Dave Ramsey and Dear Prudence: When good advice goes bad

Emily Yoffe is, like Dave Ramsey, someone who provides advice for a living. Yoffe writes the “Dear Prudence” column for Slate where, like many an advice columnist before, she generally offers common-sense prescriptions to correspondents who, for the most part, already know what they need to hear but are writing to ask someone else to confirm it by nudging them in that direction.

And also like Dave Ramsey, Yoffe sometimes steps in it when she seems to reduce all the problems of the world to people who refuse to listen to her great wisdom. This problem is exacerbated by another Ramsey-ish trait — Yoffe’s thin-skinned defensiveness when she gets called out on this simplistic, reality-obscuring form of victim-blaming.

Here, I’m afraid we’re going to need a trigger warning, because discussing Yoffe’s variation of Ramsey’s bad advice will involve discussing rape, rape denialism, and the delusion that the problem of rape is about something other than the violent, predatory men who commit that crime.

This post by Alexandra Brodsky, addressed directly to Yoffe back in January, summarizes the problem — “Dear Prudence: How should I respond to your rape denialism?

This is the fourth letter in 12 months you’ve answered about a woman deeply affected by unremembered intercourse, and the third time you’ve insisted that such acts constitute an irresponsible drinker’s comeuppance or a fun, harmless night … but almost never rape.

  • Last January, you told another reader whose friend was considering pressing chargesagainst a man she believes raped her while she was drunk that “trying to ruin someone else’s life is a poor way to address one’s alcohol and self-control problems.”
  • Six months later, in the one column last year in which you accepted that intercourse with a drunk woman might be rape, you managed to spend a good  chunk of your response talking about how women set themselves up for assault by drinking; in a follow-up, you defended your victim-blaming as pragmatism. …

Doubting a given account doesn’t automatically make one a rape denialist, but a consistent track record of dismissing alleged assaults because the victims were drunk does. It’s not just these three women who are harmed by your facile dismissal of their experiences and subsequent masquerade of misogynistic popular myths about rape as expert wisdom. You betray all survivors who are stung by your harsh skepticism and all participants in our shared sexual culture whose partners’ expectations are, directly or indirectly, shaped by your downplaying of the importance of consent.

To be honest, though, rape denialism and victim-blaming in the mainstream media aren’t that surprising. What actually shocked me the most about your letters, Prudence, was your lack of empathy.

This criticism only led Yoffe to double down on her insistence that victims are to blame for not taking her advice and not making the best choices. While most of the country was recoiling in horror from the predatory behavior of teenage boys in Steubenville  and Maryville, Yoffe saw those crimes as an opportunity to reinforce her message that predators are not to blame for taking advantage of people who have put themselves in a vulnerable position. “Sexual assault and drinking: Teach women the connection,” was the headline of Yoffe’s manifesto — this despite the fact that her examples from Steubenville and Maryville involved young girls — children — not grown women.

Yoffe, like Dave Ramsey, seems to think of herself as a tough-minded provider of tough love. “A misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril,” she writes, wanting readers to know she’s not “afraid” of blaming the victim.

Prudence and common-sense tell us that it’s safer to stay in the center of the sardine-globe. The fish on the outside being eaten by the shark ought to have made better choices. (Photo by Jason Heller.)

” The rise of female binge drinking has made campuses a prey-rich environment,” Yoffe says. She doesn’t exactly like the fact that a “prey-rich environment” can only exist in a predator-rich environment, but she sees that as a given — something that just is, about which nothing can or should be done.

“Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice,” she writes. But the next word is but. “But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them.”

Some of what she goes on to say is unassailably sensible advice — not just for women, but for everyone. But like Ramsey, Yoffe makes this part of her advice difficult to take by weirdly presenting the most banal common sense as though it were her own unique insight and not just a no-duh repackaging of the obvious. Ramsey advises people not to buy things they can’t afford and not to borrow money they can’t pay back. Gee, thanks Dave. Nobody ever thought of that before.

The condescension that accompanies the common-sense aspects of their advice could be shrugged off if Yoffe and Ramsey didn’t take the next ugly step — the sweeping implication that it is the “prey” who are primarily responsible for being preyed upon in their “prey-rich environment.” Here’s how Ramsey put it, explicitly: “The only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU. … You can make better choices and have better results.”

And for both Ramsey and Yoffe, the implication is clear: If you’ve had bad “results,” then you must have made bad choices.

All of which makes people like Ramsey and Yoffe invaluable for predators.

Sure, there’s a slight downside in that their “advice” might make some percentage of the potential population of prey marginally more cautious or less vulnerable. But that’s nothing compared to the service they provide by legitimating predation itself. They practically institutionalize it, placing it’s existence beyond question as an eternal, unchanging fact of life that all tough-minded, tough-loving, tough people must be tough enough to accept as a given. The logic of their advice says that predators have a right to be predators. Whether it’s rape or usury, those predators are legitimated and almost praised by Ramsey and Yoffe for illustrating the “comeuppance” due to those who make “bad choices” and who irresponsibly disregard the advice of the professional advice-givers.

I would point out that legitimating such behavior is evil and wrong, but unlike Ramsey and Yoffe, I don’t feel the need to puff myself up by telling you what you already know and pretending it’s my own unique insight.

Ugh. After getting down into that muck I need a refresher, so here’s Siouxsie Sue. It’s beautiful, and so are you. Look around:

 

 

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  • quietglow

    A person who has no experience with rape reads that and takes away “it’s a dangerous world when I’m not with someone I trust” and then is put in danger by friends she didn’t think not to trust.

    A person who has been raped reads “so it was my fault.”

    A rapist reads “if I rape someone, all I have to do is tell Prudence she’d had a few beers, and she’ll nod and tell everyone it was the girl’s fault.”

    Basically it’s shit advice for every audience.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Even though staying sober when you’re in a dangerous environment is a generally good idea.

    (But even then, you could get drugged (Roofies) or find out the hard way that you trusted the wrong people/friends.)

  • $7768756

    No no no no no! Don’t you see that by suggesting that women exercise care and discretion in their habits, you’re suggesting that rapists are totally justified in raping?

    Look- walk down a Harlem street at two in the morning with hundred dollar bills hanging out your pockets singing a rousing chorus of “I’m unarmed and cannot fight, do dah, do dah” does not justify your mugging.

    But when you come to me the next day and tell me the story, I’m not gonna be surprised. And, shockingly, I may even say, well, maybe you shouldn’t have done that, given the circumstances.

    That isn’t victim blaming. That’s pointing out someone did something stupid, without justifying mugging or their mugger.

    I mean, seriously- you see advice for other types of crimes all the time- don’t leave your valuables in plain sight. Lock your door. Carry your wallet in an inside pocket. Don’t walk down dark alleyways at midnight.

    I don’t interpret any of that advice as victim blaming, or justifiying muggers, or creating “thief culture”. So how come when we issue the exact same type of advice about rape, it’s suddenly this whole other thing?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    But in no other crime do people say “What the hell were you thinking? You clearly wanted someone to steal all your valuables, or else you wouldn’t have left the door unlocked. I’d say we can safely close this case as a false report. And if you try bringing up your lost valuables again, we’ll charge you with a crime. Fucking men, always crying foul because they won’t want to fess up to spontaneous acts of mass charity.”

  • Amazing

    “spontaneous acts of mass charity”

    love it.

  • $7768756

    Really?

    You leave your car door unlocked in a bad part of town, and your GPS gets stolen. You don’t know anyone that would go “Damn, that sucks, but you should’ve locked your door dumbass!”

    Hell, that’s more or less exactly what the cops said when I reported the stolen GPS. “You didn’t lock your car door, sir? You are aware that this isn’t a very good part of town, and even if it was, you should always lock your doors. No, I don’t think there’s a very good chance we’ll recover it, sir.” And it was pretty clear that investigating it wasn’t a high priority, either.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    But were you accused of giving away the GPS and now making a false report just to get someone in trouble, like troublemakers like you always do?

  • $7768756

    No, and in cases where that happens, thats wrong. hell, not taking a report of rape seriously is wrong. I’m opposed to these things. I’m point out that acting as though saying “don’t do these things to avoid [Crime]” and “Jesus, you were a victim of [crime], that’s awful! But what were you doing in that place doing that stupid activity? Were you trying to get [Crimed]?” are neither victim blaming, enabling criminals, or trying to vanish the effects of crime, but are, instead, perfectly normal and expected reactions in the cases of any crime.

    “But were you accused of giving away the GPS and now making a false report just to get someone in trouble, like troublemakers like you always do?”

    Try being a white guy in a non-white bad (ie, drug dealing) part of town and reporting a couple hundred dollars in cash that’s gone AWOL. You’ll get a lot of interested questions about just exactly what the hell you were doing in that place with that much cash.

  • Figs

    I know this conversation is probably long over, but I had to stop and laugh at a grievance that starts “try being a white guy…”

  • Amaryllis

    Oddly, my GPS was stolen recently. Out of my locked car. Which was parked in my driveway, in a safe, low-crime suburban neighborhood.

    They smashed a window.

    The thing that determines whether a GPS theft will occur is someone’s choice to be a GPS thief.

    The thing that determines whether a rape will occur is someone’s choice to be a rapist.

  • $7768756

    Yes. Duh. Stealing and rape are both bad things that people shouldn’t do.

    However, making incredibly stupid decisions can greatly increase the chances of being the victim of someone who has made the choice to be a GPS thief, or a rapist. Pointing that out isn’t victim blaming, nor is it excusing the criminals. Giving good advice for avoiding those crimes as much as possible isn’t creating a “thief culture” or “rape culture”- it’s giving advice on how to avoid a crime. This is generally accepted wisdom in every case besides rape.

  • stardreamer42

    But in no other case is it regularly assumed that “contributory negligence” (which is what you’re talking about here) immediately exonerates the criminal — in fact, completely reverses the roles of criminal and victim. If you make a stupid decision about flaunting cash in a bar, or leaving your car door unlocked, YOU are not thereby accused of being a horrible person who dangled temptation in front of that poor thief who just couldn’t help himself. You are not badgered and pressured into withdrawing the charge, nor are you presumed to be filing a false report. Yes, there are many things we suggest that people do to lessen their chances of being victims of a crime. But one of these crimes is not like the others.

  • $7768756

    “But one of these crimes is not like the others.”

    No analogy is perfect. And I agree with you on the other things.

    But what Fred said was “But that’s nothing compared to the service they provide by legitimating predation itself. They practically institutionalize it, placing it’s existence beyond question as an eternal, unchanging fact of life that all tough-minded, tough-loving, tough people must be tough enough to accept as a given. ”

    And I pointed out that yes, there are issues with rape, and how it is treated, but reactions of “Here are rape avoidance tips” and, yes, “Wow, that was an incredibly stupid thing to do, what were you thinking?” are not either legitimizing rape, nor victim blaming, but common reactions to any other sort of crime.

    I’m not saying rape is just like theft. I’m saying the specific examples that Fred uses to make his argument are wrong.

  • Figs

    You are leaking privilege out your ears. It’s getting all over the floor.

  • Persia

    This.

  • Amaryllis

    * shrug *

    I was just amused by the coincidence between my recent experience and your flawed analogy, that’s all.

    Stealing and rape are both bad things that people shouldn’t do. That’s what they have in common, and not much else.

    Potential theft victims aren’t simultaneously advised to view every person they meet as a potential thief, and accused of prejudice and misandry if they do so.

  • $7768756

    That and people are routinely given advice on how to prevent themselves falling victim to those bad things, advice that focuses entirely on the behavior of the victim prior to the bad thing happening.

    The difference, in one case, that advice is seen as sensible and useful, and in no way a comment on the morality of the victim.

    in the case of the other, giving pretty mcuh exactly the same advice is seen as useless, victim blaming, and actively collaborationist.

    “Don’t dress in such a fashion as to attract the attention of X Criminal”
    “Be aware of your surroundings at all time”
    “Don’t walk down certain streets at night”
    “Don’t wander around deserted areas alone”
    Don’t get drunk and wander around.
    Be aware of who has access to your home.

    Are those anti rape tips or anti theft tips?

    They’re both.

  • Tapetum

    You are aware that most women are raped by people they know, right? Not by strangers in back alleys of bad neighborhoods. But if you go have a drink with friends, and one of them turns out to be not trustworthy, you’ll still be treated as if you were being terribly, terribly stupid.

  • Figs

    Rape is not about sexual attraction to strumpets who dress too strumpetty. Try again.

  • Caddy Compson

    Whenever you focus on things women shouldn’t do in order to keep from being raped, what you’re really saying is, “Make sure it happens to the other woman.”

  • $7768756

    Actually, no you aren’t. Rapists might very well, you know- NOT RAPE. Particularly since most are rapists of opportunity rather than stalking.

    Now, when you dont’ get MUGGED, THAT will happen to someone else, because that’s how a mugger makes their money.

  • Caddy Compson

    Might. But I’m not willing to be another woman’s safety on it. The majority of men who rape do it over and over again. They’re always on the lookout for someone vulnerable. If none of the women in their social group look vulnerable at a particular party, he might not rape anyone that night. But he will rape someone else eventually. And it might not be because that woman is drunk, but maybe she trusts him because they’ve known each other a while and she invites him into her home and he rapes her. Rapists will find a way to rape. The fact that they commit rape over and over shows this.

  • Ben English

    Eh, someone might choose to be a rapist and then get their face kicked-in. Still not the best case scenario. Who wants rapist-blood on their new boots?

  • Isabel C.

    Also?

    If I go to my friends and say “Shit, my GPS just got stolen,” and their first response is to ask whether I’d locked my car and what neighborhood I was in…these people *aren’t my friends*.

    A friend’s response is “Oh, I’m so sorry!” or “That sucks, man. Can I do anything?” or “Bastards!” And I’m not too impressed with the theoretical cops in the example above either.

    I’m a grown adult. Presumably I know that I should lock my car, and that it’s safer to park in a lot. If I forget to do that, or can’t, and I lose a GPS as a result? I’m already kicking myself. I don’t need a lecture that will make me feel even worse about a moment of absent-mindedness, the decision to take a risk, or just bad circumstances.

    If your response to hearing that someone’s property got stolen is “Well, you should’ve locked your car, dumbass!” then, frankly? Fuck you, you judgmental asshole, and the high horse you rode in on.

  • Amaryllis

    Yes, exactly!

  • http://music.satellitereboot.com/ Matt S

    You give your buddy a ride to the bad part of town. When you park your car, he grabs your GPS and makes a run for it. You report him. The cops pick him up. His fingerprints are all over the GPS. He admits to taking it from your car, but says, “He’s let me borrow his GPS before, I thought it was fine.” Assuming the cops don’t let him go immediately, he says the same thing in court and the jury lets him walk because clearly you did something to encourage him.

    That’s somewhat more accurate of an analogy.

  • Antigone10

    Because I can’t leave my vagina at home. Even if I cover it up with clothes, people will still know it’s there.

    Because I should be able to have a few drinks without worrying about being raped, in the same way that a man can.

    Because not walking down the street with my rendition of “please steal from me” is not any sort of hardship, at all, whereas having drinks and wearing sexy clothes is a common social activity (as being alone with a guy and watching a movie is) and it would be an unnecessary, stupid, hardship for me to alter it because SOMEONE else is doing bad things.

    Because if I do my rousing rendition of “Look it all the money I have” down Harlem street, the cops will still investigate as a crime, and not pretend as if I am the criminal.

    Because the vast majority of the country agrees that mugging is wrong, and the ones who don’t have little to no power or institutional support. As opposed to rape, which is still stuck in the “Only if the woman has no sexual activity from a stranger in a bush.”

    Because the appropriate parallel between “rape” and “theft” doesn’t exist, but if there was one, it would be “because you looked too rich” despite everything telling you should look rich.

  • $7768756

    “As opposed to rape, which is still stuck in the “Only if the woman has no sexual activity from a stranger in a bush.””

    In what world are you living? 1950? Most of us are pretty aware that “No means no.” Yes, there are people that think that way- yes there was that Montana judge. There was that other judge that was sending kids to jail for money from the corporation, that doesn’t mean everyone wants to put every child in jail. There were the people in Stubenville- but people react that way any time anyone they like or know is accused of a serious crime. Their reaction indicates how serious of a crime rape is considered to be- everyone jumped to defend OJ when he was accused of murder, but not of stealing. Everyone jumped to defend Michael Jackson when he was accused of child molestation- not because they approve of child molestation, but because it is SUCH a serious crime that having someone they loved accused of it triggered an emotional response. If he’d been accused of tax fraud, it wouldn’t have been a thousandth of the issue that it was.

    People take rape very seriously- that’s why accusations of rape get such an emotional reaction.

    ” “because you looked too rich”- one common piece of anti-mugging advice is, if you have to be in a bad part of town, don’t stand out, don’t flash cash, don’t look wealthy.

    That exact parallel exists. The world tells you to dress nice and look prosperous, and then warns you it may make you a target for muggings.

    “Because if I do my rousing rendition of “Look it all the money I have” down Harlem street, the cops will still investigate as a crime, and not pretend as if I am the criminal.”

    I think you’d be surprised how little ‘investigating” takes place in that situation. A meaningless report would be filed, maybe someone asks a question somewhere.

    Which is not to say that the police not investigating rapes isn’t a very serious issue that we need to examine as a society. I agree- rape accusations need to be taken much more seriously. However, saying that filing a mugging report is treated with greater interest or respect is simply false.

    “Because I should be able to have a few drinks without worrying about being raped, in the same way that a man can.”

    I should be able to walk down the street with a ton of cash, like a Brinks Truck. The fact that I can’t is a reflection of the fact that there are bad people in the world. Pointing out that there are bad people in the world does not consititute victim blaming. Advice to avoid bad people is not victim blaming or bad guy enabling. It’s a reflection that the world isn’t perfect, here’s a way to make it safer.

  • Antigone10

    I live in the world where rapes in movies are treated as punchlines in movies, comics, and comedy shows. I live in a world where even when you are defending it as “No one thinks that way anymore” you go on to list a number of people, and people in power, that still think that way.

    I have never heard anyone say “Well, why were you wearing that suit?” after a theft. I have never been subjected to anti-theft advice in school that said not wear name brands, even in schools that had gang problems. I have never heard a preacher talk about how we shouldn’t look to rich as to not inspire the sin of avarice in our fellow Christians. I have never read an opt-ed that says, well, people shouldn’t rob the rich, but I totally understand why they would because such and such is so wealthy. In fact, the only time I actually hear this anti-mugging advice is when people like to talk about why it’s okay to tell rape victims what they should have done to not be raped.

    And yes, finally there is a big difference between an apathetic “We’ll file a police report, but I don’t think we’re going to get your stuff back” and “Are you sure you were REALLY raped? I mean, look at what you’re wearing. Maybe you should reconsider before you go ruin some guys life.” But since this apparently needs to be made perfectly, 100% clear let me state this for the record: A property crime (theft) is not in anyway equal to an assault (rape).

    But since none of that seems to have made an impression, let me try this tack:

    Because if any of this advice was helpful in keeping people safe, as opposed to giving rapists social cover, this sort of advice would have reduced the number of rapes there were. As it hasn’t, but surveys show that it sure does convince a lot of people not to report rapes that happen, then it is more harmful then helpful.

  • $7768756

    “I live in the world where rapes in movies are treated as punchlines in movies, comics, and comedy shows.”

