As you know, I hate Slate with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Facile contrarianism is a bigger threat than teahadism, because it’s more insidious. (I realize that’s the same argument wingers made about why Osama bin Laden was more dangerous than Hitler or Stalin, but so be it.) My least favorite of the Slate rhetorical devices is the “why can’t liberals admit blah”. Could be that the debt is catastrophically large, could be that abortion is icky, could be that Islamofascism is an existential threat…you know, something obvious that all serious nonpartisan people of goodwill must surely recognize.
Atrios finds Emily Yoffe arguing that people (read: liberal college people) need to admit that women get raped at college because they drink too much (no link for Yoffe, here’s Amanda
Marcotte’s Hess’s reply). For kicks, I looked up Yoffe’s presidential endorsements (Slate polls its columnists about who they voted for). I could only find the 2008. It’s beyond what I could have hoped for:
Emily Yoffe, “Dear Prudence” Columnist: Obama
Please, please, Barack, don’t become another Jimmy Carter.
I look forward to Ms. Yoffe’s articles advising people to not wear jewelry, have nice homes or drive luxury cars lest they become targets of thieves.
pseudonymous in nc
Yoffe is one of those people who thinks that if you have more than half a glass of fizzypop on NYE, you are entering the domain of morally questionable behaviour. Her political endorsements are much less of an issue than being an “advice-giver” while also being a moral scold.
Just to note the response was by Amanda Hess not Amanda Marcotte.
Wasn’t Jimmy Carter, like, our most conservative president since before the New Deal? I mean, if THAT’S what they mean…
I must be missing something. I’ve been around plenty of drunk girls in my earlier days and not once has the thought, “I should totally have sex with her while she’s passed out,” ever crossed my mind.
Oh, right… because I’m not a f***ing rapist.
Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn
OT: Nice Moody Blues reference. Funny to see it after noting on my way to work that the “Veteran Cosmic Rockers” are playing at Seattle’s venerable Paramount Theatre in a day or two. These guys and their Mellotron-soaked concept records were such a big part of my early-‘80s high school experience.
@CaptMaggie: Nuh uh. Guns. Don’t own guns lest you be targeted for burglary.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: I got fired from a freelancing gig for writing luridly descriptive nasty things about the Moody Blues in a review back in the day. Hee-hee-hee.
I agree college drinking is a problem in a lot of places. But trying to claim that the solution to rape is to stop drinking is beyond ridiculous.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: r
Isn’t that Simon and Garfunkel?
scott (the other one)
Moody Blues? Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel, no?
I DEMAND BLACK JIMMY CARTER TAGZ OR I BLOW UP BALONN JUCE.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: Maybe I’m talking out of my ass here but did the Moody Blues do a cover of “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her”. I remember that as being a Simon & Garfunkle song, on their first or second album.
The problem is that college girls aren’t carrying guns in their thongs. A small .380 can fit quite snugly underneath the miniskirt, then they’d really be going commando!
@Comrade Dread: This is a point that the raging feminists over at Lawyers Guns and Money made, over and over. But a surprising number of guys insisted that in pointing this out we were probably failing to lecture our daughters about not getting blind drunk. Its the fallacy of the excluded middle. I have daughters and I have advised them not to binge drink, to know their limits,and to avoid situations in which friends or strangers are plying them with drink. That is not actually anti rape advice, its just good advice.
If we want to have a discussion about limiting or ending rape of people (male and female) who are incapacitated (through drink, drugs, age, illness, infirmity, sleeping in their own beds, or politeness) we need to have a serious talk about teaching men about consent and the limitations society expects them to place on satisfying their sexual desires with non consenting people. A surprisingly large number of our fellow human beings won’t pick the pocket of a drunk man, and won’t rape or kill a drunk woman. People dont commit crimes against other people unless they want to. We have to combat the tendencies and acts of the small number of people who will take advantage of an incapacitated person and the bystanders who make it possible or who egg them on.
Emily Yoffe and Katie Roiphe is the other one, whose articles about women I avoid. Smugness drips from their every word, they may seem outwardly progressive, but their conclusions somehow are always in line with whatever the status-quo demands.
I don’t have any love lost for Yoffe, but she takes pains to not exculpate the rapists. But it’s _just true_ that being drunk – male or female – puts you in an impaired state where you are more vulnerable to any number of threats (falling injuries, alcohol poisoning, being robbed, vehicle/pedestrian accidents, etc). The best way to not be vulnerable to them is for people to not get into that situation.
@sparrow: Especially when the perps are frequently drunk. I never seem to hear people advocating that high-school and college-aged men refrain from alcohol lest their internal defenses against raping people be compromised by booze.
And now, with the recent re-design disaster, I can’t bear to read Slate even when I might want to. Karmic justice, in the age of the intertubes.
Yoffe, like so many before her, is mixing up the advice one gives a friend with a policy for reducing crime. Let’s say there was a rash of thefts in your area, and your rich friend said “what should I do?”. You might suggest getting a home security system and parking the BMW in the garage. Perfectly appropriate. But if the police chief called a press conference and announced that, in response to the increased theft, he suggests everyone put the Club on their cars, you’d be pissed. Advice we give young women (take self-defense, don’t walk home alone at night, bring a friend to a party, etc.) is aimed at protecting them *as individuals*, not stopping rape *in society*. This is NOT anti-rape policy. Like a good bike lock, it’s goal is to get the rapist to rape someone else, not stop the rapist.
Slate (and others, such as conservatives) often falls into this failed logic. Same for Saletan and his “responsibility” lectures about abortion. It easily converts to victim-blaming since, by casting anti-rape measures as personal advice, you can assume that anyone who *did* get raped must have not followed some aspect of the advice. We then turn to inspecting “mistakes” made by the victim, rather than analyzing the behavior of the predator and working to stop him from raping again. Remember, most rapes are committed by a small number of men actively looking for victims. Campuses spend little effort trying to stop them, or even lecturing MEN to not drink so much to avoid the remaining “accidental” date-rapes.
Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn
Aw, heck, the MB’s do have an Emily song & now I can’t think of the title, but yeah, the title referenced here is S&G. I’d blame too many drugs in the ’60s, but I was well under 10 back then. Carry on.
What advice does she have for women who have been raped, where there was no alcohol involved.
It seems that for her, the problem is not the woman being raped…it’s the man getting accused of being a rapist. Women should stop drinking because it sedcues men to rape them – which apparently we can’t control.
@Comrade Dread: This. My son, who is 20, has been at many the party where girls (and guys) are getting so drunk they are barely able to walk, and he tells us he just cannot imagine wanting to have sex with someone who would barely know you’re there. In fact, he, with his best friend, have walked both girls & guys home to be sure they get there safe. He’s not an angel, he’s just a decent person.
House Stenographer Dragged Off Floor Yelling About Freemasons And God
@aalto: Very, very, good.
True.The solution to rape is to stop raping.
@aalto: We also live in a society where inebriation seems to be a prerequisite for casual sex. Hell, married men (as a whole, I know some of you never have golly gee) look forward to the wife cutting loose and getting drunk as a catalyst for sexual performances, which is funny as it the pressure that causes inhibits said SO from cutting loose as the expectations can be stressful. Anyway, the big picture is we have a society that needs alcohol/ drugs to connect on an intimate level.
@aimai: Perfectly stated. You write so elegantly and clearly. It’s always a pleasure to read your stuff.
Richard D. Grant
Also, I hate the Slate redesign with the heat of a 1,000 suns (and didn’t have to round up).
Don’t read Slate anymore, but Emily Yoffe has written some good columns with good advice too.
And I think she wrote a good book about a dog.
Don’t like seeing someone get slimed over what’s not necessarily representative of her body of work, or her thinking.
Agree that problem is rapists among us (even opportunistic ones), but not getting blotto is good advice. (At least for those not at home.)
PS: I’d heard rumors about Wm Kennedy Smith taking advantage of drunk Georgetown U students well before his Florida arrest. Rumor was shocking to hear — it was a from a GU med student friend — but turned out to be true.
PPS: Didn’t read the links …
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
See, both sides do it.
@aalto: Bingo, and thanks.
@schrodinger’s cat: You’d be surprised, or maybe youwouldn’t be, to find out that people will still find a way to explain to you that you probably did something wrong or at any rate “didn’t lessen your risk.” Its a form of magical thinking and people engage in it all the time, even people who should know better. I met a woman years ago who had done some work in “rape prevention and counseling”–since she was as dumb as a rock this probably didn’t go well but never mind, her heart was in the right place. I talked to her about her experiences and I think she chiefly did the work because it enabled her to imagine that she had “learned a lot” and had learned to “reduce her risk” by carrying a flashlight, never going out at night, locking her doors or whatever. She told me, very confidently, that she felt better and more secure because of all the “things she’d learned not to do.” In reality somehow identifying tiny moments in the rapes of these other women gave her the illusion that she could prevent her own victimization at some hypothetical future point. I’ve been watching a lot of Fringe and now, retrospectively, this kind of attitude reminds me of a child’s version of time travel–if you can go over what did happen and identify the “thing you did wrong” you can go back in time and protect yourself by changing your behavior. Its totally magical and wishful thinking, an attempt to control fate, like a baseball player who wins a game wearing his shirt inside out and decides he will wina gain if he only wears the same shirt, inside out, for every game.
I find her advice generally sensible; though not in this instance. We would like to think everything is in our control. But it’s not.
But I will continue to read her, if only to keep up with the amazing predicaments some people can get into… which are so easily prevented.
Like, lock the door during sex. Honestly!
@Scout211, @scott (the other one):
Emily Yoffe encapsulates the mushy-middle faux-liberalism Slate mindset to a T. that Amanda Hess takedown is a perfect riposte.
