certain questions," stated Hook

“Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room? She’s only just barely met him, she has no idea of his health conditions, she has no idea who he is, she has no idea of what dangers he might pose, but modern day social activity means that she goes back with him, then is SURPRISED when someone comes into the room and rapes her.

“Should she be raped? Of course she shouldn’t. Isn’t she entitled to say no? Of course she is. Is the guy who came in a scumbag? Certainly. Should he go to jail? Of course. All those things."

Then came that question that has no place being asked in private, let alone on the airwaves of a major, nationwide broadcaster.

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“But is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?" asked Hook.

“You then, of course, read that she passed out in the toilet and when she woke up the guy was trying to rape her. There is personal responsibility, because it’s your daughter and it’s my daughter and what determines the daughter that goes out, gets drunk, passes out and is with strangers in a room and the daughter that goes out and stays half-way sober and comes home? I don’t know. I wish I knew.

"I wish I knew what the secret of parenting is but there is a point of responsibility. The real issue nowadays is the question of personal responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety.”

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We beg to differ. The real issue nowadays, as it has always been, is that too many men are ignoring their responsibility not to rape women.

No qualifications. No asterisks. No buts.

It seems so simple, yet it's a point completely missed by George Hook in his rush to play the moral arbiter.

Too often, rapists are presented as feckless rogues who have a few too many drinks and, y'know, once that happens a man is going to go out and do what he's gotta do. Stand aside, ladies, and it's your fault if something should be shown above the knee.

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Too often, we see that Helen Lovejoy "won't somebody think of the children?" approach, that faux concern at how low our society has sunk. It's used to mask pomposity and an arrogance that allows those rapists to play the victims of their own insatiable penises. They do it on national radio and in our newspapers, there's an outcry, then the backlash against the backlash.

It's 2017 in grand form, the age of Trump, and it's why we still have to put up with George Hook's poisonous rhetoric when his microphone should have been turned silent long ago.