    So is murder. People take that pretty seriously.

    “I have never been subjected to anti-theft advice in school that said not wear name brands, even in schools that had gang problems.”

    Really? Was this before or after the Air Jordans came out?

    ” have never read an opt-ed that says, well, people shouldn’t rob the rich, but I totally understand why they would because such and such is so wealthy.”

    LOL. A few months ago there was an entire thousand post thread here about a kid that gave away free discounts at goodwill, and how that was totally acceptable because big company, little guy.

    ” A property crime (theft) is not in anyway equal to an assault (rape).”

    I completely agree. Nor is a murder equal to anything else. That does not mean we cannot gain useful information about our treatment of issues surrounding rape by making analogies to other crimes.

    “In fact, the only time I actually hear this anti-mugging advice is when people like to talk about why it’s okay to tell rape victims what they should have done to not be raped.”
    http://www.barcelonayellow.com/bcn-tourist/115-safety-barcelona-top-tips

    “Don’t wear a “tourist uniform” on holiday…If you are the only person on the street in Bermuda shorts and flip-flops, then you are an easy target for pickpockets.”

    “Keep the guidebooks and maps well hidden untill you need them. Even if you don’t look Spanish, you can avoid pickpockets simply by looking as if you are a foreigner resident of in Barcelona. ”

    “. Don’t show the pickpockets what you have Or in other words – Don’t show off. The tourists who get robbed most often are the ones who display their possesions”

    Literally the first google result for “mugging advice clothing”

    “as opposed to giving rapists social cover, this sort of advice would have reduced the number of rapes there were. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/18/AR2006061800610.html

    “This seemingly stunning reduction in sexual violence has been so consistent over the past two decades that some experts say they have started to believe it is accurate, even if they cannot fully explain why it is occurring.

    In 1979, according to a Justice Department estimate based on a wide-ranging public survey, there were 2.8 rapes for every 1,000 people. In 2004, the same survey found that the rate had decreased to 0.4 per thousand.

    “Overall, there has clearly been a decline over the last 10 to 20 years,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. (emphasis mine) “It’s very liberating for women, in terms of now being able to be more free and more safe.”

  • Ben English

    Why are you even still here? You’re just making an ass out of yourself.

  • $7768756

    Because pumpkin, I’ve been hanging out on slacktivist for a literal decade now, and I don’t feel like leaving because you don’t like my slight deviation from your opinion.

  • P J Evans

    And you still haven’t learned that rape is about power, not about sex. You’re still being a dick about it.

    You know better. Try being better, instead of throwing out every fucking rape-apology you’ve ever run across.

  • $7768756

    Have you read what I’ve said?

    Could you tell me what I’m saying? Because what I think I’m saying and what you think I’m saying are two different things, apparently.

  • P J Evans

    I read what you write, and I remember that you got into trouble before for being a dick about THIS SAME THING.
    Try to remember what got you into trouble and DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

  • $7768756

    Umm, dude.

    I’m pretty sure I was right that time too. I’m sorry that I have the temerity to disagree with you, but my opinions on this subject differ mildly from yours.. And I didn’t “get in trouble.” You people aren’t my parents, you didn’t ground me, and you sure as hell don’t have any authority over me. You’re people I converse with on the internet. If you don’t like my opinion, disagree.

    I’d rather y’all didn’t call me a rapist but- slacktivist. Some people get a little exercised. What are ya gonna do?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yeah, what can ya do. I mean, you’re only telling people that they weren’t really raped, just had some crappy sex while drunk and they really need to get over it. When will people grow up, right? It’s just a difference of opinion on the Internet and not something actually relevant to real life. Yawn, wake me when important stuff happens.

    Hey Cary, food for thought: Maybe you should stop comparing your experiences with drunken sex with rape reports. It implies that all rape claims are just butthurt women who’d rather not imagine having had sex with a guy they woke up next to in the morning. In fact, by your own words, that’s exactly what most rape is: Just women being butthurt that they lowered their standards for a one night stand while drunk. And that is rape culture.

    You are a horrible person. And I’m not calling you a rapist, so fucking stop with the strawman bullshit. You don’t have to be a rapist to buy into rape culture. You don’t have to cheerlead rape to be part of rape culture. You just have to be an asshole who automatically assumes women who say they were raped are full of shit. And you do. You have said it repeatedly now. You have flat out said there’s no point at which “yes” shouldn’t be taken at face value; you have argued that “no” can be made into “yes”; you have equated lowering your own standards (in what you yourself call consensual sex) with having your consent and bodily autonomy violated. This is rape culture, and you are part of it. And the worst part is that you’re so snidely sure of yourself that you’re willing to err on the side of “fuck what these dumbass women say” than consider that you maybe ought to rethink your position.

    You are part of the problem. Get that through your thick skull.

  • $7768756

    “I mean, you’re only telling people that they weren’t really raped, just had some crappy sex while drunk and they really need to get over it. ”

    No, I’m saying that in cases when you consented the night before and regret it in the morning, you weren’t raped. If someone rapes you, as in ignores your consent, has sex with you when you are unconcious, that is rape.

    “Maybe you should stop comparing your experiences with drunken sex with rape reports. ”

    It has been repeatedly pointed out to me that if someone has sex with another person and that person is drunk, that first person is a rapist. I pointed out that under that definition, in the very stories that people are using to call me a rapist, I was, technically, being raped.

    ‘In fact, by your own words, that’s exactly what most rape is: Just women being butthurt that they lowered their standards for a one night stand while drunk.”

    Quote me those words. I’ve never said most rape was ANYTHING, let alone caused by women who regret it. When IN raised that exact point downthread, I made it clear I do not think most rape reports are by vengeful/regretful women.

    Again- don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t misquote you. Kindly do me the same favor.

    ” And I’m not calling you a rapist, so fucking stop with the strawman bullshit.”

    I recently made a post with three seperate people calling me rapists. Directly. That isn’t even all of them. You have not. Others have. again- I don’t put words in other people’s mouth

    “”I dunno if you like it, but by your own admission, you
    apparently have raped women before, and are having a hard time coming to terms with that.””

    Direct, exact quote. I just control-F’d it.

    That’s ONE. Of many more.

    ” You just have to be an asshole who automatically assumes women who say they were raped are full of shit.”

    I don’t. I think that this one woman in Yoffe’s post who doesn’t remember if she consented to sex or not should maybe, you know- NOT accuse someone of being a rapist when even she doesn’t know what happened.

    “You have said it repeatedly now. You have flat out said there’s no point at which “yes” shouldn’t be taken at face value;”

    I actually haven’t. I’ve pointed out that there can be honest confusion about the state of someone’s inebriation, and that being involved in that situation doesn’t make someone a rapist.

    “you have equated lowering your own standards (in what you yourself call consensual sex) with having your consent and bodily autonomy violated.”

    I have applied your exact standards to my own experiences to point out how stupid your standards are.

    “And the worst part is that you’re so snidely sure of yourself that you’re willing to err on the side of “fuck what these dumbass women say” than consider that you maybe ought to rethink your position.”

    I have repeatedly said that I think rape victims should be believed. My exception for the Yoffe woman is that even she doesn’t know what happened. And not a case of being roofied, or repression, or confusion about the exact definition of rape.

    No memory of whether she said yes or not. Do you see how thinking she should have a certain reaction in that situation that differs from the typical reaction I support in rape victims is not the same as saying “Ehhh, all those bitches want it.”?

    I’m sorry that you have assumed things I haven’t said. But I haven’t said any of the things you accuse me of. You have implanted your own beliefs of what rape apologists say on top of my words.

    Which is why I use QUOTES. ok? QUOTE the people you’re attacking, so you know you aren’t just responding to something you think they said.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Every one of caryjamesbond’s debate tactics in this thread have come straight from the Rape Apology Playbook.
    You are a walking testament to the power of Rape Culture to toxify a mind without the mind’s owner even realizing it.

  • $7768756

    Ahhhh yes. “I don’t have an actual argument, but a blog told me I can just call anything rape culture and they have no response to it.”

    Rape is a serious problem, that is fortunately dropping to historic lows. This trend started in 1979, around the time that rape prevention, including those evil ol’ rape prevention tips, because a big deal.

  • quietglow

    Really? The rates of reported rapes has declined? Can I find a source on that?

    http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/Search/Crime/State/RunCrimeStatebyState.cfm

    No.

    Also, correlation is not cause and effect. Even if you find a source for your claim, the seventies coincidentally are around the time feminism-

    Never mind. I think I’m done talking with you; I can’t decide what your motives are, but I don’t think it makes a difference to the discussion.

  • $7768756

    My motives are “this is what I think”

    I’m sorry that what I think does not exactly align with what you think. I look at the evidence I can collect and draw certain conclusions. Yes the 70’s are around the time that feminism became a big deal and awareness of rape became a serious issue, and that undoubtedly played a large part in the reductions- and warning your women about rape was part of that movement.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    This post, by caryjamesbond, is where I finally saw the light. Up to this point I had been assuming that they were just naive and didn’t realize the extent to which their mind had been poisoned.
    But the ease with which they trotted out that tired schoolyard bluster and the bogus assertions of the massive decline in rapes clued me in. caryjamesbond is a seasoned rape apologist.

  • $7768756

    Ah yes. Decades of data, that the president of NOW thinks is accurate. Me and the president of NOW- rape apologists!

    Excellent,

  • Antigone10

    I find it fascinating that you have moved to goalposts from “Don’t walk down Harlem looking rich” to “Don’t go to Barcelona looking like a tourist”. Seriously, do you seriously not see how these are not the same argument? And I was pointing out that these are not COMMON arguments, nor are the ubiquitous like anti-rape “advice” is. Googling things isn’t exactly an example of how frequent you hear them.

    And there isn’t a useful analogy to be gleaned here. I can leave my brand name clothes at home, I can keep my GPS in a locked car, my vagina is always there. Existing in a woman’s body, and all, for everyone to know or guess about.

    And you linked to a report that says that “Rape is under-reported”. Additionally, people have been giving the advice from time memorable “Women shouldn’t do X, Y, and Z and then we won’t have rapes”. If rapes have gone down in the US since the 1970s (which is possible, despite the fact that it remains under-reported) I wonder is perhaps something changed in the 1970s on how we treat rape. Perhaps laws like Rape Shield laws could actually be effective? Perhaps campaigns like “No means no” campaign which is over 2 decades long? Both of these target the behavior of the ACTUAL aggressor- the rapists. I suspect that some of the newer campaigns, which also target rapists, will be that much more effective too, because they target rapists. They aren’t about “Well, women should stop acting like they are people who have the right to live lives” they are about stripping social sanction from rapists. I am GLAD that rapes are going down, as I suspect everyone here is. But they are still way higher in the US than other first world countries. And they are still too high all the way around. So let’s look at things that actually fix the problem, as opposed to victim-blaming stuff that at the absolute best means this individual person is not the victim of this systematic crime.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In what world are you living? 1950? Most of us are pretty aware that “No means no.”

    I think you missed the part where recent (2000s-era) surveys of young males have revealed that a sizable percentage still seem to think cajoling a “yes” from a “no” is acceptable.

  • $7768756

    “cajoling”

    Like….seduction? Or like ‘Nah, you really meant yes, so I’m going to hold you down?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh my fucking god wat is this I don’t even

    People can and have pushily gotten their way with someone else by browbeating them. For such people all they need is what they can spot as an acceptable “entering wedge”: say the woman says “not tonight”, but tosses it off in a way the guy can convince himself is “flirting” and not “not interested”.

    The rest follows from there.

  • $7768756

    What is “The rest”?

    Like, “hey, I’m gonna talk to you for a while yet and make you laugh and be funny and witty and compliment your hair and then maybe in an hour suggest again that we go home and you say yes this time?”

    Or “Nah, you really mean yes, so I’m gonna hold you down?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You are attempting to reduce the situation to a rather absurd set of binary choices, neither of which totally approximate the realities that go with how coercion of consent can occur.

  • $7768756

    Yes, two fairly extreme opposites. But there are ways of turning a no into yes that I’m not opposed to- pretty much by being witty and charming and funny and making her laugh- in other words, giving her the information to reconsider her decision. Anything beyond that I’m pretty much opposed to as gross and skeevy, although I don’t think, say, Pick up artists, who are very disgusting, are rapists.

  • $7768756

    “Turning yes into a no”

    Clearly a freudian slip revealing my deeply rooted desire to rape!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Don’t be ridiculous.

    Also, the mere fact that you can talk of “turning a [no] into a [yes] that you’re not opposed to”–

    Look, it’s one thing to ask someone to change their mind about something, if you do so without trying to coerce the answer out of them.

    But all too often what men tell themselves and what women perceive are two different things when it comes to this getting-the-mind-changed business.

  • $7768756

    ” if you do so without trying to coerce the answer out of them.”

    Right, yeah. I’m opposed to coercion. Flirting, seducing and even cajoling aren’t coercive. Being menacing, over bearing, or a PUA- those are coercive. I’m opposed to those things. I’d say that sex you got out of menacing someone directly was rape.

    Ok, yeah, we’re pretty much on the same page here, I think.

  • Nightsky

    >People take rape very seriously- that’s why accusations of rape get such an emotional reaction.
    >I agree- rape accusations need to be taken much more seriously.

    Y hallo thar, cognitive dissonance!

    >However, saying that filing a mugging report is treated with greater interest or respect is simply false.

    …and you know this how, exactly?

    >I should be able to walk down the street with a ton of cash, like a Brinks Truck.

    Once more for Mommy: WOMEN’S BODIES ARE NOT LIKE MONEY OR VALUABLES. I can neither leave home without my vagina nor conceal the fact that I have one.

  • $7768756

    “Once more for Mommy: WOMEN’S BODIES ARE NOT LIKE MONEY OR VALUABLES. I can neither leave home without my vagina nor conceal the fact that I have one.”

    Analogies still not the exact same thing as they are being used to illustrate, film at 11.

    Y hallo thar, cognitive dissonance!

    Y hallo thar, taking quotes out of context!

    The first quote is from here, refering to how the general public views people they care about being accused of rape:
    “Everyone jumped to defend Michael Jackson when he was accused of child molestation- not because they approve of child molestation, but because it is SUCH a serious crime that having someone they loved accused of it triggered an emotional response. ”

    The second quote was from here, discussing the phenomenon of the police not investigating rape reports as throughly as say, murder.

    “Which is not to say that the police not investigating rapes isn’t a very serious issue that we need to examine as a society. I agree- rape accusations need to be taken much more seriously.”

    You can both have a society that takes things very seriously and yet the police don’t OH WAIT DAMN THAT’S A HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM IN AMERICA ISN’T IT OH SHIT ITS ALMOST LIKE THE POLICE IN AMERICA SUCK OR SOMETHING.

  • Nightsky

    How dare I juxtapose two sentences you wrote (in the same post, no less) to illustrate a teensy little disconnect in your thinking! No fair!

    Either society agrees that rape is super serious (your quote #1) or we need to take it more seriously as a society (your quote #2, and note that you–not I–say society, not police). Pick one.

  • $7768756

    Oh my goodness! Two complex concepts dealing with society at large and the problems with police in that society were, in two sentences placed within larger paragraphs, phrased in a similar fashion!

    It’s both. As the context made clear to anyone at a fourth grade reading level.

    Cheap “Gotcha!” argument is cheap.

  • quietglow

    I really don’t like how you keep conflating property and women’s bodies. Just go back to that damn stupid hammer analogy or something.

  • Carstonio

    What is wrong with you? No one is suggesting that women shouldn’t exercise caution, so don’t pretend that Fred and other critics are proposing that. The whole point is that they shouldn’t have to take such precautions. Ramsey and Yoffe embody defeatism, a wrongheaded and tragic belief that sexual violence against women is an inevitability. Like millions of others, they assume a false distinction between rapists and “good” men, wrongly treating rape as a crime of lust and not of entitlement. Doing away with rape means raising boys to know that they’re not entitled to treat women however they want.

  • $7768756

    “. Like millions of others, they assume a false distinction between rapists and “good” men, wrongly treating rape as a crime of lust and not of entitlement. Doing away with rape means raising boys to know that they’re not entitled to treat women however they want.”

    “. Like millions of others, they assume a false distinction between muggers and “good” men, wrongly treating mugging as a crime of desperation and not of desire for money. Doing away with mugging means raising boys to know that they’re not entitled to treat strangers however they want.”

    See how when you put it in the context of another crime that people routinely issues tips about, your argument looks really silly? Because, as it turns out, there will always be crime. Rape, murder, muggings, assaults- unless humanity loses the capacity for evil, these things will happen.

    yes, we can reduce them. But teaching people how to avoid them, instead of shooting for some pie in the sky “we’ll teach everyone to respect everyone and there won’t be any more hurting ever” is a practical and useful solution that helps millions of people, and denigrating it as defeatist and, whats more COLLABORATIONIST, is wrong headed and foolish, and does no one any good.

  • quietglow

    “does no one any good.”

    And quit taking my lines.

  • Carstonio

    That comparison doesn’t hold up, because our society talks about property crimes the way it talks about rape. The assumption in both cases is that the perpetrators are simply evil people. With rape, the assumption is driven by a desire by men to prove to others, and to themselves, that they themselves are not evil people.

    Obviously we can never eliminate crime entirely. Again, everyone here agrees that sensible precautions are necessary, so stop treating us like we oppose giving that advice. My point is that such precautions must be only the beginning of addressing rape, not the conclusion. The focus must be on changing the artificial attitudes of entitlement. Fathers in particular need to examine the attitudes that they pass on to their sons, often unconsciously. Polls show that many teenage boys have grave misconceptions about what constitutes rape, and all those are based in a belief that girls owe them sex.

    And of course changing these attitudes is not easy or quick, but it can be done. I never expected to see a non-white president or legalized same-sex marriage in my lifetime either. We shouldn’t accept a world where women always have to be wary of men.

  • $7768756

    “so stop treating us like we oppose giving that advice. ”

    “Sure, there’s a slight downside in that their “advice” might make some percentage of the potential population of prey marginally more cautious or less vulnerable. But that’s nothing compared to the service they provide by legitimating predation itself. They practically institutionalize it, placing it’s existence beyond question as an eternal, unchanging fact of life that all tough-minded, tough-loving, tough people must be tough enough to accept as a given. The logic of their advice says that predators have a rightto be predators. Whether it’s rape or usury, those predators are legitimated and almost praised by Ramsey and Yoffe for illustrating the “comeuppance” due to those who make “bad choices” and who irresponsibly disregard the advice of the professional advice-givers.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Look- walk down a Harlem street at two in the morning with hundred dollar bills hanging out your pockets singing a rousing chorus of “I’m unarmed and cannot fight, do dah, do dah” does not justify your mugging.

    But when you come to me the next day and tell me the story, I’m not gonna be surprised. And, shockingly, I may even say, well, maybe you shouldn’t have done that, given the circumstances.

    A lot of crimes differ from sexual assault in one key respect:

    * The crime being committed usually involves something separate from you. For example, theft involves your money. Fraud involves forms of property. Various civil torts usually involve agreements written in contractual form. Et cetera and so on.

    * Sexual assault involves you. Your body. Something that is most assuredly not separate from you. Simple assault and murder are the other two classes of crimes which can be said to fall under this heading.

    But the common feature remains that nothing a person does or does not do legitimizes someone else taking what isn’t theirs from that person. Be it involving personal property or their own bodily integrity.

