Barbara Driver: British Politician Under Fire For Saying Women Should Just ‘Enjoy’ Rape

Barbara Driver, a British politician who currently serves as councilor for Cheltenham Borough Council in England sparked outrage among women’s groups and common citizens when she released a comment regarding rape which was described as “shocking” and “atrocious” by colleagues in the Cheltenham Borough Council.

It was reported by the Gloucestershire Echo Thursday, where the details of the unsavory rape remark was first revealed. During a meeting regarding a housing issue, conservative councilor Barbara Driver found it witty and apt to compare building affordable houses to rape.

Driver said:

“There is a saying and I am going to say it: When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it.”

However, the politician’s fellow council members were less than impressed. Peter Jeffries (LD, Springback), who heads the Cheltenham Borrough Council described Driver’s statements as “repulsive” and “atrocious”.

Another councilor, Rowena Hays (LD, Oakley) expressed her dismay over the comments, saying that she was shocked by Driver’s statement considering she led a sexual exploitation report in Cheltenham last year.

She said:

“It is not something I would expect to hear from an experienced councillor in a public meeting that was extremely well attended, particularly from Barbara Driver who championed and lead the sexual exploitation working group.”

“Barbara is an extremely hard working councillor and I would never take that away from her.”

“Trying to get victims of domestic violence and rape taken seriously has taken years. To have somebody diminish that is just beyond belief.”

The Independent reports that Barbara Driver has already apologized yesterday for her remarks. In an open letter, Driver wrote:

“As an elected member of the council I believe that on this occasion I have fallen short of the high standards expected of a councillor and for that I am deeply sorry and I wish to place my apology on record through this letter.”

Driver’s apologies were not received positively by concerned groups. Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC) released a statement through their representative, Karen Clarke:

Rape has a devastating impact and there’s no possibility that anyone could ever lie back and enjoy it.”

“When people in positions of power make throw away and flippant comments like this it perpetuates the myths around rape.

“Someone in a position of authority should know better. Apologies are not enough.”

According to Metro, Driver allegedly refuses to step down from her post in the council, despite clamor for her immediate resignation.

Barbara Driver has held her post in the council since 1999 and has even served as mayor of the town.

{Image from Gloucestershire Echo]