Rushing the Sexual Offences Act 2016

We all know what happens when we try to do things in a rush. Well Francis Fitzgerald is no exception. The Sexual Offences Act 2016 she was determined to rush through the Dail based on the most cursory synopsis to please her friends from “Turn Off the Red Light” in the Gallery would, in fact, have served to legalise same sex incest.

Section 5 Incest

27. Incest by males

The Act of 1908 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 1: “1. (1) Any male person who has carnal knowledge of a female person, who is to his knowledge his grand-daughter, daughter, sister or mother, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life or a lesser term of imprisonment. (2) It shall not be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to show that the carnal knowledge was had with the consent of the female person.”.

28. Incest by females of or over seventeen

The Act of 1908 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 2: “2. Any female person of or above the age of 17 years who with consent permits her grandfather, father, brother or son to have carnal knowledge of her (knowing him to be her grandfather, father, brother or son, as the case may be) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life or a lesser term of imprisonment.”.

Now as someone with singularly unappealling male family members I have never seen the need to criminalise consensual incest (NOT EVEN AT GUNPOINT!). It seems to end in the punishment of human tragedy, and the criminalisation of child sexual abuse should be so severe that incest does not increase it, but I would have thought it a little risque to lead with the decriminalisation of same sex incest?

I am also ALL AGOG to know which faction among her rather weird Radical Feminist friends advised Frances Fitzgerald that males “have” sex and females “permit” it (having met her husband and browsed his collection of biographies of strong women of the 20th century, frankly that was a BIT TOO MUCH INFORMATION for me!)

But it gets more sinister, look again. The legislation frames a male child of any age as an active participant in other sex incest and a criminal, whereas a female is framed as a passive participant and a victim not guilty of any crime until she reaches the age of consent.

I am assuming this section 5 was based on the same quality of research, information and logic as section 3 concerned with criminalising sex work and will now be going over the whole travesty with a fine tooth comb.

NB the Oireachtas link to the bill is really hard to open for some reason so I copied it here but here is original.