A 23 year old Australian–Alex Hepburn–was recently sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for raping a British woman.
Last week, this story was all over the Australian media. As an aside, I suspect this has to do with the media perpetuating its favourite rape archetype: the white, ostensibly Ayran male. When in reality, women have far worser creatures to fear.
Nevertheless for me, this story strikingly demonstrated the unintended ramifications of Liberalism. Namely, the consequences of Liberalism’s re-conception of freedom: from meaning control over our baser desires and directing these towards appropriate, rational ends, to now meaning the unimpeded, unrestricted right of individuals to act autonomously, free from political or cultural interference.
Back to the story, Alex Hepburn’s 2017 stay in England was characterised by a booze-fuelled spree, where he sought sex with as many women as possible. After one drunken night, Hepburn raped a sleeping woman his friend had just had sex with.
Consider some of Hepburn’s language at this time:
Oi last night was my 60th. I want 80 by the end of Worcs.
It feels like there is a population of 150 birds in Worcester and we have pumped every single one of them.
Evidently, Hepburn was intent on maximising pleasure–in line with Liberalism’s belief in bodily autonomy–even to the point of deriving virtue from it.
From here, a few questions come to mind.
Isn’t this behaviour a natural consequence of promoting individual autonomy and unmooring people from all sexual norms? Doesn’t this resemble the so-called “state of nature” Liberals seek to emulate?
In delivering his sentence, Judge Tindal castigated Hepburn for seeing his victim as a “piece of meat.” I concur with his Honour. But if sex is a pursuit simply undertaken to enhance human pleasure, doesn’t it follow women are understood in these degrading physical terms?
So what is popular culture, government or our prominent institutions doing to channel these animalistic desires in an alternative, constructive and more fulfilling direction?
In truth, there are constraints being imposed to safeguard the liberation of female sexuality. Which are necessary–in even our Liberal society–for as Patrick Deneen described it, “Liberated individuals come into conflict.”
Now to the constraints themselves. They are almost exclusively imposed on men: feminists lambaste “toxic masculinity”; (white) males are pre-emptively accused of being rapists; spurious allegations are taken at face value; a hysterical, chaotic environment prevails in the necessarily intricate field of sexual consent.
But these cultural regulations are as incoherent, unstable and hypocritical as Leftism itself. Something else will have to do.
Until such a time that we move past underlying Liberal assumptions on sex, there will be more Alex Hepburn-style rapes. Especially given the aforementioned issues with Leftist sexual constraints.
Moreover, if these feminist controls were ever fully enforced, they’d flounder in fulfilling the sexual proclivities of men–a vital part to any stable, ordered society.