@schrodinger’s cat: @#21
Don’t wear such sexy clothing
Don’t be such a flirt/tart
Don’t be so hot-looking
Don’t make fun of a guy much larger/stronger than you
Don’t be so intimidating
Don’t be more successful than the guy
Don’t do anything to make the guy angry
You know – “enlightened” stuff. Well, enlightened, relative to pre-Middle-Ages-thinking. Although not by much.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn:
@Cassidy: There is a huge difference between being slightly more relaxed due to a glass of wine and unable to give or deny consent.
If someone’s spouse is only into sex when drunk, I suggest a trip or two to the counselor, STAT.
Then they’re dickwads. Maybe not all the time, but definitely in this case. I’ve seen the effects of women who were raped in this way. It’s not pretty. And I’ve also seen this bullshit in every instance of someone telling them, “Well, you shouldn’t have done this… or this…”
No, the asshat shouldn’t have raped you. End of story.
One of the first things I’m going to teach my son about when he’s the right age for the Talk is what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate. Hell, I’m doing that now when he’s four. “It ain’t polite to grab that in public, kid.”
But I think our society is so hung up on sex that we like to pretend this stuff isn’t happening because talking about sex and the sheer scope of the problem makes us uncomfortable.
Sounds like a good kid.
I had that same thought when the email announcing the new Slate Store landed in my inbox.
I wonder if there is a place for reviews? Mwahahaha!
@Shakezula: I think you’re missing something out of what I’m saying, but it’s a completely different topic anyway. Overall point is that our society uses alcohol/drugs as a crutch for intimate connections, including married people.
scott (the other one)
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn:
I think you’re thinking of “Emily’s Song,” off Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
The problem is Emily’s focus on women. It is the guy’s behavior that needs to be held accountable. Why are they drinking to the point it affects their judgement? Why do they have a set of values where it is “okay” to have sex with a woman they are indifferent to as human being? Why do they think it is okay to take advantage of someone who is impaired and smaller then they are, even if appears to them “consensual? Why do they think it’s not rape if the girl is unconscious or drunk? If they were drunk do they think it would be okay to be sodomize?
18 and 19 years olds have been going off to college or to join the military for 40 years and getting good and drunk at the first opportunity. For a while, there seem to be some rules. But apparently the rules have changed.
@aimai: I am not surprised, bad as things are here regarding the culture of rape, at least they are better than India for example, where your very existence as a woman is reason enough for you to be blamed for anything bad that may happen to you.
I had written a long blog post about it after the gruesome death of the 23 year old rape victim in Delhi.
I know there was a thread about this below, but I think this from the Star Ledger article about booker’s win is important:
To me, that quote including the part I bolded shows one of the major issues with the conservatives today. They have no idea how terrible their message is. Most people don’t want the crap they’re selling. Yes, we all appreciate small government in the abstract. Yes, we all hate regulations in the abstract. We all want our net pay to be as big as possible. But we also want Social Security, defense, functioning courts & law enforcement, fire stations, scientific research, roads and bridges, meat inspectors and air traffic controllers and so on.
I know a lot of folks hate the triangulation that Clinton & Obama have done. However, one aspect of that has been to defang some of the look-at-this-$400-toilet-seat-or-stupid-regulation arguments from the right. Government has gotten much leaner (too much so in my book) to where it is close to the drown it in the bathtub so desired by douchecanoes like Norquist.
My own thought is that the pendulum has swung as far as it can to the anti-tax, anti-government right. It’s now coming back to our side, and the right is going to be fighting a losing battle on this for a long time.
On topic, what aimai said.
Ella in New Mexico
As the parent of a daughter who is a Freshman dorm resident, very academically oriented and on scholarship, who does not choose to use substances, I can attest to the fact that alcohol is indeed a serious risk factor for rape and sexual assault on campuses.
My girl has had a rough first half of the semester. She’s no prude, just a serious and motivated kid carrying 18 hrs as a B-chem major. She has felt somewhat socially isolated in terms of extracurricular activities because she does not totally fit in with many of her peers at school who have been spending most weekends (even week nights) partying, even though they are all less than 19 years old.
One of her roommates was trapped in her own room by a young man who had been allowed by her neighbors to “squat” in their dorm. This girl had had too much to smoke and drink, was sexually pressured under the influence and ended up being assaulted. Although she is choosing not to call it rape, she knows she would never have been in the situation were she in full control of her faculties. My daughter and her roommates supported her, and were tired of being disrupted and intimidated. They went to the police, the housing department, even the Dean of students. They then spent the past few weeks being harassed and made uncomfortable enough that they transferred to another dorm for a week while the substance abusing rule breakers were given due process. Meanwhile, they kept on using, breaking rules, making threats. Thankfully, they finally expelled them from the dorms. The “creepy raper”, as they refer to the squatter, was actually arrested, totally intoxicated, three times before he quit coming back to their dorms.
Things are finally quieting down now. These young women pulled together as roommates and have learned a great lesson about how to advocate for themselves and continue to live their lives under a lot of disruption and pressure. The roommate who was attacked finally agreed to go to counseling and is feeling much better. My daughter’s anxiety and sleepless nights are abating, and fortunately her grades are not impacted. And none of her roommates, unlike before this incident, is currently choosing to drink or use substances.
So hate Emily Yoffe all you want. I worked with domestic violence and rape victims for almost 15 years, and I never condone or make excuses for predators. My daughter and I long ago had the talks about why, regardless of what a woman does, wears or takes, it is always the rapist’s fault when he rapes. But the obvious lesson that she and her roommates have learned this semester is that intoxication in situations where you can be assaulted is just not a safe and smart thing to do.
I remember her hit piece on Daschle in WaPo when he was a candidate for HHS when Obama first came into office. at the time I thought Yoffe would make the perfect Slate writer, only to find out she already was the perfect Slate writer. silly me.
Via LGM, Ann Friedman had also has a worthy response to Yoffe’s nonsense.
The number of people, usually men, who have told me that a woman falsely accusing a man of rape is a far worse crime than rape itself is disturbingly high. Though not all of these people end up issuing various apologia for rapists, a significant subset do.
And the number of people, usually men, who have confirmed to me that they don’t even know what rape is is even higher.
It ought to go without saying that this country has been gripped with a moral panic about drinking since before prohibition. Alcohol then was used as a way of parting men from their money and women revolted against it because it was destroying the household economies of working class families. This is drinking which, like today’s binge drinking, took place in non familial non food settings (although Upton Sinclair describes the local bars with their free food that lured men into spending their paychecks on drink before they could get home and give the money to their families).
Binge drinking in colleges and other non familial settings has increased since the passage of draconian anti drinking laws and is extremely harmful to both men and women–every year there are pathetic stories of young men who die of alcohol poisoning or alcohol related deaths. Binge drinking is not just a problem for women in public places, and not just some sign that stupid girls are apeing priviliges that ought to be reserved for boys/men. People can’t handle the amounts of liquor that their friends and tv and society are telling them is normative. And the behaviors in which they engage–public fights, drunkneness, disorderly behavior, vomiting are kind of obviously problematic. Why does Yoffe not take on the glamorization and normalization of binge drinking culture–thats a thing in and of itself. Alcoholism and binge drinking has many victims–women are just some of them.
Can she explain why women who wear hijab and don’t drink alcohol are also victims of rape?
@SFAW: There was this gruesome rape case of five year old girl being raped after she was lured by the promise of some chips in North India, I wonder what her fault was?
I will add one more thing to your list
Don’t be born as a woman.
Villago Delenda Est
Lord Saletan needs to be roasted on a spit.
That is all.
Villago Delenda Est
Lord Saletan needs to be roasted on a spit.
That is all.
Jose Arcadio Buendía
Hey, Emily. Can I buy you a drink?
Seems to me that Yoffe’s argument is the same as ‘Guns don’t kill people only people kill people’.
Seems to me Yoffe’s argument needs more work.
When I went back to college in 1999, I was stunned at the numbers of young people who had never learned how to drink.
Seriously, I went to high school in the 70’s, and had hippie friends, and one of the things everyone needs to learn is managing your ingestion.
I would discuss with “the kids” the important points; figure out how it’s hitting you, pace yourself, when to back off, when to stand around with half a drink so nobody bothers you… some of my classmates were amazed at the very concept.
It’s just like sex-ed; if we all pretend teens are not going to do this, it will be a disaster.
@Ella in New Mexico: Well sure, those are survival skills that women have to learn. The problem isn’t that women aren’t doing that enough, ya that the one time they don’t they run a significant risk of being raped. That’s where we fail socially. The onus for not being assaulted is placed in the woman and is considered her failure if she doesn’t practice her survival skills 100% of the time.
Villago Delenda Est
What none of these twits realize is that all those terrible regulations are there in order to secure the negative rights of the vast majority of people from the abuses of a small but very nervy minority of people who want to take advantage of the majority in some way.
The regulations are there for a reason. This does not mean that they will never be reviewed in the future to see if they are still needed or not, but it does mean that you think through what the effect will be if you do repeal them.
Nowadays no one seems to bother to think things through.
That a woman is more vulnerable to rape when drunk isn’t the stop-the-presses news Emily Yoffe (or Slate) seems to think it is; but it doesn’t, in itself, strike me as offensive or condescending to women. We do all need to be reminded how to conduct ourselves as safely as possible, including young women living away from home for the first time.
The disagreement between Yoffe and Amanda Hess is an illustration of the story of the blind men and the elephant. Each one seems to have seized upon her own blindingly obvious part of the truth, and declared it to be the whole thing. I suspect each was in fact assigned her part of this “debate”, which was ginned up by Slate just for the clicks.
And, in all fairness, the moral panic that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a great deal justified. Though alcohol consumption in modern America is high relative to the rest of the world, I’ve seen historical figures that put it at three to four times higher in the late 1800s than it is now.
Ella in New Mexico
This, exactly. What the University did in helping my daughter and her roommates is based on an entirely different thing than what a Mom might tell her daughter.