  • chgo_liz

    “I mean, seriously- you see advice for other types of crimes all the time- don’t leave your valuables in plain sight. Lock your door. Carry your wallet in an inside pocket. Don’t walk down dark alleyways at midnight.”

    How often do you see advice like this: Don’t leave your valuables in plain sight inside your home. Lock your inside doors when you are at home. Carry your wallet in an inside pocket when you are at home. Don’t walk down dark hallways at midnight at home.

    The majority of rapes do not occur down dark alleys with a stranger in the middle of the night. Home (and school, and work) are the most dangerous places for potential rape victims.

  • $7768756

    ” Don’t leave your valuables in plain sight inside your home. Lock your inside doors when you are at home.”

    Those two? Pretty common.

  • Amaryllis

    Really? I’ve never heard anyone advising me to keep my bedroom door locked when I’m at home.

    How often do you hear questions like, “You don’t want to carry your wallet into an elevator with someone you don’t know? Do you think all men are thieves? Do you hate men?”

    “You carried your wallet into an elevator with a stranger and he stole it? Of course he did, what were you thinking, don’t you you know how dangerous that is?”

    “You won’t let anyone into your home in case they steal something? Do you think all men are thieves? Do you hate men?”

    “You let him in, and he stole from you? Of course he did, what were you thinking, don’t you know how dangerous that is?”

  • $7768756

    Yes- there is a difference between rape prevention tips issued by say, a college campus safety course, and actual victim-blaming. Fred wasn’t criticizing people who said “You shouldn’t have been wearing that.” He was criticizing people who say “watch your drink”

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “Don’t you see that by suggesting that women exercise care and discretion
    in their habits, you’re suggesting that rapists are totally justified
    in raping?”

    Where are all the articles suggesting that RAPISTS exercise care and discretion in their habits?

  • $7768756

    All over the place. Haven’t you seen that list of “tips to stop rape” that was all about not being a rapist?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl
  • $7768756

    A six year old boy kissed a girl on the hand and got suspended.?

    That seems like a bit of an overreaction for a first offense…that seems more like an opportunity for a parent-teacher-student talk about boundaries and maybe an apology. I don’t particularly think that the boy learned anything from the suspension, so it was ineffective. I do think a policy of extremely low tolerance for that sort of thing is a good thing, but….complex.

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I forgot I’m pro-rape. They should….given him unlimited access to her body because….shes a woman and he’s a man? I dunno. Something like that.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Didn’t even read the article, which stated that THIS WASN’T HIS FIRST OFFENSE.

    It’s the tone of the AP article, that is the exact opposite of all the articles you claim to read that don’t perpetuate rape culture, that I’m talking about.

  • $7768756

    Ok- six year old kid. Not Jeffery Dhamer here. Yes. Sometimes you have to tell a six year old not to do something more than once. Although, I’ll note, they suspended him the first time too, so, you know- point still stands. So this was his second “offense.” Which is, yes the point to bring in the parents. First offense- teacher says “NO Johnny, we don’t touch people without their permission.” Second offense- talk to the parents.

    When my sister was six, she loved to hug and kiss things- often things that had been on the gross floor, or just grab and hug people. Six years old is a little soon to be sexualizing affection. I don’t think it should be allowed, I don’t think there should be no consequences- I think they handled it poorly and in a way that won’t resolve the problem.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    But it’s not too soon to teach that it is inappropriate to disrespect someone’s wishes in regards to their body.

  • $7768756

    Yes. That’s what I said.

    Also, I’d note:

    “A child psychologist told KRDO that tough love in this case could have negative consequences. She said kissing is normal behavior for children of that age.
    “For most 6-year-old boys, absolutely. That would be a normal behavior,” said Sandy Wurtele, a child clinical psychologist who specializes in child sexual development and the prevention of childhood sexual abuse.

    Wurtele said she was surprised to hear the school suspended him.

    “That really gives mixed messages, negative messages to the kids,” she said. “This part of development is just as important if not more than their academic subjects.”

    Wurtele said children at that age are simply curious about the differences between boys and girls.”

    So the Child Psycholgist that specializes in this area thought they overreacted. I suspect she would agree that it shouldn’t be permitted to run wild, but that suspension for a first offense (and second offense) is an overreaction and a case of poor judgement that won’t have a positive result.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    You mean even trained professionals have biases in regards to rape culture! REALLY?!?!

    It’s almost like victims and survivors have been saying for YEARS that therapists have retraumatized them by framing their experiences in ways that play into rape culture narratives.

    Look, I’ve had six year olds, and yes they are affectionate. And they can also be taught to respect other’s bodies and to not give unwanted affection. That the mother refuses to address it, instead demanding that her son is acting harmless, has exacerbated the problem.

    The girl in question had repeatedly told the boy no. People are so concerned about him and the effect it could have, but where’s the concern for the girl, and that she’s being taught her “no” doesn’t matter?

  • $7768756

    “And they can also be taught to respect other’s bodies and to not give unwanted affection”

    Key word is “taught”. As I’m sure you know from having a six year old, sometimes you have to tell them things more than once. They aren’t adults, or even ten year olds. They’re six.

    “You mean even trained professionals have biases in regards to rape culture! REALLY?!?!”

    I’m more inclined to trust the opinion of the expert in child sexual behavior and prevention of child sexual abuse than the opinion of Melissa the Magical Genius Blogger.

    ‘That the mother refuses to address it, instead demanding that her son is acting harmless, has exacerbated the problem.”

    Which is one of the problems with overreacting. If they’d talked to her and had a meeting about inappropriate touching. But instead, they suspended her kid. Twice. For a six year old kissing the girl on the hand. I’m not a parent, but I am a big brother and “suspends my sister for a minor offense twice” is past the point where I stop caring about their opinion and move into “protect my sister” mode.

    “People are so concerned about him and the effect it could have, but where’s the concern for the girl, and that she’s being taught her “no” doesn’t matter?”

    I’m not really concerned about the effect it will have- he’s a six year old getting a few days off school, he’s in heaven. To the extent that I’m “concerned” its that this is a bad way to deal with the situation that won’t fix the problem.

    And the girl is being taught her no matters. When the ‘no’ was ignored, the student was suspended. Twice. So….I don’t see where that concern comes from.

  • tabbitha

    This is not at all what Prudence said. In fact, she says, “Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice.” Then she says it again, “Of course, perpetrators should be caught and punished.” How much more clear does she need to be for you?

  • quietglow

    The very next thing she says after one of those is “But when you are dealing with intoxication and sex, there are the built-in complications of incomplete memories and differing interpretations of intent and consent.”

    So a rapist would just tell her “oh no, it was a matter of differing interpretations! She totally was into it, I didn’t know she was too drunk to know what she was saying.” Since her headline is “College Women: Stop getting drunk” and not “college men: a drunk woman can’t consent” it’s pretty clear whose side she’ll come down on.

  • Abby Normal

    Ugh. This shit. And the people that believe it just boggles the mind.

    If you’re a guy that think’s it’s totally acceptable to have your way with someone who can’t consent, even if it’s because they’re drunk, you are no better than a child molester. End of story. And this whole “boys will boys”/”guys only want one thing” stuff is bullshit– if a dude is turned on by a woman who is totally incompacitated, that dude is fucked up in the head. Just like guys that get turned on by coma patients or dead bodies or sex dolls or whatever. It’s sick and guys that do it should be treated like sick freaks– not normal guys that lost control because some alcohol was involved.

    And it sounds like if I ever come across Dave Ramsey lying unconscious on the sidewalk in a bad neighborhood, I’m within my rights to kick him in the ribs a couple of times and steal his wallet– that seems to be his line of reasoning anyway.

  • Ben English

    It’s not your foot’s fault he chose that sidewalk in that neighborhood to fall unconscious. I mean, you were wrong to kick him, but he was a fool to make it so easy for you to do so.

  • Abby Normal

    Exactly. And if he has a really expensive-looking wallet sitting right there in his back pocket, what am I supposed to think? I do have needs, after all.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    My first thought upon encountering “a woman who is totally incompacitated” would be to get her out of danger before “a dude is turned on by a woman who is totally incompacitated” shows up and homes in.

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    Thank you for the link at the bottom: that may be the most “Shadowrun” thing I’ve seen in weeks :D

  • quietglow

    Not that unrelatedly, this just occurred to me: fish in schools can react by wounding the fish beside them as a form of self-preservation, so the predator goes after the injured fish. http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/2921/20130713/fish-turn-one-another-when-attacked-predators.htm

  • Ben English

    So even fish are assholes!

  • quietglow

    Well, fish are way back on our ancestral tree, bless ’em.

  • Vermic

    Film Critic Hulk (who mainly blogs about cinema) wrote a very long and very good essay last month:

    WE NEED TO CHANGE HOW WE TALK ABOUT RAPE

    (He writes in all caps as part of his style, which may take some getting used to, but do not let this obscure the thoughtfulness of his writing. I highly recommend this essay if you have the time to spare.)

    e: In fact, it’s likely that the Slate article he mentions at the beginning of his essay, which prompted the whole rant, is the same Yoffe manifesto Fred’s discussing here, which makes it even more on-topic.

  • Abby Normal

    Didn’t make it through the whole thing, but it reminded me of a video that we all had to watch in med school. It was an instructional video for cops that looked like it was taped sometime in the 70s. It just had this guy (also a cop, I assume) describe a scenario where a rookie cop gets overtaken and then sodomized by a couple of guys in dark alley that are all hyped up on speed or something. Then after he files a report he has to deal with the guys at work spreading rumors that he didn’t seem to fight his attackers off hard enough, maybe he kind of liked it, etc. I don’t know why a film like that isn’t standard issue on college campuses– it had most of the guys in my class crossing their legs.

  • Ben English

    Is it bad that my first thought there was “but crossing your legs doesn’t cover your butt any better”…?

  • SororAyin

    For a brief period of time several years ago, there was an active gang of rapists at work on the local campus. These men would drive around the backstreets and drag unsuspecting victims into their van, molest them, then deposit them back on the street after they had had their fun. The first two rapes happened without much notice taken by the community. The third rape victim was male. that got everyone talking. Interesting, yes? Rape suddenly became a serious crime when it happened to man.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I have to say the capital letters actually make the text more readable for the point the blogger is trying to make.

    It’s an amazingly done piece.

  • smrnda

    The belief that *all you can change is your own behavior* is actually false. If you want to group people into ‘prey’ and ‘predators’ you can change the laws, social norms and expectations to no longer be so clearly stacked in favor of the predators. Predators are able to do what they do because they can find some justification that their behavior is normal, or acceptable, or that they aren’t to blame. Just shifting the conversation away from ‘protect yourself’ to ‘don’t prey on others’ can do some good.

    In economic matters, the whole ‘all you can change is you’ is just as false. Throughout history, workers have united together to form unions or to push for legislation to force the people taking advantage of them to change. Consumers have pushed for new laws. Ramsey is just a boot-licking apologists for the Ruling Class, and he wants poor people *not to think* about doing these things, since it might actually lead them to really stop being poor, and his market for bad advice would decline.

  • DavidCheatham

    The belief that *all you can change is your own behavior* is actually false.

    The hilariously surreal thing is giving that advice to someone else. In order to, presumably, _change their behavior_.

    So, in short, people try to change Yoffe behavior in making suggestions about how other people’s should change their own behavior.

    She replies that anyone can change is their own behavior, so she is not changing her behavior, and those all those people trying to get her to change her own behavior need to change their behavior of trying to make her stop it.

    It’s like meta-stupidity. She literally does not grasp that her job is to give advice, aka, to _change the behavior of people_.

    I actually see why this blind spot exists. Advice columnists get all sorts of utterly stupid letters from people that solely exist to complain about imaginary slights that others make against them, and the correct answer is ‘Stop worrying about those other people’s behavior and just act like a normal, reasonable, polite person.’. The correct advice for those things is, indeed, ‘That is not actually rude, however, you acting as if it _is_ rude is, itself, rude. So stop.’

    That’s a _great_ answer when someone writes a letter complaining that her daughter-in-law lets everyone eat dinner in the living room, or that she doesn’t make her kids call her ma’am, or that she’s too friendly with that gay couple next door.

    It’s a really idiotic answer when someone writes a letter about their _rape_.

  • Ben English

    Pfft. Like Ramsey would lower himself to licking boots. That’s something poor people do.

  • LL

    Eh, you know, survival of the fittest and whatnot. Human life should be like one of those “large predator chases down and eats smaller prey animal” videos.

    It’s amusing to me how invested self-described conservatives are in this “Darwinian” outlook on human behavior, while usually simultaneously recoiling in horror at the suggestion that humans are just another species, not particularly special and certainly not chosen by God.

    I guess it dovetails nicely with their judgmental assholishness and their need to see people punished. And their belief that life on earth is just heaven’s (or hell’s) waiting room, so why bother making it nicer?

  • Ice9

    I think you go too far. The advice is generally useless, as you say, but it is primarily tainted by its general nature and the polarity required to keep it palatable to an audience. Yoffe emphasizes that the advice is compartmentalized along lines of control. Preventing rape is not zero-sum unless you want to make a political point; it is possible to simultaneously desire that that all rapists be punished, that our culture be less prone to victim-blaming–and that some rapes never occur. Your response omits the effect of such lame but practical musings upon the feelings of people who have not yet been raped, for who it is still a preventable possibility (and fools like Rush Limbaugh, who push an odious political agenda with such scenarios). For those listeners who are interested in advice rather than a polemic, it doesn’t matter if the question is begged if they remain unraped. So i think you are seeing a predator where there is no threat–much like the photo, because for those mackerel (not sardines) the center of the ball is not necessarily safer; the threat is the porpoises in the background, which feed in teams by crashing the baitfish when they are densest. The white tip sharks just hang around and pick off cripples, so alas they don’t fit my metaphor either.

    Ice

  • Lori

    “trying to ruin someone else’s life is a poor way to address one’s alcohol and self-control problems.”

    Well you know, if the rapist had made better choices he would have gotten better results. If he didn’t want his life ruined then he shouldn’t have committed rape by having sex with someone who was passed out.

  • Derea

    Emily Yoffe could put her advice better, but it also gets mis-heard, I think because it touches a nerve made over-sensitive by other, much worse claims that what she is saying sounds superficially similar to.

    In at least one of these “Yoffe rape denial” cases that people got up in arms about, this is what we know: a woman and a man were both drinking, and when she woke up the woman realized someone had had sex with her.

    These scenarios pose a very serious problem. It is indeed entirely possible that the man was significantly less drunk than the woman and purposely took advantage of her intoxicated (or worse) state to have sex with her. And that would clearly be rape. But it could very well have been mutually drunken, mutually willing (at the time) sex, and if they were equally drunken and equally willing at the time, it wouldn’t be at all right to say that the man was a rapist and the woman a victim. If that’s what happened, they either both raped the other, or no one raped anyone.

    Given that she doesn’t actually know what happened, it would be irresponsible for a woman to press charges in that situation.

  • Lori

    The woman was drunk enough that she doesn’t remember what happened. Most guys who are blackout drunk can’t get it up so your mutual error scenario isn’t that likely.

    You’ve also set up a nice no-win for the woman. If she’s was too impaired to remember exactly how drunk her companion was then she has to give him the benefit of the (considerable) doubt or be labeled irresponsible twice over—once for being impaired and again for expecting to be treated seriously as a crime victim. You’re saying that a woman who is that impaired either can’t really be raped or can be raped has no right to complain about it. Two words—rape. culture.

  • LoneWolf343

    I have four words to that: “Innocent until proven guilty.”

    He didn’t say she couldn’t be or that she deserved to be raped. He said that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the accused was the rapist.

  • Lori

    No, zie said it was “it would be irresponsible for a woman to press charges in that situation.” Innocent until proven guilty is the job of the courts and I believe in that. I don’t believe it’s OK to tell a person that if she was too drunk to be 100% sure that the guy who had sex with her wasn’t just as drunk as she was that she ought to just, IDK, chalk it up to experience or whatever the fuck.

  • LoneWolf343

    Uh, yeah, it would be irresponsible to press charges against someone you’re not reasonably sure committed the crime.

  • Lori

    So you too are saying that a woman who wakes up with evidence that someone had sex with her, but no memory of the event should just chalk it up to experience and move on? She knows someone had sex with her. She knows there was a guy next to her when she woke up and that testing which she can not do herself would be required to determine for sure if he was the person who had sex with her. She knows that she was too drunk to consent to sex. And she’s just supposed to say, “Well he might have been super drunk too so I guess it’s just one of those things”?

  • LoneWolf343

    If a woman should discover that she had been raped but has no memory of who did it, she should go to the police and have a rape-kit taken. You know, COLLECT EVIDENCE. She doesn’t get to accuse any random male in her general vicinity.

  • Lori

    The guy in bed with her when she woke up is not a “random male in her general vicinity” and what exactly do you think it means to press charges in this scenario? It means going to the cops, telling them what she knows and having them take it from there. What she knows includes who she woke up next to.

  • LoneWolf343

    The only evidence I see is that she got drunk with someone else, and apparently sex precipitated. The logical conclusion is that she has done something in a drunken stupor that she regrets, and that is an equal-opportunity situation. Unless she has some evidence that she didn’t give consent and yet the sex happened, she’s SOL. American Law has held up the idea time and again that you are responsible for what you do even when you’re black-out drunk. If what you say is true, then every drunk driving accident ought to be considered an act of God.

  • quietglow

    So while we’re connecting dots for each other, wouldn’t that mean he was responsible for what he did while black-out drunk?

    Rapes don’t have to be prosecuted, either. She can decide she was raped and just cut off all contact with the guy. That step would be a logical move forward from where she was, which was writing to an advice column unable to decide where to go next.

  • LoneWolf343

    Yes, he would responsible for the rape, if he in fact raped her.

  • $7768756

    yes, because accusing people of rape only matters on the legal side of things. It’s not like every girl that hears about it won’t suddenly decide she doesn’t want anything to do with him. It’s not like it could get back to his peers or his boss.

    Nah, saying people are rapists only matters if they’re legally proven to be rapists in a court of law. There are no other consequences whatsoever.

  • quietglow

    What part of “cut off contact with the guy” sounded like “tell everyone in the area he is a rapist?”

    Between willfully misunderstanding people and claiming things happened one way and then revealing they were actually quite different, you seem to be reading this whole discussion through very strong filters that nobody else is using.

    It’s a little troubling, and it is doing no one any good.

  • $7768756

    Sure, cut off contact. That’s a thing that happens. That’s not what other people in this thread have been suggesting and I think you know that.

  • quietglow

    Let me just quote the relevant bits in case you try to edit:

    Me: “Rapes don’t have to be prosecuted, either. She can decide she was raped and just cut off all contact with the guy.”

    caryjamesbond: “yes, because accusing people of rape only matters on the legal side of things. It’s not like every girl that hears about it won’t suddenly decide she doesn’t want anything to do with him. It’s not like it could
    get back to his peers or his boss.”

    Me: “What part of “cut off contact with the guy” sounded like “tell everyone in the area he is a rapist?”

    caryjamesbond: “Sure, cut off contact. That’s a thing that happens. That’s not what other people in this thread have been suggesting and I think you know that.”

    You are such a weasel. God, poor Lori.

