Every so often, police, politicians, newspaper columnists and judges take it in turns to reissue what I like to call the Rapeability Checklist. Should you be unsure what this is then I’m guessing you’re not a rapist. Every rapist is an avid reader of said Checklist. It is, one might say, a kind of informal code of conduct for anyone who’s chosen raping either as a full-time occupation or just a hobby on the side.

Thanks to the Rapeability Checklist, every rapist knows which female behaviours and attributes are officially regarded as provocation. Other people may not realise it but this is incredibly important when you’re out raping. Without an utterly dehumanising attitude towards women and a massively inflated sense of entitlement, raping can be really hard work. You might feel guilty. You might think it’s wrong. You might, God forbid, get the idea that vaginas are different entities to unlocked cars or open windows. Thankfully, the Rapeability Checklist will set you straight. Nothing will boost your raping career like the message that you, the rapist, are unchangeable (it’s your natural vocation! You were born to do it!) and that every single woman is obliged to operate primarily as a potential rape victim (after all, isn’t that what women are?).

The Rapeability Checklist varies from culture to culture. For instance, if you export your raping abilities to a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan, you might find that short skirts are still totally rape-tastic, but that they’ve been joined by any item of clothing that isn’t a burqa. This isn’t something about which you should worry. Most misogynist cultures — i.e. most cultures — make their standards for Rapeability pretty clear (if you’re ever unsure, just ask whomever your local equivalent of George Galloway happens to be).

In the UK, even if we don’t use them in our professional life — we can’t all be rapists, eh? — we tend to be pretty clear on what our own Rapeability rules are. In case you are in any doubt I’ve listed just a few of them here. Should you spot a woman being any of the following things, do bear in mind that while it’s still technically illegal to rape her, it is widely understood to be perfectly normal to do so (that’s assuming you’re a rapist — and remember, you can’t help it if you are):

  • someone you slept with in the past
  • someone you kissed in the past
  • a sex worker
  • a pedestrian walking home without a chaperone, especially after dark
  • intoxicated
  • overly friendly (whatever that means i.e. whatever you want it to mean)
  • “provocatively dressed” (check Daily Mail for the specifics of the Rapeability dress code)
  • a woman who’s invited you into her home
  • a woman who’s been promiscuous (i.e. slept with anyone who isn’t you)
  • your girlfriend
  • the hapless wearer of particularly noisy high heels

There are more of these but I feel I’ve covered most of the basics. Bear in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list and it’s not intended to be restrictive. The basic principles – that women are not active participants in human interactions but objects at the mercy of threatening manhood – can be applied to any aspect of your raping career. For example, if a woman isn’t actually drunk or wearing a short skirt or whatever, that’s no big deal. We’ve already established that she’s not an autonomous human being, free to make her own choices. That’s the main thing.

Of course there are some non-rapists who question the value of the checklist. They’ll say stuff like “shouldn’t we be aiming for a culture in which the self-justifications of the rapist aren’t echoed back to him under the guise of ‘safety advice’”? Or “don’t we all, collectively, in our words and deeds, create the standards for what is considered ‘provocation’ and ‘risk’ and what is considered a basic right to public space”?  Or “if women are human beings with free will and not, say, cars, shouldn’t we have a slightly more complex understanding of how ‘availability’ should be read”? Of course the kind of people who say these things are often potential victims hence they’re totally biased. They’re women who want to be treated as human beings. How ridiculous is that?

Anyhow, ignore the haters. It’s my belief that as long as we want rapists to thrive and live guilt-free, it’s important we support the Checklist. Without it who knows how acceptable it might become for women to do normal stuff without being threatened with rape on a regular basis. What kind of society would that be? It doesn’t bear thinking about.