@Ella in New Mexico:
This is a horrific story and as the mother of a 17 year old “good student” who is going off to some college next year I’m horrified to hear it. But despite your good intentions I think you are drawing the wrong lesson from this. The girl who got assaulted didn’t just “get assaulted” because she had had too much to drink. The guy was fucking squatting in the dorm–she could have been assaulted in her sleep. And women frequently are. If you aren’t safe in your dorm room where will you be safe?
The problem lies not in the behavior of the temporarily incapacitated girl but in an overarching College culture of substance abuse and partying in which there are no safe, private spaces and people who are crazy/criminal/violent are not excluded or arrested early enough. I see a whole lot of parallels here between early American attitudes towards drinking and driving which had to be combatted on a societal level by MADD and other cultural efforts. IT used to be that drinking and driving, although frowned upon, was essentially culturally approved. People didn’t get arrested for it and they didn’t get their lisences pulled for it if no one was hurt. But after very high profile struggles by groups like MADD we ended up with things like “designated drivers”–in Japan I believe the police collect drunks and let them sleep it off–and stricter laws relating to drunk driving being enforced at the federal level.
It is unconscionable that your daughter and her friends were victimized by the other students whose substance abuse, carelessnes, and criminality led to the assault. But lets be clear about this: its a failure of college norms, customs, and laws which permits students to become drunk or violent without any serious consequences until little infractions escalate to actual crimes.
@aimai: I can understand why people do it — in some small way, it makes us feel like we’re taking back power and reducing the randomness of things over which we have no control. I’ve done it myself in a small way, but caught myself quickly when I realized that way lies nothing but victim-blaming and the danger of feeling a false superiority.
What annoys me the most is that we separate this kind of magical thinking from that related to other potential crimes. I live in a big city and always try to know what’s going on around me when I’m walking down the street. I stash my wallet in the safest possible place; I wear shoulder straps across my chest; I exercise unusual caution at ATMs. Even so, if I were to be mugged or my bag grabbed, I wouldn’t be asked to blame myself or questioned endlessly about what magic factor caused the thief to target me. I might get a one-off comment from a cop — “Don’t swing your shoulder bag next to traffic” — but people aren’t writing smarmy essays about our failure to educate our daughters that they bear the primary responsibility for ending purse snatching. There is just such a big piece of our cultural thinking that won’t let go of the idea that women always have some control over any sexual use of our bodies, separate from and larger than any idea that we can control other crimes.
And, as aalto says so eloquently, none of it has anything to do with stopping the crime itself — at best, we shift it to another victim.
Yep — it’s meant to help you make yourself a less appealing target to a rapist, not stop a rapist from committing a crime. But people always manage to mix the two up, probably because it’s a lot easier to tell women not to go outside after dark than it is to figure out a way to stop criminals from wanting to rape people.
@aalto: Precisely. Very well done. I had not thought of the distinction between societal policy v. personal try-to-get-the-rapist-to-rape-someone-else policy.
And the other thing — people protesting that Yoffe is right because “it is just true” are missing the point. Nobody on earth disputes that it is true that getting blotto drunk or even a little drunk increases your risk of just about everything. The fact nobody disputes it is why it’s moronic to go around pointing it out and feeling proud of yourself for doing so.
@WereBear: Shit, I “went to college” in 1969 and we stayed fucked up.
Ella in New Mexico
Well, I’d say that the onus is on men, and the criminal justice system to keep rapists and predators and from assaulting women. And that it’s NEVER her fault, but that she should practice her survival skills 100% of the time anyway. ;-)
@Elizabelle: Totally OT, a couple of years ago, I was listening to Doctor Radio on XM and they had William Kennedy Smith talking about telemedicine and rural communities. I believe he’s in NM and works in telemedicine(I think it was with Native Americans.)
DougJ, who won the pool btw?
Interestingly, it shows up in the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story, when Tracy (Katharine Hepburn) asks Mike (James Stewart) why he didn’t have sex with her the previous night. His response:
My question is, if in “the good old days” there was a rule against having sex with drunk women that was common enough that it could be casually referenced in a movie, when the hell did it change?
@Ella in New Mexico: Ha, you ought to see this place on a football weekend. They start drinking well before noon and there are blind drunk kids everywhere.The University suspends alcohol laws for 6 days a year and the place is out of control. Survival skills, they could hit their ass with either hand.
So slate did a trolling point counter point thing to get a bunch of clicks?
I suppose the redesign might be hurting page click revenue.
@raven: As a co-worker of mine used to say (NYC in the 80’s) “Kids today! I may come to work effed-up, but I still get my work done!”
I’ve got to go back and check! Thanks for reminding me.
@Ella in New Mexico: You’re mistaking my opening in society’s outlook vs. my personal belief.
If I were editor of Slate, I’d ditch that stupid front-page redesign.
Is it really? Perhaps it’s just that I’m picturing Europe and some of the Pacific Rim countries. I mean, your basic English teetotaler can outdrink your basic American alcoholic.
@Mullah DougJ: Jus’ sayin’, picking the under automatically winz, right? The Great Orange Sofa fire is pretty subdued today, also.
Anonymous At Work
Alex Pareen and their coverage of the Supreme Court (Dalalia Lithwick) are the reasons to read Slate. That’s actual good reporting. Don’t lump them in with the rest.
@Ella in New Mexico:
I think I agree with aimai — it sounds to me like your daughter’s roommate is unnecessarily blaming herself when, frankly, it’s just as likely that the guy would have assaulted her if she was stone-cold sober. The problem is not that she was drinking, the problem was that the other residents were allowing a stranger to illegally squat in their dorm room.
If that young woman had discovered that the squatter had stolen her credit cards and used them all over town, would she have blamed herself for it because she had been drinking and didn’t stop him from taking the credit cards from her purse?
ETA: It also sounds like, in a weird way, they had more trouble getting justice because it was a sexual assault and not a property crime. If she had reported that the guy had stolen $100 from her, those roommates would have been tossed out on their ears. But since it was “only” a sexual assault, they had to jump through hoops to get the guy thrown out.
@postmodulator: And if you look at the stats for colonial era in the States; they started the day with their ration, and it was part of the wages.
Ella in New Mexico
This, absolutely. And you’re right, her roommate didn’t get assaulted because she was drunk. But from what I understand, one thing she feels is that the substances interfered with her ability to discern that this guy, who had been “kinda weird but friendly” in the hallway, was actually not a good guy, not someone who you invited into your suite. My daughter had seen that several days before, and had had nothing to do with him. Being sloshed meant that her roommate saw him as way more “nice” than he actually was. Again, she was not to blame, just impaired.
Right. And I also think the guy was totally under the influence all day long, from what I can discern. Which begs the question, would he have done what HE did if he was sober and had a life himself?
My response would be that apparently in “the good old days” that rule was broken often enough that Hepburn’s character had to ask him why he didn’t break it, and he had to tell her that such a rule was there.
Meaning that that specific exchange would be a plot element to point out that Stewart’s character is a gentleman and not an asshole. I suspect that audiences at the time – especially the women – would have recognized it as such.
(You could do exactly the same thing these days, except that instead of saying “there are rules about that” the male character would say “I suppose I could have, if I were an asshole”. Same idea, different era.)
@Ella in New Mexico:
A nice, sane response. No where does Yoffe let the rapists off the hook, or suggest that they should be forgiven for some sort of drunken indiscretion. Even with my 28 year old sister, if she’s heading out with some friends, I’ll ask how she plans to get back home, since she does not drive, and the idea of the riding the subway late at night does not ease my worries. She’ll usually get a ride home, or spend the night at her friends. It is not her actions I am worried about, it is about the actions of someone who will spot an opportunity that I am worried about.
One summer in Kolkata visiting relatives, I was crossing a street where cars simply would not yield for pedestrians. My father and I were starting a quick pace to get across, and he grabbed my hand. I was 25 at the time, and I said, “Dad, I don’t need you to hold my hand.” He answered, “No, I need YOU to hold MY hand!” I walked faster than him, and he did not want to risk being stuck in an insane street by himself. He took a perfectly reasonable precaution, given the environment he was in.
While living in DC, I got mugged at night crossing through a park I crossed through hundreds of times at night with no problem. The mugger got away with only $20, but after that one instance, I always walked around the park at night, even though it added a couple of blocks to my walk. Didn’t matter. The guy should have left me alone, but I sure as hell was not going to put myself in that position again.
Much of the argument from some quarters seems to be a variation of the NRA approach. After some horrific shooting, if someone suggests a modest step, such as limiting the size of gun cartridges, the NRA shouts, “The problem is not the gun, but the criminal with the gun.” In this case, the argument seems to be, “The problem is not the alcohol which impairs judgment, it is the sexual predators at the party!”
@Anonymous At Work:Alex Pareene is at Salon. But Dahlia Lithwick is such a treasure, she should leave Slate for something better.
@Anonymous At Work:
Alex Pareene writes for Salon, not Slate. Dahlia Lithwick is one of two excellent writers on legal issues at Slate; the other is Emily Bazelon. Otherwise, I agree.
OT, but I was just in the car and heard NPR promoing a piece about the fast food companies workers having to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. sounded like they were describing the fast food companies as takers. Could it be hitting the mainstream media?
Yoffe often gives good advice in her Dear Prudence column, but she has a few huge blind spots. Alcohol is one of them. If you do anything after having one glass of wine, Prudie starts the lecture on why drinking made things go wrong. She also has issues with non-violent or non-physically coerced sex. She will tell the victim to lighten up or that she was sending mixed signals and what can you expect, so don’t go ruin some guy’s life because of your mixed signals. Then there was the time a mother wrote to her having discovered that her 11-12 year old son had a stash of latex and seemed to have a latex fetish. Prudie told her to get the kid to counseling, not bad in and of itself, but to take him to a specific counselor who worked to stop child molesters from molesting again. Equating enjoying Playtex Living Gloves with child rape is a massive disconnect.