  • $7768756

    “Let me just quote the relevant bits in case you try to edit:”

    Good lord, you just assume every evil thing about people that mildly disagree with you about the specific nature of an complicated moral question, don’tcha? You know what you should read about? The Council of Nicea. You could probably explain to me why everyone was in such a kerfluffle over homoousios vs heteroousios. That kind of rage over a split hair seems to be right up your alley.

  • quietglow

    People get annoyed when you deliberately misunderstand them to make snide comments repeatedly.

    In fact, a lot of people are extremely angry after reading paragraphs and paragraphs of your comments here. I’m not inclined to think the problem is me.

  • $7768756

    A lot of people are extremely angry that I dared disagree with them slightly. This is slacktivist, it happens. On some issues there is a bit of a party line, and any deviation from that party like, like “Hey, I think advising women not to get drunk in public/I think if you wake up next to a stranger it isn’t automatically rape” piss people off. It happens.

  • quietglow

    People have disagreed with people in the comments here and it’s never led to a discussion like this. None of this was because you wrote “I think if you wake up next to a stranger it isn’t automatically rape,” it’s because you wrote a lot of other things. Some of them just had bad implications, some were terrible of themselves.

    If you want to put all of this to some mystical hand of fate that somehow managed to make you write a lot of very bad arguments, well, uh, okay. Personally I think you’re better off considering some alternative causes here.

  • $7768756

    Truth. I’ve waken up beside some people I’d rather not have woken up with….including an ex girlfriend. Doesn’t mean they raped me. means that- like spending too much money, punching walls, and shout “WOOOOOOO SPRING BREAK 08, PARTY NEVER ENDS” I did stupid shit while drunk. I thought she was hot while drunk, not while sober.

    I thought one of my exes was hot while dating her, not later on. I wanted to have sex with her all the time then, but not at all now. Nor can I understand what I was thinking then. *shrug* Doesn’t mean she raped me all those times. Means I changed my mind.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You must not know about the legal defence of diminished capacity that’s, ironically, been used to get rapists off by claiming they were too drunk to know what they were doing.

  • LoneWolf343

    That’s the rub, isn’t it? Either both genders are equally responsible for what do while drunk, or they aren’t. I’ll leave that up to the lawyers and lawmakers to determine where that line is drawn, so long the line is drawn in the same place for both genders, though I would say that there should be some responsibility for getting that drunk in the first place.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    However, drunk driving accidents which result in a death typically result in charges of vehicular homicide, not first degree murder. Also, if drunk consent equals meaningful consent in the eyes of the law, try signing some legal forms while falling down drunk. :p

  • $7768756

    So then, lets say here’s a scenario.

    Woman and man, both drunk. Go home together. Woman passes out. Man, still very drunk, has sex with her after she passed out.

    Rape? Or impaired judgement?
    *NOTE THIS IS ACTUALLY A SOCRATIC QUESTION. I DO INDEED THINK THIS SITUATION IS RAPE. THIS IS PART OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW I THINK DRUNK MEN ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING A RAPIST.

    THANK YOU!

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Continuing to have sex with someone who’s passed out is creepy in the best of circumstances and rape in the worst. “The best” being in a committed relationship, “the worst” being just about everything else.

  • $7768756

    Yes, but his judgement was impaired. See? The argument the other way runs “women can’t consent to drunken sex because their judgement is seriously impaired to the point of being legally incapacitated- IE, like a child or someone who is mentally impaired.”

    So then, is the man responsible for his actions in this scenario? or is he also so legally incapacitated that he can’t be held responsible for what he did?

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Like I said, even in the best of circumstances, if you continue having sex with someone who’s passed out, you’re a creepy fuck. I believe that’s a legal categorization, but my law schooling is a little rusty.

    You had a better hypothetical going where the woman was conscious (and consenting) during sex, but if one partner passes out the other should really, really stop.

  • Figs

    There’s a difference here. You’re intentionally eliding things. You’re claiming that if intoxicated, a man couldn’t be held legally responsible for what he did. On the other side, you’re claiming that if intoxicated, a woman couldn’t hold anybody responsible for what they did to her.

  • LoneWolf343

    Eh, I would call that one a rape.

  • $7768756

    So would I. By Anonymous Sam’s argument, however, it isn’t- he was too impaired to be responsible for his actions.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Both. Proving that sex occurred after she passed out may be impossible without gross invasion of privacy, but that’s what it is.

  • $7768756

    Then, in that case, he is not mentally incapacitated beyond the capacity to make decisions.

    If a five year old sticks his hand up a woman’s skirt, he is not a rapist, because he is incapacitated, mentally. Isn’t capable of recognized what happened. The same with some suffering from severe mental impairment.

    if, on the other hand, Johnny Drunko is still capable of being judged as guilty of rape, instead of being innocent by reason of mental incapability, as with the the five year old, then, by definition, he is still able to make informed decisions. Ergo, a woman who consents to sex when she is drunk is making an informed decision. Ergo, having sex with a woman who is drunk, and consents, is not rape.

    Therefore, saying that “DRUNK CONSENT IS NOT MEANINGFUL CONSENT.” which is the crux on which this entire debate turns, is demonstrably, logically, incorrect. Drunk people can give consent. Having sex with them is not rape. You can’t always tell if someone is blackout drunk. Therefore, having sex with someone who is blackout drunk is not, necessarily, in cases of honest confusion, rape.

    If you CAN tell, then yes, you shouldn’t have sex with them, and that would be rape, because I’d argue that blackout drunk does fall under completely incapacitated (albeit more legally complex for reasons of, say, punching someone in the face, because you incapacitated yourself..)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Which is more likely: that the man isn’t actually able to tell, or that he could tell and was counting on being able to use “we were both drunk” as an alibi? You are aware most rapists deliberately engineer circumstances with a specific victim in mind to maximize the chances of getting away with, right? I’m willing to bet that for every person who made that claim, one person’s BAC was 0.20 and the other’s was 0.6.

    It may be impossible to prove it in court, but maybe that’s why we should stigmatize drunken sex in the first place, rather than banishing it to the realm of moral grayness.

  • $7768756

    I really, really, think you overestimate the number of date rapists in the world. I know plenty of people who’ve had sex with drunk women. I know none who engineer the situation to get women super drunk for purposes of unconscious sex.

    People like getting drunk. People like having sex. People like having sex when they’re drunk. These things are not about to change, nor would I change them. If you’re a person who wants to go out, get wildly drunk, party, and have sex, waking up in uncertain sexual situations you regret is a thing that happens. Don’t want to ever be in a car accident? Don’t ever get in a car. But if you drive a car, one of the things that may happen is an accident- it’s part of the price of admission.

    I think, obviously, that rape is wrong. I think that no matter how drunk you are, you should be able to understand ‘No.” I think even if you’re totally wasted and have sex with a drunk woman, you’re a rapist. I do think drunk women can give consent in the moment, however, and I think that the nature of drunkeness, means there will be grey areas. If you don’t like the possibility of ever being in one of those gray areas, avoid them altogether. But, like this woman in the article Fred cites specifically points out- she got really drunk. She doesn’t claim that she was roofied, that she suddenly passed out- she says she drank way too much.

    In other words, she willfully put herself into that grey area. If she’d had two beers, she wouldn’t have been in that grey area. But if you want to do ten tequila shooters to the point where your memory centers shut down? then you’ve walked into the grey area, and one of the consequences is “waking up with no memory of this dude” Or without 200 dollars, or on a public street, or with a hand that doesn’t work right, or this or that other terrible blackout experience.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of drinking too much. Most people would take that as a moment of clarity and reason to reduce their drinking, not go looking for justification of their desire to make a rape claim.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think I’m with Lori on this one, but I don’t have a speech filter.

    Ladies and gentlemen, the walking, talking embodiment of rape culture. Cary, you are a horrible person.

  • $7768756

    Yes. I’m a big fan of rape because I think that in a case where a woman got so drunk she blacked out and then felt weird about a one night stand the next day, she shouldn’t accuse the guy of rape.

    Fuck it. I’ll take it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    No. You don’t have to be a rape cheerleader or a rapist yourself. You just ooze rape culture whenever you say something like “she had sex she felt a little weird about.” Because you compare the shock and violation a woman would have upon waking up next to someone she does not, in her conscious mind, want to have sex with — to waking up next to someone you wouldn’t have had sex with and saying “ew, did I really bang that? Shame on me for exercising bad taste!”

    It’s like all the prolifers who say that women get an abortion because they don’t want the inconvenience of a child. It’s a complete and utter empathy fail. It’s being able to see anyone else as being anything other than the asshole you are, and thus having no grasp of their motivation other than being an asshole.

  • dpolicar

    if you want to do ten tequila shooters to the point where your memory centers shut down? [..] one of
    the consequences is “waking up with no memory of this dude” Or without 200 dollars, or on a public street, or with a hand that doesn’t work right, or this or that other terrible blackout experience. [..] not go looking for justification of their desire to make a rape claim.

    If I take $200 from you without your consent while you are blind drunk, I’ve committed theft. We don’t need to “look for justification to make a theft claim”… we merely have to observe that I have, in fact, stolen $200 from you.

    If I break your hand without your consent while you are blind drunk, we don’t need to “look for justification to make a battery claim”… we merely have to observe that I have, in fact, battered you.

    And if I have sex with you without your consent while you are blind drunk, we don’t need to “look for justification to make a rape claim”… we merely have to observe that I have, in fact, raped you.

    Any or all of these events might be an incentive for you to change your drinking habits. But this is not somehow an alternative to treating me as a thief, a batterer, and a rapist.

  • $7768756

    “we merely have to observe that I have, in fact, battered you.”

    That’s the key. Observed. The story fred posted flat out says she got so drunk she has no memory of the event. If I wake up with a broken hand, no one saw you break my hand, but I think you might have, and you feel asleep near a hammer, I still don’t get to accuse you of assault. I don’t get to tell everyone that you assaulted me.

  • dpolicar

    If you think I committed a crime, you have every right to tell people that.

    If you go around making up fake evidence to make the case against me look worse than it actually is, that’s something else again.

  • $7768756

    “Defamation per se

    All states except Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee recognize that some categories of false statements are so innately harmful that they are considered to be defamatory per se. In the common law tradition, damages for such false statements are presumed and do not have to be proven.

    Statements are defamatory per se where they falsely impute to the plaintiff one or more of the following things:

    Allegations or imputations “injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession”

    Allegations or imputations “of loathsome disease” (historically leprosy and sexually transmitted disease, now also including mental illness)

    Allegations or imputations of “unchastity” (usually only in unmarried people and sometimes only in women)

    Allegations or imputations of criminal activity (sometimes only crimes of moral turpitude)”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_defamation_law#Defamation_law_in_modern_practice

    Defamation in the us is astonishingly lenient due to the first amendment, but going around simply claiming someone raped you without evidence to support it would be walking a hell of a lot closer to the line than I’d want to. particular since that’s only a CRIMINAL defamation issue- civil law is a lot less fussy.

    So, no, actually, you don’t have every right to say that.

  • quietglow

    Soooo if a woman tells me her partner raped her, and she has no evidence, my first duty is to notify him that she’s making baseless allegations?

  • $7768756

    No, but if a woman tells you her partner raped her, and you tell a bunch of other people, and his boss finds out, or his girlfriend, or his peers, and it causes him problems in his personal life, and she has no evidence, she might well get slapped with a suit for defamation.

  • quietglow

    How often do you know of this happening? In your hometown? In your social circle? In your anything?

    I can’t even sit down and count how many women have told me, because I come across as non-judging and calm, about their rapes. One was in a position to prosecute. One. I’ve never heard of anyone being hit with a defamation suit for spreading unfounded gossip of rape. No. Ever.

  • $7768756

    Happened to a friend of mine. Girl he was dating sat me down, told me he’d been abusing her. grabbed her, tossed her, choked her. I freaked out, nearly called the cops, cut ties with him, yadda yadda.

    Fortunately, she had given me specific times “he did it such and such a day, at such and such a time” and he was able to prove to me, by being with a number of other people, that he was conclusively, totally, innocent of what she’d claimed. I confronted her, she admitted it.

    Not rape, I admit. But given that we were in a small, tight knit graduate school group and we all knew about it, it would’ve had significant repercussions if he hadn’t been able to PROVE that it hadn’t happened.

  • quietglow

    “Happened to a friend of mine…not rape, I admit.”

    So, no. It didn’t happen to a friend of yours. Ok, thanks.

  • $7768756

    Accusations of a serious crime against a woman that is highly frowned upon by society……it’s not exact, but it is extremely similar.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Being accused of rape is somehow considered far worse than being raped in this society. Especially if the person accused of rape is young. Oh, the concern people have for the possible damage to that young man’s future! Better run the little slut out of town just to be sure his life isn’t ruined.

  • $7768756

    Yep. That’s exactly what I suggested. And not, you know. Taking no direct action.

    That’s exactly like a witchhunt, right?

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    What I described is what actually happens here and now in the good old us of a.

  • $7768756

    Lots of things happen here, that have nothing to do with the subject under discussion. The specific, odd situation we’re discussing, and Yoffe’s advice therein, has nothing to do with rape accusation witchhunts. It has to do with responsible actions in a situation where what happened cannot be established.

  • quietglow

    You said you knew of a case of defamation of character in which someone who claimed rape without proof was prosecuted. You proceeded to recount a long-winded situation in which nobody claimed they were raped and nobody was prosecuted for defamation.
    None of that has anything do with your original claim that women cannot say someone raped them unless they have “proof.” (If she does have proof of violence, the rapist will then try to claim it was rough, consensual sex.) It’s still a hopeless, baseless claim that’s all too prevalent in society, and despite all your evasions you still have nothing to support it.

    We don’t live in a world where defamation of character charges come fluttering down to defend the falsely accused. We live in a world where people do not contact the law because they know they will not be believed.

  • $7768756

    Ah, I apologize. When you said “has this ever happened” I thought you meant the false accusation of a serious crime causing serious damage to someones reputation in a professional and private setting.

    “None of that has anything do with your original claim that women cannot say someone raped them unless they have “proof.””

    I’m not expecting a signed warrent from three witnesses. I’m saying that if you wake up from what might be a drunken one night stand and what might have been you getting raped while passed out, and you literally have no idea which it is, it’s irresponsible to start accusing people of rape.

    One extremely specific situation in which I’m opposed to it. If she remembered ANYTHING at all negative, I’d be with her all the way- its rape. But she has no evidence one way or the other, no idea what happened- literally no memory of anything. In that extremely specific situation, no, you shouldn’t make accusations.

  • Persia

    The part that stuck out to me was “A friend.”

  • dpolicar

    If someone ever rapes me, I hope I have the courage to say so.

    And anyone who responds by insisting that I present legal evidence to prove the charge, or by insisting that I don’t have the right to say so, will be welcome to get the fuck out of my life.

    I can only hope that if anyone in your life is ever raped and chooses to tell you about it, you don’t respond that way.

  • $7768756

    I haven’t. If, however, someone tells me about a drunken one night stand they regret, I’m not going to say “OMG! HONEY! You were actually raped!!!!!!!!”

    Notice that these things are different.

  • dpolicar

    So, now you’ve confused me.

    If I believe Sam raped me, and I say “Sam raped me,” and I don’t have sufficient evidence to prove that Sam raped me in a court of law, on your account can I say so? Or not?

  • $7768756

    Yes. YES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YES.

    I’m not trying to argue that you need ten witnesses and a signed letter from Jesus. My entire objection to the suggestions lori and others were making about this ONE SPECIFIC SITUATION is that there is NO suggestion one way or the other.

    This could be drunken sex or it could be passed out rape and there is literally not a single hair one way or the other. No memories, no bruises, no NOTHING. This is one specific situation. ONE TINY THING, and I’d be all in favor of telling the world, and given US law, that’d be all she needs to avoid being libelous.

    But this situation might as well be constructed to be a perfectly either/or situation. SHERLOCK HOLMES couldn’t tell what it was. So in this ONE SPECIFIC SITUATION- no, I don’t think she should. ANY OTHER situation, and I would buy her a bullhorn myself.

  • dpolicar

    I’m sorry you’re upset; that wasn’t my intention.

    I started out by saying that if you think I committed a crime, you have every right to tell people that. You responded by explaining at great length that no, we don’t have that right, and in fact by doing so we’re committing crimes.

    If you were actually responding to a specific situation from a discussion with someone else when you said that, well, OK.

    Let me back up then and repeat myself, now that you’re actually talking to me: if you think I committed a crime, you have every right to tell people that.

  • $7768756

    Right, but to think you committed a crime, I have to have something at all to go on. Something missing, i remember saying “no”, I’m bruised….something.

    This case has literally nothing to go on. The entire rationale for saying it was rape was “I got blackout drunk, woke up next to a stranger, I’d had sex with, and i didn’t like that”

    And when I say evidence, i don’t mean it in the technical legal sense- I mean “the slightest indication at all of what really went down.”

  • dpolicar

    Sure, to think that I committed a crime, you have to have some reasons for thinking that that seem compelling to you. Otherwise you wouldn’t think that.

    Those reasons might not seem compelling to me, or (as you say) to a court. But as long as you aren’t being dishonest about what your reasons are, I continue to assert that if you think I committed a crime, you have every right to tell people that.

    That said, if it turns out that your reasons seem compelling to you despite there not being (in some hard-to-define objective sense) “the slightest indication at all that” I committed a crime, then basically in this scenario you are delusional and have fixated your delusions on me.

    If you want to restrict our discussion to cases where delusional people accuse me of crimes, well, OK, we can talk about what to do in that case.

    Mostly, that’s a very unfortunate situation and it isn’t likely to end well no matter what we do, but I’d say the right thing for third parties to do when faced with such an accusation is listen to it, investigate me, publicly clear me of suspicion, and seek appropriate care for the delusional reporter.

    What do you think the right thing to do in this situation is?

  • quietglow

    Only it was nowhere near that vague. If you woke up with a hammer resting on your hand, his hand was near the hammer’s handle, and you two had been the only people in the room when you passed out, whether you went to the police or not, your behavior towards him would be markedly different after you got back from the hospital.

    People are seem to be confusing “was it rape” to “was it proveable rape in a court of law.” Was it rape? Looks like it. Does she have any hope of prosecuting? No. Does she have to pretend nothing happened? Hell no.

  • $7768756

    More like- you found a serious gash on your hand. Your friend claims that last night you both got trashed and played the knife game, and you cut your hand wide open, But you think he stabbed you instead, so that’s what you’re gonna tell people.

  • quietglow

    You wrote the stupid hammer anology! You don’t get to redefine it because you realized it had no relation to anything!

  • $7768756

    No- quietglow raised another situation. I used another analogy. We can change it to “drunkely decided to play judge and jury and you hit your hand with your “gavel” if you like.”

  • quietglow

    I am quietglow. I’ve been talking about the same situation we’ve been talking about, which you are continually talking about in strained analogies trying to make it look like.. whatever you want it to, while bringing up friends of yours who have not actually been in any situation relating to this discussion. Besides possibly getting drunk.

    You’re not accomplishing much besides the occasional subtle spot of victim-blaming.

  • stardreamer42

    I really, really think you underestimate the amount of date rape that happens — and a surprising amount of it results from the same guys who rape over and over again, and count on people like you to defend their right to do so. These guys don’t just accidentally end up in a room with a woman who’s passed-out drunk; that’s their MO, how they plan for their evening to end. And, interestingly, they will self-report this behavior as long as the WORD “rape” is not used in asking the question.

