Today, the endemic rape-culture of the United States is front and center again, only this time, it’s not Rush Limbaugh shaming women and victims of sexual assault or GOP gyneticians re-inventing women’s physiology — it’s an editor for the Wall Street Journal.
In today’s WSJ article, “Drunkenness and Double Standards: A balanced look at college sex offenses”, James Taranto makes a point to victim-blame women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol. Just when you think the days of the Neanderthal have passed, one pokes his misogynist head up and says things like this:
“Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life.”
Really? “Disrupted his life”??? This isn’t like changing your lunch order from beef to chicken. This is a life-changing event for the woman who is brave enough to report the assault. Of course, it will “disrupt” the man’s life as well.
Taranto uses a drunk driving analogy:
“[W]hen two drunken college students ‘collide’, the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”
I have recounted my own rape and my Steubenville-esque experiences, and I’ve heard from other women about their similar unintentional experiences. So judging from his attitude, I’m sure Taranto has never been on the receiving end of an assault or rape.
Taranto goes on to say,
“What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike.”
I want to point out that the men who participate in these drunken assaults caused by “reckless alcohol consumption” never seem to feel as if they have been assaulted. The women do. Maybe it’s because of the mechanics of “reckless sex” and how a man pounds into a woman’s vagina when he’s “reckless” — he doesn’t feel the physical or emotional effects of the “act” the way a woman does, and perhaps the woman would have said, “No,” had she not been under the influence. Keep in mind, that everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different.
In some areas, if a person has had at least two drinks, he/she is considered unable to give informed consent due to the effect of the alcohol on the brain. Alcohol is an entrenched part of American culture as well as college campuses. It’s no wonder that date rape and assaults involving alcohol seem to be on the rise.
The best thing is to steer clear of alcohol if you’re at a party like that. Keep your wits about you at all times. But if you do drink and are assaulted, please report the assault to campus police as soon as you can so a rape kit and STD tests can be done.
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