Mike in NC
Have you looked at Salon lately, or more specifically the Comments section? Reads like Red State or Free Republic these days, dominated by Neo-Confederates..
I’ve linked to this before, but it fits here:
How to Prevent Rape:
If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
There’s more at the link. Says it all, puts the responsibility where it belongs.
Alcohol is definitely all tangled up with this, but not for the reason most people think it is: it’s more of a symptom.
To solve this problem, consent culture needs to replace rape culture.
Just say YES. And anything other than YES means NO. “Maybe” means no. No answer means no. “I dunno” means no. Drunk means no. “I don’t have the power to say no” means no. Unconscious definitely means no.
The boys need to stop the slut-shaming. And learn to ASK FIRST, and ask OFTEN. The culture needs drop the Puritan double-standard where boys are allowed to openly admit to being horny and seek sex, and girls are not. That I think is the core of the whole problem.
If consent means a clear-headed and enthusiastic “YES!”, then alcohol is largely eliminated from the equation. So are a lot of other forms of coercion.
And people need to stop using “I dunno, I was drunk!” as an excuse. People need to instead accept “I don’t know, I was HORNY!” as a perfectly valid excuse, as a RIGHT. Just fucking own it, and stop condeming women who do.
That’s going to be my only rant on this topic, I’m done now.
@WereBear: Yeah, half a pint of either rum or brandy, is my recollection. Although I think spirits of that era were somewhat weaker than the minimum of 80 proof that we’ve all come to expect.
@postmodulator: These stats are from the WHO. The US is not very high on the list.
Maybe Dahlia Lithwick can take over from Nina Totenberg when she retires. She’s got to be in her upper sixties/seventies. Al Franken used to have Lithwick on his show on Air America. She was smart and funny.
The first time I visited Bloomington, IN, we were walking along a sidewalk, looking for a place to eat. There was some commotion up ahead, and when we walked by the bar, there was a young woman, no older than 20, with a bloodied face. It was not even noon, and she was so drunk, she lost her balance, and kissed the sidewalk with full force. Since Bloomington is a college town, there is a perception that you can engage in any behavior, and you will be safe.
Having done my undergrad at U of Chicago, we knew that Hyde Park was a safe neighborhood, but you would have to be extremely stupid to be walking around outside drunk, at any time of day. You are still in a big city, with all the risks that carries. Even if you are not mugged, CPD might arrest you – cause some of them loved to put uppity U of C kids in their place.
@Omnes Omnibus: That’s a LOT more like what I would’ve expected. The countries below us are mostly fairly impoverished, majority Muslim, under Muslim governments, or all three.
@Mike in NC: This is why Popular Science pulled the plug on comments.
@KXB: Yea and IU is lucky to get 20,000 at games. In Athens we get twice that many that don’t even try to go to the game, they are just here to paaataaayyyyyy!
@postmodulator: There are a lot of Americans who don’t drink at all and many more who will have a beer after work or a few drinks at a party once in a while and that’s it.
@Ella in New Mexico:
And yet no one ever asks that question. It’s always about what the woman in the situation should have done to prevent the assault, not what the man should have done to not assault her. There’s still very much a “boys will be boys” attitude that says that men are going to rape women no matter what, so it’s the woman’s fault if she didn’t do X, Y or Z to prevent it.
This conversation reminds me of an article I read where the writer tested how many acts of vaginal penetration could occur while holding an aspirin between her knees.
Ella in New Mexico
Something I also think needs to be addressed is that we are sending our young people into the world, college or otherwise, with absolutely no experience on how to use alcohol and substances safely. My college roommate lived in Europe as a teen was able to drink beer or wine at age 16. She learned how to manage her intake early on. She was never, ever “drunk” when we were in school, and if anything was somewhat of a downer because of the whole “been there, done that” thing.
I really think prohibiting all alcohol use until the age of 21 has made this problem worse, not better. These kids get out of the house and go absolutely crazy.
Just imagine a world where it was common for young men to get anally raped if they passed out drunk at a frat party. I don’t think the common response would be, “wWhat did they expect to happen if they drank too much? They should no better than to drink that much at a party.”
It really is quite the double-standard.
It didn’t change. Most guys then wouldn’t have done it. Most guys now wouldn’t do it. The problem is that some guys then and now would.
Ella in New Mexico
Don’t stop! This was awesome!!! :-)
The Other Chuck
Wonder if we can turn Breitbart’s “STOP RAPING PEOPLE” ragegasm video into a PSA?
Yeah, I know he had a different intent, but the irony just adds extra layers.
@Ella in New Mexico: Jesus christ–what a prison we are raising our daughters in! Practice her “survival skills 100 percent of the time?” What the ever loving fuck does that boil down to–the next logical step is to assert that women need to keep a loaded gun in hand or suffer the logical consequences of not practicing her womanhood correctly.
Look, I get it, you are just speaking the common wisdom of the world. But dig a little bit deeper and acknowledge that we have been teaching women to avoid becoming the targets of male violence and sexuality for thousands of years and it hasn’t protected any one of us from being assaulted, raped, or gossiped about for being sluts until we kill ourselves.
Once and for all: the world is not full of predators and teaching our daughters to spend every waking moment looking over their shoulders and protecting themselves from harm is as absurd as telling them to never drive at all for fear of getting into an accident. We are permitting our daughters and our society to be terrorized because we are not willing to take on a culture of permissiveness, drunknness, and violence towards women and put teaching boys not to rape ahead of teaching girls not to be vulnerable.
Everyone is going to be vulnerable in a public place at some point. Hell, people are going to be vulnerable in private spaces, while they are sleeping in their own beds, at some point. We won’t cure this cancer by lecturing our daughters–which for god’s sake we already do–about being safe. We need to work on the sociopathy of the other people with whom we share our public lives, our libraries, our dorms and get them to stop assaults before they happen, or while they are happening. It should be obvious from your daughter’s own experience that the technical assault happened after a long, slow, infinitely disruptable process by which the creepy dorm room guy tested the limits. He STALKED the girls. One girl getting sloshed in a place that ought to be safe for her is not the problem. The problem was that all the girls were too polite and too cowed to throw the guy out of the dorm, and the college didn’t take their protests seriously.
@Ella in New Mexico:
In my own case, my parents rarely drank. We did not keep alcohol in the house. I did not have my first beer until I was 19, and since it was Busch, it turned me off to drinking for 2 years. I have only gotten drunk twice, but I was till able to walk home, and remember the events. Also, if I drink too much, I don’t get excited and outgoing, I just get sleepy.
I like to unwind with a good drink at the end of the week. I know there are many people who simply cannot – people for whom alcohol wreaked havoc in their lives. I have no idea of the pain they went through, but I do thank FSM that I can enjoy this pleasure.
@aimai: Amen! And I say this as a survivor of 4 years+ of college binge drinking. I’m almost certain I did damage to my brain and body. And for what? A lot of nights I can’t remember. The truth is I had felt so repressed up to age 18 that I had not healthy ways of dealing with being *finally* free, and in a place where being cool was largely a matter of how much and how hard you partied. I regret so very much that I didn’t have a mentor or older sibling or someone to steer me right back then.
(And I’m not an abstainer, I like my nice glass of wine or scotch on a Friday, but it’s such a completely different thing. What I did before was repeated attempts to obliterate myself).
Yeah, but the efforts of MADD and other have also had unintended consequences. While raising the drinking age to 21 may have helped to reduce drunk driving fatalities, it may have increased some of the more pernicious alcohol abuse. When I returned to grad school (when the drinking age was 21) several years after undergrad (when the drinking age was 18), it seemed that there was a lot of binge drinking behaviors that were being driven by the fact that drinking was illegal for the parties involved, stuff like getting completely loaded before going out because you couldn’t buy alcohol at the clubs. I feel that these kids have been deprived of the pleasures of alcohol, which has been turned into a drug instead of a social lubricant. When you create an environment in which alcohol use is per se illegal, it may result in those with crazy and criminal tendencies setting the tone because the use of alcohol cannot exist outside of a criminal context, e.g., there are no safe places or ways to drink. This creates even more social pressure to act in extreme ways, because there is no normative input that teaches that the thing to do is drink, have a good time and be safe. This is especially pernicious in college, where kids are largely coming of age. Thus, I’d rather the drinking age be 18, colleges make kids live on campus for at least their first two years without cars, and provide safe places for them to party.
@aimai: Again, that’s not the context I meant that in re: practicing survival skills.
@Omnes Omnibus: On the lawyers guns and money thread someone put up a link to a fascinating criminology study done by a sociologist here in MA–getting girls drunk, working on the ones who are too naive or too polite to say no, telling them they are drinking punch not alcohol, and working in groups to disable groups of girls actually is a pretty well worn practice by Frats. Its so well worn that it was parodied and alluded to in a Buffy The Vampire Episode. I watched a video replay of an interview with a guy who was a rapist but who had never been caught and his methods, which he describes fully, were identical to those used by the fictional characters in Buffy. More to the point–he wasn’t acting alone at all. He was acting in concert with other guys and their collective actions (targeting specifically weak girls, holding the parties, dosing or drugging the punch, moving the girls away from their girlfriends to assault them) were all done perfectly consciously with coerced sex and then plausible deniability as the goal.
Come on Doug! You are giving me an aneurysm. Don’t troll me like this, homie.
Black Jimmy Carter. Tag it. Bag it.
If there were ever a time…
@KXB: You need to go back and read this comment again: @aalto:
If you do not want to be hit by a car while in a city where people do not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, the solution is to be careful in the crosswalk.
If you want to have a city where it is safe to walk in crosswalks, you need to compel drivers to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. It is possible. There are such cities.
No one is arguing against personal responsibility. What we are saying is that you don’t end rape culture by avoiding being raped. You end rape culture by stopping rapists.