    Since you’ve already talked about being so drunk that you didn’t remember having sex, I can’t help but wonder how many times you might have been somewhat less drunk than that, had sex with a woman who was unable to consent, and are now queasily wondering if that was rape. Yes, it was. More than that, it was socially-acceptable rape… because of people who happily argue that if the woman is drunk, it’s not really RAPE-rape. But that doesn’t make it not rape.

  • $7768756

    Nope. Turned down sex under those exact circumstances. Wasn’t even really a choice- she was drunkenly incoherent, I was pretty drunk. Took her back to her room, got her into bed. Left.

    Hell, the third or fourth time my last girlfriend and I had sex we were both pretty trashed, and I made sure to repeatedly get her consent because I felt weird about it because we hadn’t been in a relationship that long. The time I was too drunk to remember sex was with a couple girlfriend’s before that- so you know. Long established relationship and so on.

    Sorry poopsie! I’m not a date rapist. I think that no means no, and I’m a little obsessive about consent. I do think that drunk women can say yes, although, like I said- if I’m sober I don’t do it. I’ll admit I’ve had drunk sex with a drunk woman while I was also drunk, but…not a proud moment. She was definitely conscious (and eager) for that, though.

    Cute though. Real cute. “You disagree with me about a morally complex issue with a large number of complicating factors! YOU RAPIST!”

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    caryjamesbond is seriously in need of Rape Culture 101.

    Here’s a start:

    Meet the Predators.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Your problem with this situation, is you’ve been brainwashed into believe the presence of the “No” is what makes it rape, but that’s wrong. It’s the absence of a “Yes”. You cannot sign contracts while drunk. You cannot get married while drunk. You cannot meaningfully consent to those things, so are forbidden from attempting them while drunk.

  • $7768756

    You actually can get married drunk.

    You can commit crimes drunk. You can be held responsible for your decisions when drunk because you remain a moral actor when drunk. If you can be held responsible for drunk driving, you can give consent, becuase being guilty of a crime requires that you have moral agency- the same moral agency required to give consent.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Sorry dude, you’re just wrong. Get over yourself, and try to learn something.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Cary does have a point that people who operate vehicles when drunk are presumed to have reasonably known they were not able to operate said vehicles. That said, the reason why we frown on it is because being drunk in that situation can expose others to harm besides the driver.

    So we balance the fact that diminished capacity exists against the fact that drunk driving is a punishable offence even when the driver might not have been aware he or she was driving at all.

  • $7768756

    A person who sleepwalks goes out sleepdriving.

    Are they morally culpable? (NB- this has actually happened. The law determined, quite rightly, that they were not actually responsible, I believe. )

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, legally culpable and morally culpable are different things. Morally, I would say he had a duty to go beyond the bare legal standard of lacking mens rea and/or lack of capacity, especially if the sleepdriving thing was actually fairly common.

    EDIT:

    Speaking of, I should point out that a fairly large number of motor vehicle offences do not necessarily involve mens rea.

  • $7768756

    So in one case where someone is aware that they aren’t driving you conclude the proper response is “take greater greater care, but not legally culpable” In another situation, you think there is legal culpability..

    Which I agree with- because I think that drinking does not remove your ability to act in a moral fashion, if not a SMART fashion. Which is why I believe it is posible for a drunk person to give sexual consent. , even if they will wake up in the morning and regret having sex. There is a difference between “Making a poor decision” and “nonconsensual”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    It is true that there is an aspect I’ve always been uncomfortable with here that basically says “When you decided to get drunk, you were inherently consenting to any illegal act you perform while drunk.” (This is what I was literally taught in school), and it always felt to me like there was some underlying paternalism there, in the form of “Women aren’t responsible for their actions when drunk, therefore are like children and the mentally handicapped, unable to give meaningful consent. Men on the other hand are still considered competent enough to be responsible for their actions such as judging the validity of consent,” and that it also might have a hint of “Erection==Consent” in there, as it always felt to me like it was based around “The fact that he was physically able proves he wasn’t drunk enough that his consent is invalid”

  • $7768756

    “Women aren’t responsible for their actions when drunk, therefore are like children and the mentally handicapped, unable to give meaningful consent. ”

    As I said below- I repsect women enough to think that a few beers doesn’t suddenly turn them into either 5 year old children or uncontrollable sluts.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yes, and like other forms of contracts, if you could prove diminished capacity a court of law could probably invalidate the marriage licence. Contracts are not all-or-none.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    What you are missing in this situation, is that the only person who did anything to be held responsible for, is the rapist.

    The victim, no matter how drunk, did nothing they must be culpable for.

    This is what you keep going past, in your attempt to to conflate your own experiences with the discussion we are having.

  • smrnda

    Actually, I know of several tattoo parlors which will not give a tattoo to anyone while drunk. There may be a law about this, or it may be a policy of tattoo parlor to avoid the possibility that someone gets drunk and decides that they need a tattoo they will later regret. Either way, it is highly responsible for tattoo parlors *NOT* to give tattoos to drunk people.

    The idea is, when you are drunk, we tend to expect people to refrain from doing things that can harm others, but we accept that drunk people, having diminished capacity to reason, should be exempted from making some choices.

  • $7768756

    ” There may be a law about this, or it may be a policy of tattoo parlor to avoid the possibility that someone gets drunk and decides that they need a tattoo they will later regret. Either way, it is highly responsible for tattoo parlors *NOT* to give tattoos to drunk people.”

    Actually, it’s because drunk people bleed more, and because they’re prone to violence, and yes, are sometimes too drunk to make permanent decisions.

    It is HIGHLY responsible, I completely agree, and it’s a good policy.

    But simply because someone is LESS than highly responsible doesn’t make them a rapist.

  • Arakasi_99

    I don’t recall where I got this from:
    If you rape someone, you are a rapist.
    If you have sex with someone, and the situation is one of the grey areas, then you are willing to be a rapist

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    And that you were mistaken about consent doesn’t make it consentual.

    I will not go as far as to say “If you have sex with a drunk person, it is rape”. I will instead say “If you have sex with a drunk person and they (later) think it was rape, it was rape. This is also true if you have sex with a sober person.”

    But I also hold as sacrosanct that if you have sex with a drunk (or sober) person and they don’t think it was rape (when they are aware of the objective facts of what physical acts happened), it wasn’t

    My “is it rape?” test is:

    1. Did sexual activity happen?
    2. Does the person it was happening to think it was rape?
    3. The end.

    A person can be mistaken about what activities actually happened, but they can’t be mistaken about whether or not those activities constituted rape.

  • $7768756

    So I can get ongoing, happy consent during the act, but later on she can just change her mind?

    I don’t think that happens very often. But it’s not really an outcome you want to allow for. Consent occurs in the moment. Deciding later that you didn’t actually want too doesn’t retroactively change the fact that you wanted to at the time, which is what you seem to be implying.

    At the same time though, we do need a way to express that, say, a woman who was confused, or didn’t give clear consent or wasn’t really feeling it but he pressured her until she gave in and didn’t realize at the time she was being raped, was actually raped.

    It’s a tricky sort of question, but I think centering consent in the moment works- if she wants to do it at the time it happens, she’s given consent.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It doesn’t happen, except from people WITH OTHER MOTIVES(these are also EASILY disproven). That’s why everyone is arguing with you, is you seem to think this is a thing that happens, especially with drunken people.

    But that’s not how shit works in real life. What happens is people who were drunk, who were so incapacitated they know THEY COULD NOT POSSIBLY CONSENT TO SEX, discover that they have in fact/possibly been involved in sexual activity, and know/suspect they have been raped. They didn’t “drunkenly consent” and change their mind when sober.

    That’s why you don’t TRUST drunken consent, PERIOD.

  • $7768756

    Except, again, you are apparently arguing from a sort of theoretical idealized Narnia bar, whereas I’m arguing from having SEEN ALL THIS HAPPEN.

    And the women I know who partied hard and woke up with unremembered strangers didn’t start talking about rape. They started talking about drinking less next time. Because they understood that their bad decisions were THEIR responsibility, not someone elses.

    Saying “if you dont’ want to wake up with unremembered strangers, don’t get blackout drunk” isn’t rape apology. It’s common sense. Common sense that is really easy to follow. Following it is easier than not following it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Even IF a person wishes to get so very drunk that they cannot conceivably stay awake, this does not obviate the fact that it’s still 100% wrong for anyone to take advantage of that state of unconsciousness.

    The crux of the problem seems to me that you, cary, keep implying through your words even if that is not what you want to say, that it’s a person’s own fault for someone else rolling on in to take advantage of their state of unconsciousness.

  • $7768756

    Unconcious and blacked out drunk are two very different things.

    Someone who is unconcious is still, not moving, generally has their eyes closed.

    Someone who is blacked out is up, moving around, talking, dancing, doing stuff. I’ve had hours long arguments while blacked out. And while I wasn’t at my sharpest, I was still able to construct coherent sentences that the people around me understood as making sense. Unless you were me, there was no way to realize I’d crossed the line from “drunk as a skunk” to ‘the memory centers of my brain are incapacitated by alcohol.’ As, you know, my girlfriend discovered.

    Unconcious sex is a very much a nono, even if they become unconcious during sex. Which either means she’s reallllly drunk and you stop, you’re REALLLLY bad and you should stop anyway, or you’re REALLLLY good and you probably need a break anyway.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Maybe you should’ve defined that better, because “blacked-out” to me implies fully unconscious and immobile with no recollection of the events upon waking up. I had no idea your definition was different until now.

    And it still doesn’t obviate the fact that apparent consciousness and mobility in a social milieu that obviously indicates alcohol consumption has occurred means consent may not be valid.

  • $7768756

    Nope. Not at all. Blacked out just means too drunk to form memories. I’ve been very blacked out and still done quite a lot of things. Some of them embarassing.

    like arguing about how awesome america is. Yes, if you get me blind stinking drunk, I apparently turn into a conservative.

  • $7768756

    And, not to be rude, but I did make that distinction multiple times. Very purposely, because you are right- there is a huge, huge difference between the two and having sex with an unconcious person is rape, pure and simple, no matter what the circumstances.

    (Well, I suppose there could be a fetish of some sort, but there you’d get prior consent for that very specific sort of thing, so I don’t really think that qualifies as a serious exception to the rules.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    “Blacked-out” actually does have a specific definition, and cjb’s right about it. It means drug-induced amnesia and does not imply unconsciousness or even the inability to perform complex tasks. People who have blackouts come to themselves to find evidence of them having engaged in all sorts of activities. Waking up with a tattoo you don’t remember getting is a popular media cliche. It’s a common misconception that it means what you think it means, but conflating the two leads to bad policy.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Fair enough.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Precisely.

    “Maybe” is not “yes.” Hearing her “maybe” and interpreting it as a “yes” puts one at risk of being a rapist. Anyone who’s OK with running that risk is no one I want to be in the same room with, ever.

    [Advance apologies for multiposting, if indeed that happens. I never know what’s going to happen when I discover I’ve lost internet connection AFTER I press the “post” button.]

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “People like getting drunk. People like having sex. People like having sex when they’re drunk.”

    Yes, and people who know they WEREN’T too drunk to consent, don’t wake up and think, “OH GOD I WAS RAPED”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think that rejoinder about covers it, and I’m sorry I can’t dump a million likes on it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    This.

    I have some misgivings about some of the counterarguments people have been giving (I strongly object to any position which says “No; you’re wrong, you were too raped no matter how much you assert that you consented”), but this specifically is where cjb has gone way off the rails. If you wake up in the morning and think “OH GOD I WAS RAPED”, there are two possibilities:

    1. You did not actually have sex at all and are mistaken about the actual physical activities which occurred (I imagine this hardly ever happens)
    2. You were raped.

    There is no “3. You think you were raped, but really you consented and are just mistaken about the state of your consent”. A person can’t be wrong about having granted or withheld consent.

  • $7768756

    People who purposely got absolutely fucking blotto don’t typically wake up and say “oh god I was raped.” They wake up and say “Jesus christ, what the fuck did I DO last night?”

    It doesn’t mean you LIKE who or where or when you woke up, it means you accept the responsibility that you chose to pour all that alcohol into your body, and the shitty decisions you made after consuming enough alcohol to literally prevent your brain from being able to form memories are still your responsibility, and you don’t get to go “OMG I WAS RAPED” just because you made a crappy decision.

    If you were roofied, if you’re bruised, if you remember saying no- you were raped, I’m there, lets take this to the police.

    If you just got super wasted and had sex and you have no idea what happened and there’s absolutely no indication you were raped- congratulations, that’s a wake up call, drink more responsibly.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

    “People who purposely got absolutely fucking blotto don’t typically wake up and say “oh god I was raped.” They wake up and say “Jesus christ, what the fuck did I DO last night?”

    EXACTLY!!!! WHICH IS WHY TEMPERANCE HAS NO PLACE IN A DISCUSSION ABOUT RAPE!!!!!!

    You continue to conflate, people who were sexually assaulted while drunk, to people who “change their minds”. THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS!!

    People wake up and realize, WOW ANYONE WHO WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED MY BLOTTO “CONSENT” LAST NIGHT IS A FUCKING RAPIST!!!

    Deal with it.

  • Figs

    ” I think even if you’re totally wasted and have sex with a drunk woman,
    you’re a rapist. I do think drunk women can give consent in the moment,
    however, and I think that the nature of drunkeness, means there will be
    grey areas.”

    What the fuck? If you have sex with a drunk woman, you’re a rapist. But a drunk woman can consent, so…you’re a rapist? You’re not even being consistent within your horrible little world.

  • Chocolate Covered Cotton

    I know plenty of people who’ve had sex with drunk women. I know none who engineer the situation to get women super drunk for purposes of unconscious sex.

    Yeah, I never hung out much with frat guys either. Mostly because they talked about doing exactly this all the fucking time.

  • $7768756

    I don’t hang out with frat guys. I hang out with normal people that occasionally go out, get drunk, and have sex.

    See, as it turns out….large chunks of our generation outside a certain whiny, radfem clique, is perfectly fine with going out, having a few drinks, and sometimes hooking up with a stranger who might’ve also had a few drinks. You don’t like that? Fine. But stop pretending its some sort of vicious sexual assault just because this dumbass wrote into Yoffe and couldn’t handle her shit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    whiny, radfem clique

    Oh, that was classy.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    It’s very simple: beign drunk negates your culpabilty for acts that would be okay if you were sober, but does not negate your culpability for acts that would be wrong if you were sober.

    (Yes. It is weird.)

  • $7768756

    Ah. How convenient.

    So driving is an act that would be wrong if you are sober?

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Driving dangerously – which is what you would be doing if you put a drunk behind the wheel.

  • stardreamer42

    Rape. No question. If you think there is a question, then you need to seriously re-examine your own issues about the giving of consent.

  • $7768756

    Errr, no. That’s my entire point. It is rape. And because it is rape, drunk people are capable of giving consent. See the entire argument spelled out below.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    That makes no goddam sense.

  • $7768756

    “If a five year old sticks his hand up a woman’s skirt, he is not a rapist, because he is incapacitated, mentally. Isn’t capable of recognized what happened. The same with some suffering from severe mental impairment.

    if, on the other hand, Johnny Drunko is still capable of being judged as guilty of rape, instead of being innocent by reason of mental incapability, as with the the five year old, then, by definition, he is still able to make informed decisions. Ergo, a woman who consents to sex when she is drunk is making an informed decision. Ergo, having sex with a woman who is drunk, and consents, is not rape.

    Therefore, saying that “DRUNK CONSENT IS NOT MEANINGFUL CONSENT.” which is the crux on which this entire debate turns, is demonstrably, logically, incorrect. Drunk people can give consent. Having sex with them is not rape. You can’t always tell if someone is blackout drunk. Therefore, having sex with someone who is blackout drunk is not, necessarily, in cases of honest confusion, rape.

    If you CAN tell, then yes, you shouldn’t have sex with them, and that would be rape, because I’d argue that blackout drunk does fall under completely incapacitated (albeit more legally complex for reasons of, say, punching someone in the face, because you incapacitated yourself..)”

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    No.
    If a drunk guy goes driving and kills someone, he is still guilty of killing them.

    Being drunk affects your ability to make good judgments, therefore a drunk cannot give consent – whether it for having sex or letting someone take the money.
    However, it does not absolve you of responsibility for the things you did while drunk.
    If you don’t get this, it is on you.

  • $7768756

    So basically- it’s a have your cake and eat it too sort of thing. Where we want drunks to have the capacity to be moral actors, they are moral actors. Where we don’t want them to be moral actors, they aren’t moral actors.

    Either drunks are capable of being moral actors, or not. If they are- that has certain legal and ethical implications. If not, it has others. You can’t arbitrarily choose to define one set of rules by one implication and another set of rules by a different implication of the same situation.

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Nope, you totally don’t get it.
    I’m sorry for you, and for everyone who has to deal with you.

  • $7768756

    Ah. Well, your ability to provide a clear, dispassionate explanation of this tricky ethical issue has made me think highly of your opinion, so your little dig there deeply wounds me.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Consider that I have discussed that a workable legal code can be based on one ethical guideline: Do not harm other people.

    In such a case, the question of whether drunkenness is an aggravating factor in assigning blame and responsibility is precisely in those instances where a person has harmed another while under the influence, owing to the social control centers tending to function at reduced capacity.

    Exactly the reverse is true when the harm is done to the drunk person. Then it can be considered an aggravating factor in punishing the harm done by the other person, and a mitigating factor in assigning blame and responsibility against the drunk person (it is more correctly aimed at the other individual who committed the harm).

  • $7768756

    I agree to a point that do no harm is a good first principle for an ethical system. But where drinking gets tricky is that it is a case of a chemically altered state, that, by and large, has similar effects for everyone. Across the board. That means that if if one of the side effects of this chemical is “decreased ability to drive” we can’t make any exceptions. Maybe Jeff Gordons drunken driving skills are as good as my sober driving skills, but that’s not how it works. Jeff can’t tool around with a .08 blood level any more than the rest of us can.

    If one of the side effects of alcohol consumption is inability to make decisions, than in justice, we need to apply that across the board. We can’t only apply it in certain situations, and not in others. If I am supposed to be capable of understanding that climbing behind the wheel of a car while drunk is dangerous, I am also capable of deciding if I want to experience sex in that state. If I wake up tomorrow and it turns out I have made a poor decision- well, people wake up after being sober and having made poor decisions. We cannot, in justice, apply a principle, particicularly one dealing with actual, physical effects caused by chemical substances, to mean one thing in one area and the complete opposite in the other.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I don’t see the question as being unnecessarily complicated. Drunk person shoots someone with a gun. Obviously they have harmed someone else.

    Someone pickpockets a drunk person. Obviously they have been harmed.

    Culpability correctly attaches to the doer-of-harm.

  • $7768756

    Ok.

    Someone has sex with a drunk person after the drunk person has given consent.

    Two people, both for the sake of simplicity “equally” drunk have consensual sex.

    Where is the harm?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If they each have different notions as to what they consented to. I believe I mentioned this exact thing before to you as well.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    If one of them later considers it rape, there’s harm.

    If neither of them later considers it rape, there isn’t.

  • smrnda

    I want to disagree that getting drunk has similar effects on everyone. Anyone who has gotten drunk with enough people will note that people are very different drunk. Some people get very tired and lethargic quickly, some people become more extroverted, some people get belligerent. Some people experience greater motor impairment than others. Anyone who has done any amount of drinking will probably be able to classify people they see drunk based on their behavior.