Not sure about other countries, but in the US, about 25% of people don’t drink at all.
Also, binge drinking 3 nights a week for half of year would average out to around one drink a night. So one could be shit-faced each night about a quarter of the year and still not appear to be drinking much over the entire year.
Another item relating to alcohol is that the body fat in men & women are distributed differently. While we all realize that a 135-lb female gets more inebriated from 3 beers than a 180-lb male the typical differences in fat percentages also increase inebriation in the female. Not sure of the exact numbers, but it’s easy for a typical female college student to be twice as drunk as a typical make college student through a night of drinking. To my mind, this makes it even more about the men.
Men need to be taught and raised to not take advantage of others no matter what the circumstances. “boys will be boys”, looking the other way for the gifted athletes and other preferential treatment/coddling are cultural problems that need to be addressed.
Unfortunately there will always be monsters not just in our midst, but also inside of us. Blaming the victims will not address that.
@hoodie: I couldn’t agree more. I was completely opposed to MADD’s push to raise the drinking age–as I said its a straight up moral panic. I think the MADD “prohibition” on drinking is as harmful, and for many of the same reasons, as abstinence only sex education and the right wing focus on chastity. In the case of abstinence only/chastity what you get are boys and girls who have been taught that sex is so dirty and so powerful that the worst thing you can do is admit to wanting it and prepare for it by having contraception ready. Similarly, the prohibition on safe drinking education in the home/with food leads to kids who simply can’t be taught and shown how to drink appropriately.
” I hate Slate with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.”
I agree with everything you wrote, but let’s keep a little perspective. I’ve seen that phrase applied to George W. Bush, which seems appropriate. For all Slate’s many faults, it’s not in the same league as GWB.
Perhaps other posters can suggest appropriate phrases. I’ve thought of several, but nothing I find really satisfying.
@aimai: I do not doubt that this happens, but I would also argue that the majority of men do not do this. The people who do this are using alcohol as opposed to force to facilitate rape. Fraternities that do this should be shut down.
I agree completely.
Right, but while I wait for the whole city of Kolkata to come around to my worldview, should I not cross the street? I have to cross the street, and take into account the conditions as they are, and work on improving them. Given that societies are not as malleable as people seem to think they are, I will take actions to improve my safety, rather than just hope enough PSA’s do the trick.
Maybe don’t let the haters do to you what they did to Carter, but Carter himself did himself and the country proud. Obama should think twice about praising St. Reagan.
In the sidebar of Amanda Hess’s article they have another article titled “Help! I Was Raped By My Boyfriend’s Friend. How Do I Tell My Boyfriend?”
Is it Rapey Friday over at Slate or something?
Villago Delenda Est
And a fine rant it was.
It’s going to be very difficult to implement. There are so many barriers in the way.
O/T: There’s that number again:
Facile contrarianism is the most dangerous ally of all kinds of extremism. Extremism by itself isn’t usually that dangerous because genuine extremism usually lacks enough supporters to take over society on its own terms. Facile contrarianism puts a friendly face on the worst extremist ideas and lets them get enough support to be implemented.
@LanceThruster: Jesus fucking Christ. Did you know that Reagan admired FDR as a transformative political figure?
@KXB: No, of course not. One should always look both ways before crossing the street. One should bear in mind that some driver might be distracted momentarily or from out of town and not familiar with the norms. Nevertheless, the point should be have a town where is is generally safe to cross the street. The point should also be to have a society where rape is vanishingly uncommon.
Context. There’s nothing wrong with giving your girl, or your boy, the advice–“Don’t get drunk, it can have all kinds of bad consequences.” But in the context of a discussio about rape, that comes too close to victim blaming.
Anna in PDX
@schrodinger’s cat: I realize that she is a lot older than either of these but I think Camille Paglia (who is often given a platform on Slate as well) makes the trifecta.
Anna in PDX
@schrodinger’s cat: I realize that she is a lot older than either of these but I think Camille Paglia (who is often given a platform on Slate as well) makes the trifecta.
In my experience, people with this tendency suffer from an empathy problem. Rather than having to experience the hurt of sharing someone else’s hurt, they are judgmental about how the victim somehow had a role in causing it.
As a boy in my older teens in the late 70s, I usually had a fair amount of control over my drinking. One night I didn’t. I woke up briefly to find the guy who had been nicely talking to me at some gay bar in Toledo on top of me pounding away. I didn’t stay awake for long, but slipped back into unconsciousness. And actually the night didn’t get much better from that point on, but I’ll spare you the details.
Yes that man was a rapist who sexually assaulted me. At that time I had no legal recourse. I did find a way to successfully confront him sometime later.
My choices and my behavior that night made me available to be his victim. There is no way that man would have fucked me had I been sober.
All the feel good anti-rape philosophizing won’t change that.
@hoodie, @ aimai: America tends to have a black-and-white, all-or-nothing approach to intoxicants. In most of Europe, where children are taught to drink alcohol socially, there is no taboo associated with it, and there is no coolness associated with getting obliterated. A moderate approach leads to more moderate consumption. (FWIW, when I was in college (more than 20 years ago), the kids who were the worst drinkers were the ones who’d never had a drink before, while those who’d been drinking since high school had learned what their limits were.)
Anna in PDX
@Anna in PDX: Damn I am having the heck of a time posting today and missed that window to delete this. Sorry for the double post.
Again, I am not disagreeing with you. But rather than wait for that utopia, I can give advice that is useful now – and among that bit of advice is don’t drink too much at parties, don’t walk through certain spots at night. If I recommend that someone stay away from fatty foods and not drink too much, he ignores me and develops health problems that require expensive treatments and prescription drugs – would it be shaming him to point out that he could have lessened the liklihood of this happening if he took some measure precautions earlier?
My health insurance cost jumped up 25% after I turned 40, taking a major bite out my budget. Briefly, I thought about dropping it, and planning to pay the fine under ACA. But, it would be irresponsible of me to go around without insurance, despite my current good health, because I cannot be sure of changing circumstances. I had to exercise my judgment that no matter how angry I am at the insurance markets, it is too risky to go without health insurance. Telling young people to exercise good judgment when drinking is not letting criminals, or society at large, off the hook.
So therefore assault victims shouldn’t get all whiny and report assaults to the police because, after all, they made themselves available for victimization?
The fact that you felt unable and/or unwilling to report your assault to the police is part of the “rape culture” problem we’re talking about here. If women were more able to get the sexual assaults against them reported and prosecuted as crimes, men (both gay and straight) who are victims of assault would also benefit.
And now FDR is spoken of by Goppers as the reincarnation Marx times elebenty gajillion.
But should making those bad choices mean that your health insurance is canceled and you have to go without? Because that’s what we’re talking about — women (and, as Keith G pointed out, men) who are assaulted are told that because they were drunk, wearing a short skirt, let the wrong person into their room, etc., the person who assaulted them will not be punished. In fact, as in Ella in New Mexico’s story, the victim is often the one punished with social ostracization, being forced to move, etc.
Your story only makes sense as a parallel if you’re advocating canceling health insurance for people who should have followed a better lifestyle.
No, it isn’t. We’re somewhere in the middle of the pack, and relatively low compared to other developed countries. The really high alcohol consumption is concentrated in Europe- South Korea is the only country outside of Europe in the top 25- especially Eastern Europe.
@aalto: This is extremely well expressed and captures some of the difficulty with the issue: failure to recognize the distinction between good advice for personal behavior as distinguished from policy needed to overcome a societal problem.
@aimai: A huge part of the problem is instead of just teaching our daughters “survival skills”, we need to teach our sons to never, not EVER, be the type of person who rapes. As a parent of both a son & a daughter in college, it isn’t that hard. You start at the start, so to speak, and both model & teach respect for others every. fricking. day.
And you get adults who, as women, speak up for themself & don’t take crap or let themselves get pushed around. And as men, who respect people’s dignity & expect respect in return. And they are great human beings.
Edit to add: A story I’ve read about John Lennon comes to mind here; when, during his & Yoko’s anti-war protests, a reporter said “I suppose you think if someone just said “Peace” to Hitler he’d have stopped the war.” And Lennon said “Maybe if someone had said it to him every day of his life.”
I know it’s simplistic, but there is some truth to it.
@Mnemosyne: There you go putting words in my mouth again. And again you are wrong.
Criminals are responsible for their behavior and should be reported for the crimes. The rest of us need to acknowledge that there are behaviors which make us more likely to gain the attention of criminals who are out there constantly looking for victims.
My decision not to report had to do with my confusion desire not to deal with my parents at a time when my sexuality would have been a tremendous obstacle to everything.
@Anna in PDX: I don’t know much about her but Andrew Sullivan likes her and links to her appreciatively, given his record with women what you said about Paglia doesn’t surprise me.
Ella in New Mexico
I totally agree with you on all this, believe me. It’s just that I have accepted the fact that I must hold two somewhat opposed points of view at the same time.
Yes, I get so pissed off sometimes that as a woman, I have to spend extra energy on surveying the world and keeping a look out for creeps. It’s sad to know that even though in my own career I spent a decade and a half–in the frigging 90’s for God’s sake!!!– trying to change the way society and the world works and we STILL will have to deal with shit-head abusers and predators. We’re basically doing a better job, big picture, from even my own generation, which is exemplified by the way my daughter and her roommates were taken seriously and supported by campus officials once they reached out for help. I am relieved that things worked like they should for them, like I taught her they should work (albeit I wish it had been a quicker process.).
But how do we, in all honesty, rid the world of the predator? The thief, the murderer, the child molester, the rapist? Will we ever be able to skip the “don’t get wasted in a room of guys you don’t know are 100% reliable people” talk with our daughters?
I don’t think we ever will. The only answer is the simultaneous emphasis on education of men, teaching women sensible self-protection and a swift social response to those who harm others.
Ted & Hellen
She’s writing about simple, common sense, defensive living; the kind any of us should utilize in a multitude of situations.
Of course you wouldn’t have a post if you didn’t twist it into something else entirely, Dougj.
Why don’t you write more on your own alleged blog and a lot less here? You’re taking Cole down fast.
Anna in PDX
@Mnemosyne: Once I was robbed when I was in Cairo. I felt very stupid for walking down a narrow alley at 6 in the a.m. and not noticing the slowly cruising taxi that had turned around and headed back towards me until my necklace was snatched off my neck.
Somehow, the issue of whether or not I should have picked that alley at that hour and/or noticed the taxi was moot, however, when I went to report it. No one said that if caught, the robber would not be convicted because I should have known better.
Why is rape an exception to this general rule about crimes?
Anna in PDX
@Mnemosyne: Not to mention whether I should have been wearing jewelry outside my sweater.
Bullshit – no responsible person is advocating a get out of jail free card because alcohol was involved. The fact is, given that young people going off to college are uncertain at how the world works, we owe it to them to encourage them to keep their faculties together at all times. You cannot count on criminal behaving responsibly, nor can you count on an organization – whether it is college administration or off campus police – to share your view of the world. While you work on making the world a better place, take some common sense steps to protect yourself, rather than depending on the goodwill of others.
Just as I do not encourage families with kids to have a gun in the house, as it increases the chances that a child will be an accidental shooting victim, so I encourage all young people to handle alcohol responsibly. Why is taking risk into account OK for some people when it comes to guns, but those same people will object if you suggest too much alcohol will increase your risk at being a victim of a predator?
Ted & Hellen
Embeciles. Please point out where anyone said any of these crimes should be reported or punished? Other than you I mean?
It’s just the simple truth that some better defensive living, like defensive driving, can prevent some incidents from happening in the first place.
Although it sounds as though some people relish the sweet, bitter pain of knowing they’ve been wronged, and would rather bear that thru a trial and conviction than prevent the entire thing to begin with.
@KXB: We’re not waiting on utopia. We’re actively trying to change our culture so that rape is seen as a crime committed by rapists, not a punishment inflicted on stupid girls. We won’t get there by telling women how to make sure it’s someone else who gets raped instead of them.
“Feel-good anti-rape philosophizing?” Honest to dog, what is the matter with you, Keith? Could you be more insupportably condescending?
I know you’re a smart boy. I know you know it’s possible for two things to be true at the same time: that taking steps to protect oneself as an individual is not the same as a society taking steps to reduce the general occurrence and acceptability of rape. Can you also follow that #1 is not a substitute for #2, that if you hadn’t gotten raped that night, some other guy would have (then or soon afterward)…and that the problem of your rapist raping people actually has some life outside of you and your choices?
Facile contrarianism, this is fucking it.
The conviction rate for rape is 3% so yeah “the person who assaulted them” will get off scott free. But of course, not reporting it, feeling shame and then also having to deal with assholes claiming that if if only they had lived defensively – life it would be a grand bowl of rapeless cherries.
@KXB: Because unlike most other crimes, rape is one crime where there is societal sanction for blaming the victim, that needs to change.
In the gory case of the 5 year old rape victim, guess who was blamed, hint it was not the perpetrators.
One dayand enterprising gunsmith will fabricate the perfect accessory for fashionable young women who wish to drink to excess and wear tight clothing and not have to be awre of there surroundings all the time. We’ll call it the PMS and with a squeeze of the pelvic muscles be able to discharge a second amendment remedy into their would be boy just being a boy.
Serious thread is serious, needs a kitteh, a dancing kitteh
This is just semantics. Replace “rape” with the word “murder.” In 2012, there were 16,259 homicides in the U.S. (CDC). That works out to 5.3 per 100,000 people, a rate lower than in most of post war U.S. history. Yet, with the spread of news outlets, you would think that murder is out of control in the U.S – that we have a culture of murder. Nonsense. Through lax gun laws, a failed drug war, and inadequate mental health facilities (half of deaths by gun are suicides), homicide is painfully high in some portions our society, but unlikely in others. Rather than treat everyone as a potential murderer, and give some facile advice, “Now son, be a good boy, and don’t murder anyone today.” take some necessary, un-glamourous steps to address murder.
Same thing with rape. The idea that every man is a potential rapist until someone takes him aside and tells him, “No, no – we don’t rape” is remarkably insulting. The numbers don’t back up that contention. We can take steps to improve law enforcement, encourage responsible use of alcohol, and better equip/fund counseling centers. But there is no culture of rape. There is a culture of binge drinking on college campuses, and one of the risks that increase substantially in that environment is sexual assault. If alcohol abuse was a non-factor, then incidents of rape should be comparable to dry social events on campus.
Paul in KY
@sparrow: To be fair to Ms. Yoffe, she was saying that these women should not be getting blotto (like girl in Misery)
@KXB: I think you could also say that most men have committed rape. If you’ve had sex with an inebriated partner then, as I understand it, rape has technically been committed.
Paul in KY
@Richard D. Grant: I also hate the redesign
No rape culture? I guess those shirts saying “no means more beer” were just a figments of my imagination.
And unless you have numbers to back that up, you’d be wrong.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne: It has never changed, it’s just that Jimmy’s character is a good dude & the ones that assault passed out people are loser POSes. Same now as it was back then.
I’ve also seen a 70+ year old woman at the Chicago Blues Fest dancing with a shirt on that said “Sexy B*tch” She certainly was not the first word, and I did not know her well enough to say if she fit the second word. Do you have a point?
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Alex S.: The whole piece was pretty nauseating in its victim blaming, and clearly she has some issues around alcohol scolding. Not that binge drinking isn’t stupid and dangerous, but she’s known to scold about reasonable alcohol consumption.
But what sent my blood pressure soaring was the comment that if she had a son she’d warn him about not wanting to be the one accused of being a drunken rapist. As opposed to telling him to respect women and the integrity of their personal space and personal actual bodies regardless of alcohol use. I’m not proud of my thoughts about what I’d like to see happen to her as punishment.
Dave Chappelle has something to say
@KXB: But this kind of article is exactly where the idea that every man is a potential rapist is fostered. We don’t worry that a woman will go to a party, get drunk, and be murdered. We don’t fear that a man will get so drunk that he will lose control of himself and accidentally murder a girl. I totally agree it’s insulting to assume every man is a potential rapist to be tempted by easy targets like drunk women dressed like sluts. I’m not the one asserting that. Your murder analogy is correct. We don’t combat murder by advising people how to avoid being victims of murder. We do it by making murder a societal taboo and prosecuting those who break the taboo.
@KXB: meh, whatever. I think the odds are pretty high that the majority of men in this country have bad some form of sexual intercourse with an inebriated partner. Regardless of willingness or consent, that still fits the definition of rape despite the most pure of intentions.
No, if someone has sex with a person who is too drunk to consent, that is someone who is too drunk to form and communicate his or her intention to continue, or if a person has sex with a person who does not consent that is rape.
ETA: It is perfectly legal for drunk people to have sex if they choose to do so.
Paul in KY
@hoodie: I definitely think the 21 year rule is an impetus to binge drinking by the under 21 crowd.
Paul in KY
@Omnes Omnibus: Fraternities that do what Aimai described should be criminally prosecuted. Maybe even using RICO statutes, if appropriate.
No, we do tell people on how to take steps to lower their chances of being killed – stay out of rough neighborhoods, don’t pick a fight with someone bigger than you, don’t drink & drive. It is not offensive to give some steps to young people, who may not know how to handle booze, how they should protect themselves. We tell people to use condoms. Do we just assume everyone is diseased? No, but we take steps to lessen the risk of an STD.
@Omnes Omnibus: not much of a difference. What’s the fine line between “buzzed enough to consent” vs. too inebriated to consent? Is it the same as “I’m only buzzed so I can drive.”?
The reality is our society uses alcohol as the excuse to get intimate and perform sexual acts that “good people” don’t do, but it’s okay because I was “sooo wasted”. It all ties together. Our regressive ideas of what constitutes a healthy sexuality combined with a number of anti-social behaviors provides a foundation for young men to think “it’s cool
If I fuck her” because everyone has sex while drunk.
Regret is not rape.
You can’t see the difference in meaning? what thick blinkers you have. A 3% conviction rate for rape means there is little chance a rapist will ever see the light of day, that to me says there is no need to worry about consent since you get a free pass even if you don’t get a yes, or even an unconscious nod. Just this past September college songs about the delights of freshmen rape were sung loudly and proudly. No culture for rape? You must be joking.
@KXB: OK, you know what, you wore me out. If you don’t get what I’m saying I can’t say it any more or any differently. If you choose to believe this is all about whether or not women should get drunk at parties, fine, whatever.
when the hell did it change?
It didn’t. There’s still that rule among decent men.
Indecent men ignored the rule in the days that Stewart spoke those lines, and indecent men ignore the rule today.
One thing that’s changed, or changing: many women who got raped used to be too ashamed talk about it publicly, and the men thus usually got away with it.
9/11 changed everything.
@KXB: But isn’t that the problem? If alcohol impairs the ability to make good decisions then doesn’t alcohol impair ones ability to consent? Can you truly give consent while intoxicated?
I did not realize that asking you to provide some facts to back up your contentions would be so exhausting.
@Beatrice: The problem you’re having right now is you’re trying to debate a scold. They will come up with any number of scenarios to blame the victims of crime as it allows the moral superiority of knowing they do everything right.
@KXB: Wait, what facts did you ask for? Really can’t let you get away with pretending I left because I cannot provide facts. I dispute none of your facts. I dispute your conclusions. But clearly we disagree and I don’t see the point in endlessly repeating myself.
No, her problem, and your’s – is that you believe your own opinion is enough, facts are not necessary, and anyone who disagrees just need to shut up.