  • $7768756

    It reduces reflex time, it acts as a depressant, reduces inhibitions- oh, the individual manifestations of the effects vary widely, but the underlying fact of the effects it has on your brain are pretty much the same.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I believe the problem here is that rape apologists like cjb think that “getting raped while drunk” is something that, like “driving while drunk and maybe killing people thereby,” is something that drunk people do, rather than something that is done to them.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that this false equivalence comes from suspecting that women get black-out drunk on purpose in order to trap poor, naive men into having sex with their unconscious bodies, making them vulnerable to accusations of rape the next day. Poor men! Us women are always out to get them that way. Happily for them, it rarely works out the way us conniving women want it to, what with how often even the police tell us we were asking for it by getting drunk in public. So don’t worry, rape apologists! You’re almost always safe!

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Sad to say, this has been pointed out to them, multiple times, by me alone, and they still refuse to see the difference.

    They keep coming back to the drunk person being culpable in the own rape, because the fact that the drunk person has no memory of consent is their own fault from imbibing alcohol.

  • Jen K

    They keep coming back to the drunk person being culpable in the own rape, because the fact that the drunk person has no memory of consent is their own fault from imbibing alcohol.

    Or imbibing a roofie in what they thought was 1/2 a beer.

  • $7768756

    No, Aeryl. I DISAGREE. Sorry, but you aren’t coming down from Mount Sinai with the ten commandments in your hand. Your opinion of what it is when a blackout drunk person says ‘yes’ to sex and mine are different. You’ve made your explanations. I’ve read them. I’ve disagreed with them, and I’ve stated why, based on my own experiences and what I believe to be right.

    Again, sorry that we disagree, but- that’s the way it is.

    “They keep coming back to the drunk person being culpable in the own rape, because the fact that the drunk person has no memory of consent is their own fault from imbibing alcohol.”

    Again, this is only true if you axiomatically assume that drunken sex is rape. Which, you know…it isn’t.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Again, this is only true if you axiomatically assume that drunken sex is rape. Which, you know…it isn’t.

    Fine. Point granted.

    Do you still not see that the informedness of the consent given under such circumstances is open to question and therefore cannot be relied upon?

  • $7768756

    “Do you still not see that the informedness of the consent given under such circumstances is open to question and therefore cannot be relied upon?”

    Yep. That’s why, as previously stated, unless i’m drunk and making poor judgements myself, i don’t sleep with drunk women.

    That being said, a standard of “drunk consent isn’t consent” is simply ridiculous, from biological, feminist, and practical standpoints.

    We’ve already discussed the other two- from a practical standpoint, drunk people are going to hook up. It’s practically what drunk was invented for. pretending that isn’t the reality. It’s pointless to suggest that we simply demonize all drunken sex instead of encouraging safe behavior and, you know, maybe not falling all over ourselves to tell people that get blackout drunk and made poor choices that they have no responsibility for getting blackout drunk.

    I’m sorry the young lady had a crappy sexual experience. But what a responsible friend would be doing is pointing out “this isn’t the first time you’ve gotten this drunk, this isn’t the first time you’ve made a seriously bad choice while drunk, it’s time to start reconsidering your drinking habits.”

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    If a person wakes up from a night of drinking, and says “Man, I got so wasted, I don’t remember a thing, but I guess I had a good time.” THAT’S FINE

    But your problem is, is that you want someone who wakes up and says “Oh I got so wasted, how dare someone take advantage of that and rape me” to not be rape. You want, through the magic of intent, for it to not actually BE rape, because the rapist didn’t “mean it” and “thought” the victim were sincere.

    THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS.

    Which is why for the BENEFIT of EVERYONE, you don’t accept drunken consent. IF YOU DO, you COULD be raping someone. DEAL WITH IT

  • $7768756

    No, I don’t think that you get to magically reframe what was drunken sex into rape because you feel uncomfortable. If you get drunk and have sex, you might not be happy about who you wake up with. DEAL WITH IT.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    No, what you can’t deal with, is that there is a world of difference between waking up uncomfortable, and waking up raped. Count yourself lucky, instead of deciding you get to reframe other’s experiences for them.

  • $7768756

    Except, that as this woman explicitly states in her letter to Yoffe- for her, there is not. She woke up uncomfortable, and therefore, NOT because of anything else, but solely based on that feeling of discomfort- decided she’d been raped.

  • Carstonio

    There are probably plenty of men who believe in that myth about trapping. But I suspect it’s mostly about the old but persistent idea of women being property, as both sexual and reproductive vessels. Whether or not she gets pregnant from the rape, she loses her value as bride material. I doubt that most of the apologists consciously view the issue this way.

  • Ben English

    This isn’t an either or question. If man has sex with woman while she’s passed out and did not consent, that’s rape. The fact that man was deeply impaired mitigates his culpability somewhat, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.

  • Anathema

    Given that unconscious people cannot consent, that is obviously an example of rape.

  • chgo_liz

    edited because I just don’t want to get into this conversation

  • $7768756

    No, person who doesn’t bother to read.

    There’s an entire argument down below about how this means that MEN ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY DO WHEN THEY ARE DRUNK..

    Right, sorry, didn’t mean to snap, you’re just like the 8th person to make that mistake.

  • http://www.matthewkeville.com/ Seraph4377

    Asking “Socratic Questions” about rape makes you an asshole.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The logical conclusion is that she has done something in a drunken stupor that she regrets, and that is an equal-opportunity situation.
    1) I’m going to file this under the same header as “but men get physically abused by violent wives too!”
    2) If a man had drunk sex, he doesn’t have to worry about getting pregnant and all that that entails.
    3) Society is most likely going to give a man a lot less shit than they’ll give a woman.

    Yeah, false equivalence.

  • $7768756

    1. Not really, because men regretting a drunken one night stand is much more common than woman on man spousal abuse.

    2. No, but he does have to worry about child support for the next 18 years.

    3. While I agree, and that is a serious issue- That’s an entirely separate issue from the question of moral culpability and what and what does not constitute rape when people are drinking.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Re #2, You do know some jurisdictions actually allow rapists to sue for custody of children?

    “LOL HOW DOES THAT WORK IF THEY’RE IN JAIL HURHUR”

    … people do get released with time off for good behavior, so a 15 year sentence can drop precipitously in some places.

  • $7768756

    Yes. I do know that.

    It’s wrong and should be outlawed. What does that have to do with my example that men risks consequences from one night stands as well as women?

    I’m also aware of time off for good behavior, parole, and etc.

    Because, you see, IN- I’m not an illiterate moron. I just disagree with you about a couple of things.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That and a lot of rapists don’t even get fifteen years. The Steubenville High School rapists, DOCUMENTED as doing it, DOCUMENTED as BRAGGING about doing it, were sentenced to… one and two years. And the media crowed about how awful it was for them to even be accused and how dare that girl ruin their lives like this.

  • LoneWolf343

    1.) Are you saying that women who commit spousal abuse shouldn’t be treated equally as men who commit spousal abuse?

    2.) He has to worry about STDs though. Not that it matters, because that is irrelevant to the topic of consent.

    3.) While true and unfortunate, it doesn’t…really mean anything, actually. I can’t even figure why you brought it up.

    So, yeah, non-sequitur.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    1) Strawman. Of course she should. That in no way implies that women abuse men just as often as the reverse, or that domestic abuse is primarily an issue women have to deal with.

    2) So does she. One or both of them could wake up with HIV, but I’m not going to touch culpability on that.

    3) Just one more piece of evidence that one party is far more likely to suffer much more greatly than the other and so “unwanted drunk sex happens for both men and women” is false equivalence.

  • Chocolate covered cotton

    IANAL, I took one course in business law a decade ago. I remember that if one is impaired one cannot be liable for a contract signed while so impaired. Try to sell me a car or second mortgage while I’m obviously and visibly drunk, and that contract won’t hold up in court. So no, American law does not always hold everyone responsible for what they decide to do while impaired.

  • $7768756

    Can she prove that she didn’t say “Hell yeah, lets do it” last night, you know, the time she can’t remember?

    Rapists don’t generally stick around for a good nights sleep after they rape a passed out woman.

  • Lori

    Date rapists often stick around, as do many rapists who roofie their victims. Still being present in the morning is not evidence of being innocent of rape.

  • LoneWolf343

    You don’t need evidence of innocence.

  • Lori

    Your expectation that the whole world operates like a court of law is befuddling. Also, caryjamesbond is the one who brought it up.

  • LoneWolf343

    Your expectation that women ought to have special absolute privileges when it comes to the law is dangerous, and anti-feminist.

  • stardreamer42

    Your expectation that sexual predators ought to have special absolute privileges when it comes to rape is dangerous and anti-feminist. Social rapists USE that expectation — it’s what they do, and you’re demonstrating why.

  • LoneWolf343

    Presumption of innocence isn’t a special absolute privilege. It’s codified by the law.

  • Lori

    Presumption of innocence doesn’t mean not being accused. I have no idea why this is unclear to you.

  • Isabel C.

    Well, his name is “LoneWolf343” (which…irony). I admire your willingness to engage, but I don’t think you have anything to work with here, if you know what I’m saying.

  • Lori

    I do, which is why I bailed. Some walls aren’t worth beating your head against.

  • stardreamer42

    Let’s stop and look at what “presumption of innocence” actually is, rather than what you seem to think it is. It means that if you are accused of a crime, that crime has to be investigated and proven before you can be imprisoned (or otherwise punished) for it. It does NOT mean that nobody can accuse you, particularly in a case such as the one hypothesized.

    She went to bed next to a guy. She woke up next to the same guy. Someone had sex with her during the night. Now I suppose it’s possible that some other guy broke in, had sex with her without either of the people in the bed waking up, and left again without a trace — but float that as counter-evidence, and people are going to roll their eyes, and with good reason.

    “Presumption of innocence” means take it to the law and let the law sort it out. It doesn’t mean that she can’t accuse him because she doesn’t remember exactly what happened. You sound like a freedom-of-speech troll.

  • $7768756

    The argument isn’t that “she didn’t have sex” or even “she didn’t have sex with him.”

    The argument is “Did she drunkenly consent to sex and not remember, making this a regrettable one night stand, or did he have sex with her while passed out, making him a rapist?”

    See how that’s different?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Drunken consent doesn’t exist, accept in your head and the heads of rapists.

  • $7768756

    See my entire long arguments about this below. Essentially- if being drunk removes your cvapacity to consent, it also removes your moral culpability for rape. Incapacity to make decisions is incapacity to make decisions- if you’re saying that drunkeness places you on the same level as a 5 year old child in terms of making decisions, that applies to everyone,

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    Your argument is idiotic. That’s why we aren’t buying it.

  • $7768756

    How?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    No, because again, the rape victim didn’t do anything to be culpable for, THE RAPIST DID

  • $7768756

    Only if you accept the ridiculous premise that drunk sex is rape. If, on the other hand, you look at it as drunken sex, then suddenly no rapist has done anything.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Or, it’s you who’s ridiculous in insisting that rape was only ever “drunken sex:

  • $7768756

    Ummm….no. There are thousands of types of rape. There are types of rape that are done to drunk people. Rape means ignoring consent and having sex with them anyways. Drunk people are capable of giving consent.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “Drunk people are capable of giving consent.”

    And that’s why people keep calling you a rapist.

  • $7768756

    And your inability to read the long complex discussion of that is why I keep calling you someone who is bad at reading comprehension.

    Sorry, but I have more respect for women than to think two beers turns them from rational actors into the moral equivalents of five year old children who are incapable of making decisions for themselves. Adults drink. Adults can still make decisions while drunk. Get over it.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    There is a difference between tipsy, and too drunk to consent.

    I’ve never had a problem in seeing that line, that you have says more about you than you think, apparently.

    It has nothing to do with reading comprehension, I’ve read this entire thread. It has everything to do with you trying to retroactively make your repulsive actions NOT rape.

  • $7768756

    *yawn*

    Yes, I was raped. Is that what you want me to say? That woman took advantage of my reduced inhibitions and had sex with me.

    Simaltaneously, i took advantage of HER reduced inhibitions and raped her. Then in the morning, we had pancakes.

    Awful it was.

    “Too drunk to consent”

    Saying “too drunk to consent” implies that a state of less drunk would be able to give consent. Is that what you’re saying?

    And yes, there is too drunk to consent. But not everyone has your magical power to calculate blood alcohol level and its exact affect on the individual you’re talking too. Sometimes, people that are too drunk to consent act just like people that aren’t too drunk to consent!

    See, I’m talkin; bout those blurred lines….

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    If you go out, to a bar and drink and have a good time, sometimes people will hit on you. If you are too drunk to consent (IE black out drunk) and they can’t tell, and think you’re less drunk than you are (Ie able to give consent levels of drunk) and you have sex with them….That’s not rape.

    A wakeup call for your drinking habits, perhaps. But if you go out and drink until you’re blacked out and make a poor life choice while blacked out, that isn’t the fault of the other person involved in the poor life choice. Anymore than if you get blackout drunk and jump off the roof of the hotel and miss the pool its the fault of the hotel.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “If you are too drunk to consent (IE black out drunk) and they can’t
    tell, and think you’re less drunk than you are (Ie able to give consent
    levels of drunk) and you have sex with them.”

    Yes it is.

    “and they can’t tell,”

    This^^^^ That right there. That’s where you keep missing it. If they can’t tell one way or the other if you are too drunk to consent, they have no business having sex with you.

    YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN SOMEONE IS SOBER ENOUGH TO CONSENT THERE ARE NO BLURRED LINES

  • $7768756

    “YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN SOMEONE IS SOBER ENOUGH TO CONSENT THERE ARE NO BLURRED LINES”

    Yeah, except for the time my own girlfriend couldn’t tell I was blacked out and had sex with me and was surprised I didn’t remember. You know, the time I was a victim of spousal rape, by your definition.

    In case there is some confusion, the time I was drunk and had sex with an also drunk woman, both of us were sober enough to remember having sex the next day. The same when I got drunk and hooked up with my ex. I have never had sex with someone who was so drunk they couldn’t remember it. Honest injun.

    “If they can’t tell one way or the other if you are too drunk to consent, they have no business having sex with you.”

    It’s not “doesn’t care ” it’s “make a mistaken estimate”

    It’s not a case of “huhh…this person MIIIGHT be blackedout but fuck it, don’t care.” It’s a case of “this person seems fairly drunk, but not black out drunk, lets see if she wants to bang”

    See how that’s two different things?

    Again- go to any bar. People that could legally drive won’t be able to stand upright, people that drank a liter of vodka will be riverdancing on the bar. (Oh man, I should tell you about the time I accidentally drank a liter of vodka- that’s the” cary’ no remember sexy times” day)

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I love how you continue this conversation as if I’m some wilting flower who’s never been to a bar.

  • $7768756

    So you’ve been to a bar, and the conclusion you drew was “it’s really easy to tell exactly how drunk people are!”?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I’ve been to a bar and seen plenty of people whose judgement I wouldn’t trust to order pizza, much less consider sex and people I would.

    It’s a bright line.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I want to address this part of what you said:

    Yeah, except for the time my own girlfriend couldn’t tell I was blacked out and had sex with me and was surprised I didn’t remember. You know, the time I was a victim of spousal rape, by your definition.

    I think this points up exactly the problem with overbroadly implying every drunk person is capable of consenting.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I didn’t say “doesn’t care” I said “can’t tell”.

    If you are trying to TELL then you obviously CARE. I just don’t understand why you think that CONSIDERATION matters to the person who wakes up realizing they were raped.

  • $7768756

    Because she didn’t realize she was raped. She wouldn’t be writing to Yoffe ASKING if she was raped if she realized she was raped. She doesn’t KNOW, she doesn’t have a single thing that indicates rape, she wants Yoffe to confirm her belief- and instead, Yoffe said exactly what I say- get blackout drunk, sometimes you wake up with strangers. That doesn’t make it rape, that makes it a stupid decision. If you don’t like the stupid decisions you make when that blackout drunk, DON’T GET BLACKOUT DRUNK.

    When your stupid actions make you make stupid decisions, you don’t get to shift the responsibility onto someone else because you’re freaked out that you did something stupid while entirely drunk.

    It’s not the job of everyone else in the world to cater to your stupidity. It’s your job to demonstrate some basic responsibilty as an adult human being, and to accept the consequences of your decisions. Like waking up with a stranger and not being able to tell what happened.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Drunk people are capable of giving consent.

    The danger of this overbroad statement is that it doesn’t account for the fact that each person has different responses to alcohol. I tend to find that a full glass of wine or two at dinner really hits me enough to make me feel kind of sleepy for a while, but someone else next to me might barely notice it.

    Some drunk people are capable of giving consent” is valid.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Exactly, and as CJB been repeating, YOU CAN’T TELL WHICH IS WHICH, and that’s WHY YOU DON’T DO IT or you risk having raped someone!!!!!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, cary seems to have tried arguing both points – that “drunk people” (implying a general rule) can consent and then also saying you can’t tell when that is the case.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    The general rule of “drunk people” seems to come into play in determining whether the victim is culpable for the rape, the specialization of “can’t tell which drunk people” is to determine that we should just give the rapist the benefit of the doubt.

    There’s ALSO the continued insistence that drunken people consent, but regret sex in the morning and claim rape. Which you think would be the biggest argument for refusing to accept drunken consent, but is instead his argument for ACCEPTING drunken consent, I guess?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    Seems like if someone tries to make an argument that a rape victim “brought it on herself” or “deserved what she got”, that’s inherently conceding that rape happened,

  • $7768756

    Did anyone say that?

  • Figs

    You say at another point in this thread that you think if somebody has sex with somebody who’s drunk, that person is a rapist. Now it’s “a regrettable one night stand”. Jesus.

  • Lori

    Going to the cops and reporting a possible crime is not a special absolute privilege you fuckwit.

  • LoneWolf343

    Accusing someone without evidence is.

  • quietglow

    How is she supposed to get a DNA test taken on any possible DNA left on her body (you know, the only possible use a rape kit would be in this scenario) without raising the possibility this guy she woke up in bed with is the one who had nonconsexual sex with her?

  • $7768756

    Rape kits collect evidence of forcible entry- blood and what not, as well as DNA. Any reasonably experienced nurse can tell what rape looks like due to bruising, etc.

  • quietglow



    I’m gonna explain this as simply as I can.

    If she was not conscious there’s not going to be evidence of a fight. That’s what “not conscious” means.

  • $7768756

    No, but, to get somewhat graphically technical…unlubricated sex tends to have a similar, although not as dramatic effect.

  • quietglow

    I’m just gonna give you that, nobody’s writing a how-to here.

    Still, my point is that getting the rape kit, analyzing the DNA to confirm it was the same man that woke up in bed with her (or whatever that concern was) and all of that isn’t going to happen without a reason first. There’s no way around it. This isn’t a situation where collecting evidence can be done independently.

  • chgo_liz

    Different people have different levels of natural lubrication. You really do have to stop watching so much TV.

    I suppose you also think if orgasm occurred it means it wasn’t rape.

  • $7768756

    No, you can orgasm from rape.

    Please stop putting words in my mouth. I don’t put words in your mouth.

  • chgo_liz

    You’re just lying through your teeth now. God, I’m in this even though I didn’t want to be.

    Only a small minority of rape victims have the kind of physical trauma depicted on TV crime shows. They also don’t scream and cry, by the way. Shocked silence is the norm.

    Vitullo (rape) kits collect stray hairs, fingernail scrapings, swabbed evidence from any cavity used by the rapist, photos of any observable trauma, clothing, etc. It’s not the hospital’s job to determine what specific evidence might be useful so there is a well-defined checklist to be followed each and every time, no matter what the victim looks like.

    “Forcible entry” is a legal term, not a physical description. A victim who doesn’t kick and scream because the rapist is pointing a gun is still being forcibly raped even though there won’t be any bruising or tearing.

    Even experienced nurses can be terrible at understanding how to treat rape victims. All the usual sexism and rape culture issues apply, unfortunately. But “reasonably experienced nurses” know that there’s no such thing as “knowing what a rape looks like”.

    There is not a shred of truth in anything you just wrote.

  • Lori

    What plant are you visiting from?

  • LoneWolf343

    http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/white_collar_crimes/false-police-report.htm

    Earth. You’re apparently from some matriarchal society where women can never ever commit crimes.

  • Lori

    You have now twisted this into something that looks an awful lot like MRA fantasy.

  • LoneWolf343

    If you call common sense “MRA,” then more people are going to be MRA.

  • Lori

    You are not displaying common sense and this response also sounds like MRA fantasy-speak.

  • LoneWolf343

    Ah, the popular “NO U!” comeback.

  • Lori

    Um, no. Your reading comprehension seems to have taken a break. Maybe try again when it comes back.

  • LoneWolf343

    I read it just fine, as an ad hominum attack, after the fact that I showed evidence that you were wrong.

  • Lori

    What evidence do you think you provided? That link? The fact that some people, both male and female, file false reports about various crimes, not just sexual assault, is not evidence of anything.

  • LoneWolf343

    Lori, I would like you to answer a simple question. Just yes or no will do. Early in my current vocation as a transporter for a newspaper, I once overheard a conversation between several women who worked at the press as stuffers, and one of the women said, and I quote, “I get men drunk because that’s the only way that they will sleep with me.” Now, the question I want you to answer is if that woman is a serial rapist. Is she?

  • Lori

    Yes.

    Is that not the answer you expected?

  • LoneWolf343

    Okay, so now we’ve established that a woman can rape via substance-induced inebriation. Now, if in this case, the two in question that they were so drunk that they weren’t capable of consenting, then…they both raped each other. I’m not sure how to approach that one legally.

  • Lori

    The problem is that you’re saying nothing can be done to make any reasonable effort to establish what happened. She knows she was too drunk to consent and too bad, so sad, better luck next time.

  • LoneWolf343

    She was too drunk to remember if she gave consent. Apparently, he was too. But, obviously, he had the dick, and so was solely responsible.

  • Lori

    Apparently, he was too.

    There was nothing in the letter in question to indicate that this was the case. It was purely Derea’s speculation. That fact that you have now taken that speculation as the facts of the case demonstrates part of the problem here.

  • LoneWolf343

    But it perfectly alright for you to speculate that he was complete in his faculties, despite being drunk himself, based on…what? You’ve been running on that assumption, and not produced one shred of evidence that it was the case, and you engaged in ad hominum attacks on everyone who used sound logic and provided their own evidence. It is clear to anyone with eyes that you are biased.

  • Lori

    But it perfectly alright for you to speculate that he was complete in his faculties, despite being drunk himself, based on…what? You’ve been running on that assumption, and not produced one shred of evidence that
    it was the case,

    Your reading comprehension is incredibly poor. I am not speculating that he was in complete control of his faculties. I have not been running on that assumption.

    What I said is that a woman who was blackout drunk could not give effective consent so if someone had sex with her when she was in that condition it’s not out of line for her to want that investigated. It’s the job of the cops to investigate and determine who did what to whom and what condition they were in. That can’t happen in your world where the woman isn’t allowed to file a report or ask for an investigation unless she has proof. Proof which she can’t get without an investigation.

    and you engaged in ad hominum attacks on everyone who used sound logic and provided their own evidence. It is clear to anyone with eyes that you are biased.

    You have not provided any evidence and observations are not ad hominum attacks.

    It is clear to anyone with eyes that you are biased.

    Yes. I’m biased against telling people who have had nonconsentual sex that they’re supposed to just suck it up.

  • quietglow

    Why do these all have to be legal? What’s legal is not always right, what’s right is not always legal, and the legal system as it stands is frankly not much good when it comes to rape anyway. If we fixed that perhaps we’d be able to sort this with better clarity in perfect scenarios where we know exactly what happened.

    Since you don’t know how to approach it legally, you say our legal system isn’t currently capable of addressing it, or neither person is prosecutable due to the circumstances.

  • $7768756

    So you want to say that there is an act which is so heinous, it qualifies as RAPE, an actual, serious felony- but that it shouldn’t be against the law?

    That’s the reason rape is against the law, and having sex when drunk isn’t. Rape is a serious crime against a person- drunk sex is, at worst, skeezy. These are NOT THE SAME THING.

  • Anathema

    The person who initiates sex with someone who was too drunk to consent is a rapist, regardless of whether or not they are drunk themselves.

    Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

  • themunck

    Wrong. Convicting someone without evidence is.

  • chgo_liz

    “Going to the cops and reporting a possible crime is not a special absolute privilege”

    “Accusing someone without evidence is.”

    No, it isn’t.

    A rape victim goes to the police to report a crime. It is up to the detectives and the county/district/state attorney to find the evidence and make the case. The victim isn’t even the “prosecution” for any trial that occurs, merely a witness.

  • stardreamer42

    Even if she did, DRUNK CONSENT IS NOT MEANINGFUL CONSENT. Having sex with someone who is incapable of giving meaningful consent is rape. And if you think you might get too drunk to notice that your partner is also too drunk to consent, then you need to make better choices and leave before it reaches that point.

  • $7768756

    errrr, sorry man, but i disagree. I personally don’t have sex with drunk chicks, because it’s a little skeevy. But if being drunk destroys your capacity to such a degree that you can’t decide if you want sex or not….

    Then frankly, getting drunk should be an excuse for just about anything. If having some alcohol reduces your capacity that you want things in your vagina despite the fact that you don’t want things in your vagina….fuck it. You can’t accuse anyone of drunk driving- they didn’t WANT to drive, they were just to drunk to make a decision against it. It’s not their fault!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    A person who is truly blackout drunk won’t even remember whether they had given consent or not, much less if they were capable of understanding all the factors in giving that consent, up to and including being cognizant of who their partner was. That’s why it’s wrong to take advantage of them and why it should be considered rape.

    Bonus points for “I don’t have sex with drunk chicks because like eww lol.”

  • $7768756

    “Bonus points for “I don’t have sex with drunk chicks because like eww lol.””

    It’s gross behavior. I don’t agree with it- if I’m sober, I don’t do it. I’ll admit that when I’ve been drunk I’ve had drunk sex with a drunk woman, and that’s not exactly my proudest moment. But there are gross behaviors that are legal. I think the Girls gone wild dudes are creepy as hell too- doesn’t mean they should be outlawed.

    “That’s why it’s wrong to take advantage of them and why it should be considered rape.”

    If you can tell they’re blackout drunk. If you aren’t too drunk to notice. If this, if that.

    One of the reasons this subject is so complex is that you can have multiple people with impaired judgement getting involved in a situation they both end up regretting, without any of them have committed rape.

    I do agree that no matter how trashed you are, you should be able to recognize the word “Stop.”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    Leaving aside for the moment the basic problematicness of the way that it seems like “if two people are blackout drunk and have sex with each other, and only one of them has a penis, that one’s the rapist and the other one is the victim” does get embedded in the assumptions around being unable to consent due to intoxication, the thing you don’t seem willing to grant is that even if the accused made an honest mistake in judging capacity to consent, it’s still rape. When you have sex with someone, you’re inherently asserting that you are sufficiently confident in your assessment of the other person’s consent that you’re willing to risk being a rapist if you’re wrong. It might be a mitigating factor for criminal liability, but thinking one has consent when one doesn’t doesn’t turn nonconsentual sex into consentual sex.

    I imagine there are such crimes, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of another crime where “Yes I agree that I performed the acts specified, but I honestly didn’t think that I was committing a crime when I did it” is actually considered some kind of defense.

  • $7768756

    “oops, sorry, I thought I heard you say I could borrow the DVD player.”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    You still have to give the DVD player back.

    ETA: Unles you’re a bank, of course.

  • $7768756

    Yes, I understand that. It’s an analogy. If it was a perfect map to the situation, it would BE the situation.

    There are people I wish now I hadn’t had sex with. That doesn’t retroactively remove my consent from the time when we did. Regrets don’t make rape. Saying “no” makes rape.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Regrets don’t make rape. Saying “no” makes rape.

    You… do know there is an active tendency among some men to claim that women routinely “regret sex” and “get revenge” by making false rape accusations?

    Because you totally implied you believe that sort of thing.

  • $7768756

    *shrug* I’ve had sex and relationships that I regret. Some of the sex I regret involved alcohol. And an ex. That sucked. But the fact that I woke up horrified that I’d had sex with my ex doesn’t mean that the night before when I said “fuck yeah, lets’ do this” was somehow magically erased.

    I think false rape accusations are LOWER than pretty much any other false crime accusation- which is still a significant fraction of crime accusations- iirc the statistics correctly, most crimes are around 12%, rape is around 8.

    So it’s uncommon, but I wouldn’t play russian roulette at those odds either. I dont’ think women make a regular habit out of it, I don’t think women routinely regret sex. I think some people will regret some sexual decisions they’ve made- I don’t think that makes it more likely to be reported as rape- nor do I think it makes it rape.

  • Anathema

    “That’s why it’s wrong to take advantage of them and why it should be considered rape.”

    If you can tell they’re blackout drunk. If you aren’t too drunk to notice. If this, if that.

    This implies that you think that drunk people are not responsible for their actions.

    Yet your previous statements about how drunk people can meaningfully consent to sex and how we hold drunk drivers responsible for their actions imply that you think that people are responsible for their actions when they are drunk.

    How come this responsibility disappears the moment a drunk person is unable to notice that they are having sex with someone who cannot consent?

  • $7768756

    I’m going to wager good money I’ve got more experience with drunk people than you. I have spent a LOT of my life drunk.

    It is possible to be blackout drunk and look regular drunk- be able to talk, be able to make conversation, be able to look like someone that’s had a few shots and is feeling real good.

    Go to a good bar on friday night. See if you can tell, sober, how many people are too trashed to form new memories and how many are just pretty drunk.

    It’s not a perfect binary, either. People get blackout drunk, then sober up a little and stop blacking out. alcohol takes longer to process the more you’ve had, so someone can move from one state to another. They might’ve had something to eat. So on and so forth. It is perfectly possible that the woman in the article had sex she drunkenly seemed to consent to and enjoyed, and doesn’t remember a damn thing In the morning. i’ve woken up had my girlfriend talk about the sex we had, and not remember a minute of it, although I apparently had a good time.

  • Anathema

    You did not answer my question.

    Why is a man who has sex with a woman who is too drunk to consent not responsible for his actions so long as he is too drunk too notice that she cannot consent, when you think that drunk people are responsible for their actions in all other situations?

  • $7768756

    I did, actually. The answer is– his being drunk has nothing to do with his inability to recognize that she is blacked out, as that is a situation that can be extremely difficult to judge for someone who is stone cold sober and looking for it. Not always, but surprisingly often. (Oh man, i should tell you all the Durham story sometime. OH MAN. Most irritatingly coherent, competent, blacked out drunk I’ve ever had to deal with)

    It is perfectly possible to think someone is more sober than they are, have their enthusiastic, ongoing, albeit drunken consent to sex, and have it turn out to them being blacked out. This has nothing to do with the other person’s drunken state, or their responsibility- it is possible for them to act responsibly and be wrong.

    Which, coming back to the main story- is a perfectly possible outcome of the Yoffe story. Drunken blackout sex, consent given, sex not remembered.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Aside: Canadian jurisprudence has produced case law that now states that consent is automatically withdrawn if a person becomes unconscious at any time during or just prior to sexual activity.

  • cossacksare

    Who needs to make better choices? The man or the woman? Are you justifying rape?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Some guys are deluded enough to think a slurred mumble from the hot drunk chick means they can bang her and stay for a snuggle.

  • $7768756

    Dude, what do you think people act like they’re in a movie when they’re drunk? I can be, and know plenty of women who can be extremely coherent while drunk. Still obviously drunk, but not slurring, or stumbling, or mumbling.

    I’m not saying I can magically pass for sober when blacked out. But I can pass for “only pretty well buzzed.”

  • $7768756

    From a guy who has a disturbingly large experience with being blackout drunk- yes you can. I’ve had sex I don’t remember, and my girlfriend was surprised by when I was confused the next day. She thought I was drunk, but not THAT drunk. Being blackout drunk can look quite a lot like “shes to drunk to drive but able to consent to sex.”

    As for Rape education- I agree that we need to teach guys what is and isn’t rape. But educating women makes just as much, if not more sense. Arguing that it’s insulting is like going into a Karate studio and suggesting that what the people there REALLY need to do is advocate for teaching muggers not to mug.

    And a “prey rich environment” doesn’t mean a predator rich one. It means that if there are predators/when predators show up, it’ll be easier for them. The difference between the gazelles on the savannah and the dodo. As long as there’s nothing but Dodo’s around, things are fine. But one cat shows up….

    “ou’re saying that a woman who is that impaired either can’t really be raped or can be raped has no right to complain about it.:

    I’m saying that the person she was with might reasonable conclude from her behavior that she had consented, even if she doesn’t remember it.

  • Lori

    I’m saying that the person she was with might reasonable conclude from her behavior that she had consented, even if she doesn’t remember it.

    Yes, he might. The problem is that what you, LoneWolf343 and Derea are advocating is that it’s the woman’s job to assume that was the case. Because that’s effectively what it means to not go to the cops.That’s a problem.

  • $7768756

    You get blackout drunk, wake up and can’t remember if you said “yeah, woohoo, lets fuck” to the guy sleeping next to you? Sorry, but yeah. That’s on you. If you can remember saying “no”- then I’m 100% behind you. You were raped, I dont’ care what the circumstances are. it was wrong, lets send him up the river. But if you can’t remember……then yeah. That’s on you.

  • Lori

    You are effectively saying women who get blackout drunk can’t be raped and are therefore fair game. I have no idea how to respond to that.

  • $7768756

    I’m saying if you can’t prove it, you don’t get to accuse people.

    Look, I’ve gotten blackout drunk, and done stupid shit- spent hundreds of dollars I didn’t intend to.

    But when I woke up the next morning broke, I don’t get to accuse people of stealing my money. It was my irresponsible decision, and barring evidence to the contrary, I don’t get to make criminal accusations about other people

  • Lori

    I’m going to bow out of this conversation now before I say something really fucking unpleasant.

  • P J Evans

    It is not the job of either of the participants in the act to ‘prove’ anything. That’s the job of the police investigators.
    What part of that is so damned difficult for you to understand?

  • $7768756

    And, obviously, with the caveat of being drugged, but being drugged usually presents with physical symptoms when you’re being drugged, or can be tested for.

  • Lori

    Being drugged often feels a lot like being hung over. Also, by the time you regain consciousness and could get tested the drugs are generally out of your system. So, no.

  • $7768756

    And if you have a few drinks at a reasonable pace, and then suddenly can’t remember anything and wake up the next day having had sex, that’s pretty good evidence you were drugged.

    If on the other hand, you drink a bottle of vodka and blackout, it’s sorta hard to tell exactly what happened.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Someone I know was introduced to the green fairy recently. It tasted of sugar and water with little in the way of alcoholic aftertaste, although it was actually very potent. I know my body well enough to detect inebriation and cut off after a couple of shots, but she went from “seriously, I’m fine” to face-down with no apparent transition in between in under an hour. I’m reasonably certain she wasn’t drugged, but I know damn well anyone could have raped her that night if I hadn’t been there to take her to a safe place and she never would have been aware what was happening. To this day, her memory of the event was “we were having drinks, and… didn’t I come back home?”

    So maybe I’m a little sensitive about this shit because I’ve been a sober party to how easily it could happen.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    So lack of evidence of failing to give consent is evidence of consent?

  • $7768756

    It’s lack of evidence of anything. It is impossible to know what happened, By this woman’s own admission, she got blackout drunk. If she woke up and her purse is in her friends car, is she justified in accusing her friend of theft? After all, there’s a lack of evidence that she consented to leave that purse in that car.

    When people get blackout drunk, they routinely make poor decisions, including having sex with people they wouldn’t want to have sex with sober. Tough shit. I’ve made many poor decisions while blackout drunk. Know how I fixed that issue? I STOPPED GETTING BLACKOUT DRUNK.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Not a comparable situation. What would be somewhat closer is if she discovers that money is now missing from her purse and her friend insists she gave it to her as a gift. Still not entirely right, but closer.

    Or maybe people should stop having sex with someone who’s obviously drunk. If sex is meant to happen, it can happen while both parties are sober.

  • $7768756

    I once gave a hobo 200 dollars while drunk. It happens.

    “Or maybe people should stop having sex with someone who’s obviously drunk. If sex is meant to happen, it can happen while both parties are sober.”

    I agree. I think it’s a Bad Idea and, especially if you’re sober and they’re drunk, extremely super-skeevy.

    There is a whole giant chasm between “super-skeevy” and “rape” however. That’s where the point of disagreement is. I think it’s a bad idea, that, when both are drunk, both parties equally participated in. You seem to be arguing that it’s rape and the man was responsible. If I’m wrong, seriously, please correct me there, because that is really the only point of disagreement.

  • Ben English

    Giving a hobo 200 dollars is not the same thing as rape, you dolt!

  • $7768756

    No, DUH. Which is why I didn’t compare it to rape. I compared it to taking someone home and then regretting it in the morning- IE a stupid drunken decision.

    You’ll know when I compare something to rape. Because I will say “X thing is exactly like rape!” However, that thing will be sexual penetration without consent, because that’s the only thing thats like rape, what with, you know. BEING rape.

    For everyones sake, lets assume that if I’m not talking about sexual penetration without consent, I’m not talking about rape. Could we maybe do that?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    No, it’s on YOU to be a decent enough human being to say, “Wow, that girl’s trashed, I shouldn’t take advantage of that, NO MATTER HOW MUCH SHE MAY SEEM TO WANT ME TO!”

    That’s why people are accusing you of being a rapist.

  • Figs

    Coma patients can be raped, with impunity then, right?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The woman was drunk enough that she doesn’t remember what happened.

    And if a sexual predator slipped her a short-term memory inhibitor (like spiking her drink with a Roofie) she doesn’t even need to be “drunk enough”.

  • MissMikey

    If you’re referring to the letter I think you are, this was from a woman who was married to a man who had routinely had sex with her *while she was asleep* — therefore non-consensual. It was an issue that they had worked on and it had taken her a long time to regain her trust in her husband.

    Which was the real crux of the issue that she was writing to Prudence about, but like any Prudence letter that involves alcohol, Prudie was too busy riding her hobbyhorse to actually answer what the letter writer was asking.

  • stardreamer42

    Dear Prudence is also astonishingly tone-deaf on issues of sexual harassment. This should be no surprise. People who are sick of her would be well-advised to read Captain Awkward instead.