@Cassidy: Thanks. This is why I rarely comment. I forgot myself for a moment.
@KXB: Nah, I just don’t like the blame the victim mentality of your statements. Slut shaming is not okay. No one, man, woman, or child, deserves unwanted sexual activities performed on/in them because they didn’t follow your criteria for what’s acceptable behavior in public. It’s that simple. If she’s drunk, she doesn’t deserve to be raped. If she shaves her vaj bald, wears no underwear, and bends over, she doesn’t deserve to be raped. If she’s all that combined, walks outside to walk home alone with a shirt that says “I swallow” (yes it exists), she still doesn’t deserve to be raped. End of discussion. No “ifs”, no “maybes”, no “well did you do [blank]”; she/ he doesn’t deserve to be raped.
The reason you are find that you are repeating yourself is that your argument cannot go anywhere except in circles Stating that rape is a result of culture, and that once you fix culture, you will fix rape may seem nice and neat. Too bad it is not true. Again, compare the rates of sexual assault in areas of 18-25 year olds, with one group where binge drinking is common among, and another where binge-drinking is less common.
Ok here is a fact – 97% of rape victims never see justice or their rapist charged. Globally 25% of all women have been victims of sexual assault. So 1 in 4 women who flow in and out of your life everyday know what it is to be held down and violated. Blaming the victim is easy. It was the booze, the short skirt, the fact they were on a date, its a cope out. Deal with the fact that most rapists are men whether their victims are male or female. Telling girls to protect themselves isn’t going to save them until the culture and the enforcement of laws change.
Jeez, did ANY of you actually read the original article – or just the ridiculously distorted synopsis above?
Yoffe is not blaming the victims, and she is not being a scold, and she is not telling young women not to drink. Her advice is entirely reasonable (and practically identical to that which I have given my own daughter).
Yoffe is telling young women that if they get publicly shit-faced-stumbling-drunk, then they are increasing their own chances of being raped. Which is factual. Period. And whether you like that fact of not, it is true. Because getting falling down drunk turns you into an easy target. Again, by getting hammered, a young woman makes herself vulnerable by surrendering her ability to resist a rapist, or even to be conscious that an attack is brewing.
Sure, we can all join hands and sing Kumbayah in the hopes that rapists will stop raping if we just ask nicely, or demand that rapists develop the moral structure which they lack inherently . Or we can warn young women that going out in public and getting drunk as a coot might end badly for them.
I do not blame or shame the victim in any of my statements. In all my statements, I’ve stated repeatedly that if a woman reports a rape, it should be investigated. If she wants to lessen her chances of anything bad happening on a night out – then don’t drink to the point where you cannot exercise judgment to get yourself out of a situation. Just as a young child who gets shot playing with his father’s gun does not deserve it, the odds of something bad happening go up when you put young kids and guns under the same roof. If you believe ingesting large amounts of alcohol is a risk-free way to spend an evening – whether it is risk of being raped or just making a public spectacle out of yourself – I don’t believe any numbers I provide will convince you otherwise.
Rape is not investigated, it is swept under the carpet. The cops don’t want to get involved, the courts don’t want to convict and everyone just wishes that the victims had only done this or that to spare them the deep thinking it would take to answer why it happened in the first place.
there’s not much need to worry about anything at slate. the redesign is such a hideous clusterf**k their traffic has dropped considerably from a month before the launch of the redesign. i haven’t been back to slate since the second day after it happened and that was only to get the email address so i could encourage them to get their money back from hard candy shell the internet design company who did it.
@Steve B.: where was the advice to men going out getting shit faced then thinking that they were entitled to “tap that” whether the person said yes or was fully conscious?
Rob in CT
The argument isn’t that she’s wrong, per se. It’s that her advice is (seriously) incomplete. And then there is also the personal advice vs. public policy discussion.
@Steve B.:I read her article and I agree with you. I suspect that many people who are criticising her didn’t get past the headline, which she probably wasn’t responsible for anyway.
Also agree with everyone who hates the new format at Slate. What font is that? It’s hideous.
I don’t see how KXB makes this argument–that rapes happen when women are drinking and not when they are sober and that the same guys that women know when they are sober are not turning into rapists when women drink. It ought to be obvious, as I keep pointing out, that all this talk about women getting raped when they drink is basically saying that women, unlike men, must be presumed to be at risk from their social aquaintances when they are incapacitated for any reason. So girls should be cautioned against going on hikes with college friends, going to study groups with college friends, going out drinking with college friends–doing anything with college friends. Because those are the people who are doing the raping. Are you people under the impression that all these rapes of drunken women are happening because strangers are coming to college parties and doing the raping and walking out again? All of these cases of girls being raped while drunk or incapcitated by drugs are cases where they are raped by guys they know–within their own social circle–who continue to be part of their social circle even after the girls are thrown out and their homes are burned down.
@SFAW: Yes, why not make up a fake article full of comments that Yoffe didn’t write? So much easier than actually reading what she did write. I mean, if you think she probably wrote that, it’s just the same as if she did.
@Cassidy: Yes. you can legally give consent while intoxicated. It might not be a good idea – it may be something you regret, but as long as you know what is happening and chose to willingly participate, there is no question about consent. The problems arise when the person is so inebriated that he or she does not know what is going on. My advice to any men would be to assume that any equivocal behavior or answer constitutes a no. As does unconsciousness or near unconsciousness.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think it is safe to say that if “buzzed” driving still means your faculties are impaired then buzzed also means a person is too inebriated to give consent. Why is the bar for inebriation set higher for rape than anything else?
@Keith G: God, Keith, you’ve internalized the bullshit until you think it was your fault that you got raped. It was no one’s fault but the rapist’s. YOU did nothing wrong
@Cassidy: You can sign a legally binding contract while too drunk to drive.
Are you really suggesting that if a married couple have a few drinks at dinner on their anniversary and then have sex that a rape occurred?
@Ella in New Mexico: that young man is going to rape again. They look for opportunities and do not quit.
@Cassidy: : I think it is safe to say that if “buzzed” driving still means your faculties are impaired then buzzed also means a person is too inebriated to give consent. Why is the bar for inebriation set higher for rape than anything else?
Because the drunk driving statute is based on impaired physical capacity and impaired ability to make good split-second decisions. Those things aren’t at issue with consensual sex.
I’m suggesting we live in a culture where drunk sex is encouraged and even preferred because the things people do sexually while drunk are still considered taboo. Part of our rap culture problem is that we live In a culture where alcohol is a minimum requirement for social interaction.
@rea: I think that’s a distinction without a difference, but that’s not important. The point is we hold rape and rape victims to a higher degree of inebriation for it to be “rape rape” instead of “she should have behaved differently”.
@Cassidy: That is an entirely different problem. I am taking issue with your suggestion that a woman (assume 120lbs) who had two or three drinks in a two hour period is incapable of consenting to sex.
@Omnes Omnibus: your welcome to take issue with it, but it still is illogical that said 120lbs women is too incoherent to drive, but perfectly capable of having given consent if she claims to have been raped.
The problem is that the list of those behaviors attractive to criminals gets longer and longer and quickly goes from “you shouldn’t have had so many drinks” to “you shouldn’t have worn those tight pants” to “everyone knows that Uncle Peter is a molester and you shouldn’t leave your kids alone with him.”
As many other people have said, there’s a difference between informing people about high-risk behaviors and telling them that their behaviors caused others to act badly. And there seems to only be one set of crimes where the police or courts refuse to prosecute the criminals responsible based on the behavior of the victim.
Unrelated thing since I haven’t seen it come up yet — one of the best books you can buy for a young adult is The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. It explains that many people end up being assaulted because they were too polite (as seems to have been the case for the friend of Ella in NM’s daughter) and how to push past your reflexive feelings of wanting to not rock the boat.
@Cassidy: Whoa there buddy. You were making a blanket statement that men who had slept with an intoxicated person had committed rape. You indicated that intoxication make a woman incapable of consenting. Hence my question above about a couple having some drinks and then sex on their anniversary. You just moved the goalposts. You never before brought up that said woman was claiming to have been raped. If the woman claims that she was raped and that she was too intoxicated to give consent, then it needs to be investigated seriously. Her individual capacity wrt alcohol could indeed mean that 2-3 drinks made her incapable of consenting.
They are also increasing their chances of being robbed, and yet no one writes long essays about the dangers of having your purse snatched while drunk. Why is that?
ETA: If a guy wakes up in a sleazy hotel room and discovers that the hooker he picked up emptied his wallet, do the police shrug and say, “Well, what did you think was going to happen when you took that woman to an isolated place? We don’t have enough evidence to prosecute — it’s just your word against hers. How do we know you didn’t willingly give her everything in your wallet and now you don’t want to admit it?”
Actually, they probably will do exactly as you describe and if the guy makes a stink they will bust him for soliciting.
@Omnes Omnibus: That’s been my point is that women are slut shamed for drinking and that automatically makes the rape her fault. I thought you were trackin’. We both know, in our culture, that if the woman drinks two beers or twenty, the moment alcohol touched her impure lips she was asking for it.
My other assertion that you bring up I think is true. I would bet that most men have had drunk sex with a woman and while it may have been fun and whatnot, the level of inebriation involved would still constitute rape. She may not feel that way the next morning nor was that the intent, but it’s still having sexual contact with someone who couldn’t give consent.
Just because your married doesn’t mean a rape can’t occur. If she’s inebriated to the point of passing out and he has sex with her anyway, sure, that could be rape. There are plenty of variables that could turn anniversary drunk sex into rape. Turn it around, does a married man have the right to anally penetrate his wife, something she always says no to, if she’s drunk?
No, that is rape.
You said above that drunk sex is rape.
If she consented, then yes. The issue is consent and ability to consent. If the person has the ability to consent and does so, there is no rape. If the person does not have the ability to consent, there can be no consent and then it is rape. I submit that intoxicated people can have sufficient agency to make a wide variety of deeply personal decisions including whether or not to have sex. There is a point where that capacity is gone, but I don’t think that it is automatically at the point where driving is illegal.
I am going to walk away from this discussion now because having two guys arguing about this is going descend into mansplaining at some point – if it hasn’t already done so.
@Omnes Omnibus: Maybe. I think you’re overthinking it.
I think I need a little more evidence than your assertion that a robbery under those circumstances would not be investigated. If it helps, let’s remove the prostitution element and say the guy thought he was getting a one-night stand and instead got hit over the head with a lamp and robbed. Still no chance the police would investigate?
@Mnemosyne: Removing the prostitution element does change the calculus a bit. One also has to look at the seriousness of the crime as well. The guy is alleging that he is out a few dollars, the woman is alleging that she was assaulted. One should always get more serious attention. The fact that it does not is a real problem.
ETA: The cops will ask the questions that you posited. A defense attorney certainly would and the cops/prosecution would need to have covered that base.
@Omnes Omnibus: The hit over the head angle also changes things. I didn’t catch that at first. In that case, you have robbery – theft with violence or threat of violence. Yeah, they would look into it. They would still ask those questions, but they would not be dismissive.
Now I really will walk away.
@Omnes Omnibus: Let me, not mansplain, but lawyersplain to you that the legal standards for ouil are not the same as the legal standards for consent. The legal standards for consent are not limited to the law of rape and apply in a wide spectrum of contexts. For example, if you get drunk, decide you shouldn’t drive, then take a taxi home, do you get to refuse to pay the taxi driver on the grounds that you were too drunk to consent to a taxi ride? If you’re arrested for ouil, read the Miranda warnings, and give a full confession, is your confession inadmissible on the grounds that it was nonconsensual? If a drunk friend asks you for a ride home from the bar, do you face prosecution for kidnapping?
You’re being silly. And for crying out loud, don’t tell me I’m mansplaining when you’re proposing a standard under which I’ve been a rape victim dozens of times, and I’m telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think you’ve illuminated the problem: there so many variables to what constitutes a crime, but rape seems to be the only one where the first variable is how much did our victim have to drink. It’s ridiculous.
@rea: What the fuck are you talking about? I know that the standards for driving under the influence and consent are different. That is what I was fucking arguing. Read up through the damn comments.
@Percysowner: All comments sections everywhere look like this. The right wingers infiltrate every site that allows comments. You’ll see tons of them on putatively liberal sites all the time; the converse is not true, at least in my experience. (Although it could be that, like Free Republic, uttering a vaguely liberal sentiment will get you automatically banned. Don’t ask me how I know.)
Rarely do you see intelligent dialogue between people of opposing views. Using FB commenting has improved it a little, since people have to use real IDs instead of fake names or sock puppets, but not as much as I’d hoped.
Heck, I don’t even bother with the comments of my local “liberal” paper any more. It’s mostly right wing Detroit haters. I guess the liberals are too busy working to comment on the right wing sites……..unlike your crazy retired uncle, railing against socialism as he reaps the benefits of Social Security and Medicare.
Anna in PDX
@Cassidy: Driving is a motor skill and depth perception issue, a little different than “coherence”. I think “drunk” and “blotto” are different (although they are indeed on the same continuum) and equating them is just ridiculous.
@Anna in PDX: So where on said continuum is the line between rape and “she was asking for it”? Would that be between shitfaced and drunk as fuck? Or is it a little closer to wasted? Maybe I’m not up on my technical terminology.
@Omnes Omnibus: How . . . embarassing–I had your comments confused with Cassidy’s, and I haven’t even been drinking. Profound apologies.
@rea: No problem. That is what I suspected, but who knows. However, you pulled me back into this – for which there can be no forgiveness.
There is consent and there is lack of consent. There is sex and there is rape. There is no “she was asking for it.”
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@rea: I should walk away, but clearly I’m not as clever as Omnes about this. (But I have more commas, usually). Let me do some of my own not mansplaining, but lawyersplaining.
The comparison of legal ability to consent in terms of what constitutes rape and OVI is based on level of coherence (or lack of) as a result of intoxication, not consent in the sense of a coerced confession of inability to give consent to a search. None of us, laywers or not, have any confusions about
It sure as hell sounds like you’re verging on mansplaining with your explanation. Or perhaps you just felt the need to lawyersplain.
The entire discussion has been focused on consent to sexual activity, and when intoxication makes it impossible in that the person has not capacity to give such consent. The issue Cassidy and Omnes have been discussing is, I believe, what level of drunk is too drunk to effectivelyconsent to sex.
I agree, and I suspect that he and Cassidy agree in principle but have angles of approach that are somewhat different. As a woman, I’ll suggest that of course the best practice is to assume incapacity to consent if the level of intoxication is such that the initiator of sexual activity has any doubts about capacity. And also, that I appreciate the thoughtful discussion between Omnes and Cassidy.
Now I’ll walk away
Except to say that in the ripped off by hooker scenario (without head/lamp), the cops are known to have suggested it was dumb to take a hooker where you’re going to sleep and not investigated a resulting theft. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times. When the goalposts are moved and it’s a robbery (in this state robbery = theft by force) the investigation will occur. These outcomes (in this city, county and state, at least) are likely to be the same regardless of one night stand or hooker – the distinction is violence or lack of it. Thus my opinion is based only on my background, training and experience in criminal law in this city, county and state.
ETA: I was writing all that – and interrupted during the process – so I was unaware that you’d explained. I haven’t been drinking either, though I suspect I should.
@Omnes Omnibus: @rea: didn’t realize it was a controversial position to suggest that men should avoid sex with drunk women considering that “drunk” is such a subjective place and moves dramatically based on who’s reporting the crime.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Cassidy: I kind of got that! In my novella above, I tried to suggest that I think you and Omnes have been talking across each other and really agree about the consent issue. No worries, man (from me, at least).
Now I’m really walking away. (Maybe.)
@Cassidy: People should avoid sex with people whose ability to consent is in doubt or lacking. Outside of that, I think that adults should be able to drink and fuck as they choose and they should be able to do both if that is what they want to do. Also, they can do anything to one another that they both agree is fine.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
I tried that. It didn’t take.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): what I’m trying get to and, maybe I’m not being as articulate as I’d like, we view rape culture through the lens of a young male having some sort of sexual contact with an inebriated female. The male, in all likelihood, is equally inebriated, yet out culture says it’s cool
For him to be drunk and rapey but not cool for her to have tried to relax and have fun socially. The women must always have her guard up, but it’s fine if said dudebro just has a little too much. Now, I suggested that most males have had sex with a woman who was too inebriated to really give consent. I know in my younger days of drugs and misspent youth, I had sex with women who were just as high and drunk as myself. Did I rape? I don’t think so, but objectively the definition of rape could have applied, IMO, if she had women up the next morning and felt I had taken advantage of her. Overall, I believe rape culture is a symptom of a culture where we feel the need to be intoxicated to get the sexual contact we want. Taboo acts are acceptable when drunk, yet we seek out and encourage that level of intoxication to give ourselves permission to do things “good people” don’t do.
@Omnes Omnibus: Can people really decide that’s what they want to do, though, if there is any level of intoxication. I brought up the drunk driving analogy not because I disagree with the legally defined limit of intoxication, but because we have legally defined it. Yet, when a rape is alleged our society asks “was she and how much did she drink?”. So, why is that distinction made? Why is the allegation of rape and consent held to a higher standard of intoxication? It makes no sense and only serves to contribute to punishing women for not being on guard 100% of the time.
I would say yes. You can decide you want a pizza. You can decide you want another drink. You can decide to go home. You can decide not to have sex. All while intoxicated. Why can’t you decide to have sex?
@Omnes Omnibus: Perhaps. You could also argue that said person is spending money they don’t have by ordering the pizza, but the alcohol has broken down their better decision making capabilities. Etc.
@Cassidy: Let me put it this way, if I can sign a lease while drunk, why can’t I have sex?
@Omnes Omnibus: I’m not saying you can’t, but maybe you shouldn’t. And why are you using signing a lease as social interaction? Go to a bar like the rest of us.
Horse of a different color.
@Cassidy: You’re not talking about rape culture, you’re talking about slut culture.Men are actually no more “rapey” than they ever were in the past. But women are becoming bigger and sluttier whores with every passing day.
@ranger3: Just off hand, are you always a giant douchecanoe or is today special for some reason?
@Omnes Omnibus: Sounds like someone said “no”, therefore must be slutty whore.
@ranger3: I’ll bite, though. What exactly constitutes being a slurries whore. I’m curious how you define that.
@Cassidy: Pretty much.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
I realized after OO’s first question that my original scenario was the same as the guy who calls the cops and complains that someone stole his marijuana (ie a criminal complaining about a crime being committed against him). Obviously, a rape victim usually did not commit a crime before being raped, so that’s why I changed the scenario.
Paul in KY
@Cassidy: I think the guys who would have sex with a pased out woman would do it when they were stone cold sober, not just when they themselves are drunk.
Sure there are some exceptions to this rule.
Oh, I just came here to chime in that Slate blows donkey balls, and I abandoned that worthless shit-pit of a site about a decade ago, when I watched them wank themselves into a concern-troll pretzel over the obviously fucked-up 2004 election.
Some of the dimmest bulbs of all time write for that magazine. It was while reading Slate that I began to realize that the mainstream media were intentionally dumbing down everything and focusing on the stupidest aspects of the “controversy” to sell pages and ads, and not because any of the cunts and fuckwits on the staff had anything actually useful to say about the election.
Ella in New Mexico
GREAT book! It speaks to the idea of listening to your own, good, common sense about things. That being a cautious person–not a scared person–is what may keep you alive and you should nurture that trait. It kept our ancestors alive, and contributed to our success as a species, for millions of years.