  • LoneWolf343

    Here’s something else to chew on: a lot of letters to advice columns are fake.

  • Lori

    But the audience for them is real, as is the rape culture this particular bit of advice is contributing to.

  • stardreamer42

    And?

  • LoneWolf343

    And so she could have written a fake letter to soapbox, and get bad advice while doing so.

  • stardreamer42

    And? I fail to see how this red herring has any relevance at all to the discussion.

  • Ivkra

    “The only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU.”

    As a halfling con artist once pointed out, mixing truth into your lie only makes it that much stronger. It’s true: our behavior is indeed a technically-controllable variable. This makes it much easier to swallow the enormous lie that surrounds it, that your behavior is the only variable, and circumstance, socio-economic status, age, health (mental and physical), race, unforeseen tragedy, THE ACTIONS OF PREDATORS, both sexual and financial… are irrelevant.

    A lie, mixed with truth, and sold smilingly to those already hurting. Gah.

  • themunck

    Which halfling con artist? Because any story containing that phrase might be worth reading.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Sounds like something Tasslehoff would say, but he’s usually not that cognizant of his own deceptions.

  • Ivkra

    Heh. Regis… Something-or-other, from the Forgotten Realms – the one with the crystal tower. I was an impressionable teenager, and it stuck with me.

  • Pete

    What’s your take on a situation where neither party consents? Say both are drunk and nobody remembers anyone explicitly giving consent?

  • Ben English

    Well there’d have to be other factors involved or there’d technically be no crime. Witnesses might fill in the blanks, but I’m not sure there’s much that can be said there unless it can be proven that one party was significantly more intoxicated than the other enough to make the latter culpable.

  • Tara Antisocial Social Worker

    Yoffe’s “advice” boils down to “Don’t be the drunkest girl at the party.” But SOMEONE is going to be the drunkest girl at the party, so this isn’t rape prevention, just switching the victim to someone else. Switching the victim doesn’t solve the problem that the rapist is still raping someone.

  • $7768756

    Not if all the girls at the party are able to recognize what is going on and avoid dangerous situations. It’s not a zero sum game- the rapist could rape no one- your average date rapist isn’t going to switch from going after too drunk girls to tackling women out of the bushes.

  • Monkey

    Maybe not, but there’s GHB. I’m just not convinced that real-life rapists can be deterred by something like that. There are plenty of reasons not to get drunk but I don’t think that preventing rape from occurring (not just to you but to everyone) is a key one just because there are so many other factors involved.

  • $7768756

    I don’t think that this is the only thing we should do. let me also be clear. I think it’s one thing.

    And I know you all hate the mugging analogy. But here we go- more police, AND better investigation AND neighborhood watch AND mugging avoidance tips.

    Yes, we should teach young men not to rape. We should teach them not to do any crimes, really, and working on breaking certain systems of violence and so on.

    In the meanwhile, and even once those have succeeded, there will still be some rapes- and rape prevention tips can work to cut those down. My problem isn’t with the idea of doing other things. it’s with the idea that rape prevention tips like “don’t get too drunk ” and “watch your drink” are somehow giving in to the rapists and collaborating with them.

    Instead, I think they’re one part of this complete rape prevention solution- and one that is easy, cheap, and quick to disseminate, making them a fairly effective tool just by statistics.

  • Caretaker of Cats

    Here that ladies? Cary’s got something to say that none of us have ever heard before, like, ever. How stupid of us, to think that we have a right to bodily autonomy! It’s so helpful that this guy is here to set our pretty little heads straight, because no woman has ever thought about her personal safety at parties until he warned us about it. And no defense attorney has ever argued that a rapist is not guilty because a woman was drinking. Or that an unconscious woman is automatically fuckable because no means no and no one saw her say no, now did they? Cause clearly, we’ve been given this brilliant, never before encountered advice, everything’s hunky dory now. It’s just kinda odd how when I was raped, there was a rapist present, and when I’ve been unconscious and there’s no rapist present, nothing happens. It’s like unconscious women can’t rape themselves or something. That can’t be true, though; if women don’t have agency over their own rapes, Cary’s advice would be stupid, patronizing, and contributing to a rape culture that labels certain classes of women as acceptable targets for harassment.

  • $7768756

    “And no defense attorney has ever argued that a rapist is not guilty because a woman was drinking. Or that an unconscious woman is automatically fuckable because no means no and no one saw her say no, now did they?”

    Those are both wrong, bad things to say, as I have repeatedly stressed. What does that have to do with rape prevention advice?

    “How stupid of us, to think that we have a right to bodily autonomy!”

    You do- it’s the same reason I’m pro-choice. Nothing I’ve said indicates that I think there a circumstances under which having sex with an unconscious/unwilling person is in anyway acceptable.

    “Cause clearly, we’ve been given this brilliant, never before encountered advice, everything’s hunky dory now.”

    I’m not passing out anti-rape tips. I’m pointing out that passing out anit-rape tips is not enabling rapists, but instead addressing one part of a large large and complex societal problem, which also requires other solutions, including, yes, teaching men what rape is andnot to do it .

  • Caretaker of Cats

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

    The next step in this line of research needs to be to examine guys who recognize themselves in anti-rape blog posts and flip the fuck out in the comment sections.

  • $7768756

    oooh, another person who read “disagrees with Fred’s assessment of this one particular situation” as “likes to rape women.

    So, any evidence? Or are you planning on telling everyone I know that LoneWolf and I are rapists because you think we might be.

  • Michael Pullmann

    I dunno if you like it, but by your own admission, you apparently have raped women before (or been raped; I’m fuzzy on whether you or they were the one blacked out), and are having a hard time coming to terms with that.
    .
    Here’s the thing: You don’t have to be Snidely Whiplash to rape somebody. You just have to have sex with them without their consent. Whether they were too drunk to consent, whether you were too drunk to realize that, whether you meant to rape them, is immaterial to the fact of the rape itself.
    .
    If you steal something, but they can’t prove it in court, you still stole it. If you kill somebody, but they can’t prove it in court, you still killed them. And if you rape someone, but they can’t prove it in court, you still raped them. Once you understand that, you’ll be on the way to understanding why people are so angry at your posts.

  • $7768756

    Really. Where did I admit to rape?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, it could be argued that for all your he-man pronouncing about how you bravely sent one woman off to bed, there are other instances you have admitted to where at best, what you thought you were consenting to and what the woman thought she was consenting to were two different things.

  • $7768756

    …..you mean the time that I drunkenly had sex with a woman who was also drunk? She couldn’t consent, by your definition. But then, neither could I. So we….raped each other. That cancels out, I think. Then the time I woke up next to an ex, but again- both drunk, and she initiated that.

    I’m really not sure what incident you’re referring to

    And it wasn’t really “he man pronouncing:- it was a thing I did. I’m not proud of it, any more than I’m proud of saying please and thank you. It’s what you do as a decent human being.

  • $7768756

    So, apparently, this whole thing has spun out of hand.

    Allow me to clarify my position: In this very specific case, in which a woman has literally no memory of sexual contact, clearly caused through her getting blackout drunk and not roofied, I am opposed to her reporting this as a potential rape.

    In any other circumstance- where she could remember saying no, or people remembered him being a lot less drunk that her and taking her home from the bar- I am 110% in favor of reporting it as a rape, telling everyone in the world, and so on and so forth. It is only the extreme level of ambiguity in this specific case that makes me feel any differently.

    I also believe that drunk-but-not-blackout-drunk women are capable of giving sexual consent, although I think sober guys that take advantage of that are gross. Drunk men and drunk women hooking up is just….a thing. Not my favorite thing, but a thing.

    I am opposed to any sort of coercion, or harassment in sexual situations, and believe that even if a man is totally trashed to the max, he should still recognize and respect the word no, or if the woman is unconscious, treat it as an automatic no.

    I further believe that denigrating rape prevention tips like “don’t get totally wasted in strange places” as “The logic of their advice says that predators have a right to be predators.” is completely wrong headed and I disagree with it.

    That is my position, I do not believe I have made any statements that contradict the above. If you take objection to it, please take objection to these statements, not imaginary claims that I want to roofie women, please and thank you.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I can’t even keep up with this entire thing so I am not surprised you think it has gotten out of hand the pace of replies is so fast I wonder if y’all are even paying attention to each other

  • $7768756

    I am, and I can’t believe I have to say this- opposed to all rape, everywhere. Alllll the time. 100%

    Unfortunately, when it comes to touchy subjects, slacktivites can get a little….kneejerk-y about disagreement. I’m super against rape, and very big on consent, I like getting consent, I like active ongoing consent- I’m big on her, because that’s the only way its fun.

    I think that there are things that are rape, and things that are not rape. I think there are things that are not-rape that are wrong, and gross, but, you know. Not rape.

    And yes, I think drunk people have the ability to give consent, because otherwise they would have no moral responsibility for any of their actions.

    Or, you know. I secretly like to get women blackout drunk and rape them. That’s another totally likely possibility here.

  • malpollyon

    The only person in this thread who has accused you of being a rapist is you putting words into other peoples mouths.

  • $7768756

    Really?

    “You sound like one of those men who admit to raping women as
    long as the description doesn’t include the actual word “rape”.”

    ” I can’t help but wonder how many times you might have been somewhat less drunk than that, had sex with a woman
    who was unable to consent, and are now queasily wondering if that was rape.
    Yes, it was. More than that, it was socially-acceptable rape… because of people who happily argue that
    if the woman is drunk, it’s not really RAPE-rape. But that doesn’t make it not rape.”

    “I dunno if you like it, but by your own admission, you
    apparently have raped women before, and are having a hard time coming to terms with that.”

    Three separate people, and thats just the ones I bothered to dig up.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Something that’s brought up in this article ( http://www.alternet.org/story/48835/drinking_and_rape%3A_the_rest_of_the_story ) is that there’s far more of a correlation between male drinking and rape than there is with female drinking.

    I kind of wish there was a more specific cite; ISTR reading similar claims, but can’t track them down. I have a pre-surgery appointment tomorrow and must go to bed.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Yeah, but it’s still women’s, and only women’s, responsibility not to get drunk, because apparently a man’s right to get as shitfaced as he wants and not worry about consequences is sacrosanct.

  • Manuel

    There is legitimate disagreement here and it appears to be over a simple paradox: that what is good advice for an individual is massively unhelpful for the population as a whole. Let’s pick an example that isn’t rape, to get the emotion out of it:

    My friend works two part-time customer service jobs, with no benefits at either, and complains to me that he is sick of the grind and wants a better life. I tell him to go back to school and finish his degree, and then he’ll be far more likely to get a career type job with the benefits he wants. That may be great advice for my friend, but it is utterly useless advice for the country as a whole; any president who says the solution for the working poor is to just “go back to school and get jobs in IT” is an idiot; there are still tens of millions of low pay customer service jobs that have to be performed by someone, and the working poor as a class aren’t going anywhere. The system depends on the jobs they do. So the advice is simultaneously useful and useless, depending on the audience.

    Likewise, when my mother drives up to visit, it is useful to tell her, as an individual, to avoid the bad neighborhood. It would be idiotic to address the nation’s crime problem by telling everyone everywhere to avoid all bad neighborhoods all the time. Again, what is useful advice for her, is useless for the system as a whole.

    So in this case, of course any one of us would tell our daughter/friend/sister not to get drunk around a group of douche bags she doesn’t know, the same as we will remind her to get good locks for her doors and to lock them at night. That is all perfect, inarguable advice, if a little obvious, and may save her life. But that same advice, when offered as the solution to society’s rape problem as a whole, is useless and can be heard by victims as accusatory. It implies that the systemic problem that causes rape is women not being careful enough to avoid the situations.

    But the people offering the advice do not mean it that way – and they have made it perfectly clear they don’t. They are offering it in the same spirit it’s offered to individuals-from a place of love and protection. To accuse them otherwise is wrong. They absolutely are not rape apologists, they make it clear they are not, and to accuse everyone you disagree with of being pro-rape is disgusting and disingenuous.

  • Caretaker of Cats

    Intent is fucking magic, y’all. Even after it’s been pointed out how you’re doing harm instead of helping and you keep doing it. ‘Cause if there’s one thing that survivors totally respect and want to have around, it’s people who ignore their wishes and just keep on doing what they wanted to do in the first place after being told to cut it out.

  • $7768756

    Ah., So telling women to watch their drinks and not get superblackout drunk with strangers is causing harm. Good to know.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I’ve ignored drinks, and gotten super blackout drunk.

    Never got raped then.

    Did get raped by a “friend’s” husband after spending months hanging with them, playing with their kids, and decided to crash on their couch though.

  • http://abipwu.blogspot.com Melissia

    I hope you’re okay now…? :/

    edit: Err.. not meaning to treat you like damaged goods, and I hope that’s not what the question comes across as.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    No, I’m fine, thank you for the support.

  • Sandrilene

    But women have ALREADY heard all these tips.
    We hear anti-rape tips before we’re even old enough to understand what rape is. You are not offering any new advice.
    Also, the vast majority of rapists are someone the victim knows. It is not strangers we need to worry about.

  • $7768756

    I’m not saying this is radically new information. I’m saying that offering it isn’t colluding with the rapists, any more than telling someone “you should make sure to lock your doors” is colluding with burglars. That’s Fred’s and Caretaker’s claim- that offering that advice does harm. I think, yeah, we don’t need constant refresher courses on it, although it should be offered to, say, incoming college students. But it’s no more harmful than a sign on the road saying “buckle up.”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    It’s harmful when it’s being offered as “What we should do to stop rape” and extra harmful when it’s offered as “Here is what you have to have done for us to toake your claim of having been raped seriously”. No one actually says that we shouldn’t teach people about the dangers of drinking or going to bad neighborhoods. THey really don’t. Rape apologists deliberately misinterpret them to be saying those things in order to justify rape.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Whether or not they mean it that way has Fuck-all to do with it. It’s still rape apology. Look at it this way: Imagine me walking up and kicking you in the nuts, then repeatedly insisting that I didn’t mean it to hurt. Did that stop it hurting? No. Does that heal the damage I probably caused by kicking you? No. But I totally had good intentions!

  • $7768756

    Yes, giving advice about rape is totally the same as violent assault. Can I use that analogy in the othe direction?

    “I know I just kicked you in the nuts. But imagine that I’d just given you some well meaning advice you might’ve heard before. Would you be upset and hurt then?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A lot of what Manuel said is basically the same thing as “Hulk”s blog entry. That said, a lot of folks who make “anti rape tips” and don’t examine underlying societal structures that end up creating these circumstances are at best guilty of being the fishes that don’t see the water around them.

  • Lorehead

    I disagree that it’s massively unhelpful. There is no conflict between saying, “Here are some precautions that you can take to be safer, but not absolutely safe,” and saying, “Rape is entirely the fault of rapists. No one ever has any excuse to rape anyone no matter what she does.”

    There’s no other crime where people take offense at the idea that it might be wise not to act as if we lived in a perfect world where no one will ever try to hurt you. Police misconduct also should not exist and should not target black men, but parents do not tell their sons that they shouldn’t have to be polite to the cops. Child abuse should not exist and should not target children, but parents tell children about bad touching and stranger danger. Fraud should not exist and should not target seniors, but we warn people about scam e-mails.

    There also aren’t many other crimes where people accuse the victims of deserving it and use that as an excuse not to prosecute and convict the perpetrators. And tips on prevention will not solve that problem, but neither do they make it worse. Women can take steps to protect themselves and everyone can fight rape culture simultaneously.

    ETA: This is not a defense of everything Emily Yoffe wrote.

  • quietglow

    Unfortunately, strangers are not the greatest danger to children. Pputting the focus on mysterious strangers as child abusers can help everyone overlook abuse by a person the child knows.

    Likewise, “precautions you can take to be safer” largely just make people feel they can do something by spreading them, and uphold the just-world fallacy. According to RAINN, only 1/3 of (reported) rapes are done by strangers. Which means most “precautions,” which are aimed towards minimizing contact with strangers, are going to be useless to prevent 2/3 of bad situations. Also, they give victim-blamers a handy checklist.

    There’s not many rape-specific prevention tips that wouldn’t be better used to cover general self-defense, or maybe mugging prevention.

  • $7768756

    You know- some statistics say rape happens to 1/3 women. Which is, conicidentally, around the same rate as cancer.

    if I came up with a solution to more effectively treat 1/3 of cancers, no one would go “Well, this doesn’t do squat for the other 2/3’s of cancer, and by giving it out, you run the risk of making the other 2/3’s of people with cancer feel victimized.”

    There is a large, common problem, This thing can help adress 1/3d of the occurances of that problem. That isn’t a solution- but it’s part of a solution, and it isn’t, you know- giving in to the rapists.

    “There’s not many rape-specific prevention tips that wouldn’t be better used to cover general self-defense, or maybe mugging prevention.”

    When I pointed out that mugging and anti-rape tips are very similar, you said
    “I really don’t like how you keep conflating property and women’s bodies.”

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    If you proposed a cancer “cure” that didn’t prevent cancer, but simply shifted the cancer to other people, you would be shouted out of the building.
    That’s what those “stranger rape prevention” strategies do. they don’t prevent a rape from happening, they just make it happen to someone else.

  • $7768756

    Because no criminal ever goes home empty handed, right? No rapist even looks for targets of oppourtunity. The only rapists are guys you know and strangers in the bushes. Rape by strangers is only performed by ruthless stalkers who won’t stop until they’ve raped.

    Nice dichotomy you’ve got there.

  • Persia

    I’d disagree with that. Sometimes the crime will happen to you no matter what. Sometimes the criminal, deprived of opportunity, will leave/not act.

    The problem is that the ‘prevention strategies’ generally don’t do much to prevent rape, except sometimes in very specific circumstances. “Don’t get drunk at parties” only works for guys who work to get women drunk and rape them, not for husbands or boyfriends who decide ‘not tonight’ really means yes.

  • $7768756

    Yes, and any other preventative for anything else bad ONLY WORKS ON THAT SPECIFIC THING. It’s like saying “I wore my seatbelt, but I still got cancer, so what’s the point of seatbelts?”

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Results yielded by “rape prevention strategies” which focus exclusively on women’s behavior:

    1. Coercing women via fear into restricting their movements: “Don’t be out after 2 AM or you’ll get raped!” “If you got to that bar alone and you get raped, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you!”

    2. Giving society a “reason” to blame a woman’s rape on the woman failing to restrict her movements sufficiently.

    3. Making it harder for women to report the rape they suffered. We know very well that society will focus on how we failed to follow the rules that women are supposed to follow, rather than on trying to prosecute the crime of rape.

    4. Shifts societal focus from prosecuting criminals to policing women’s movements.

    Basically, the idea is that women aren’t supposed to imagine ourselves free adults under the law with all the rights and privileges that men enjoy. If we act like we’re allowed to do all the things men are allowed to do — be out at any hour with or without company, drink or not as we choose, dress how we like* — why, we’ll get raped, and it’ll be our fault.

    The widespread nature of this misogynist terrorist campaign, however, should relieve anyone who’s worried that without the victim-blaming rape-apologetics of Emily Yoffe, no one will ever warn women about the dangers of binge drinking! Don’t worry, we’ve gotten the memo. We’ve had that memo on file since our preteens.

    Oh, sorry – warnings about rape as a possible result of binge drinking aren’t sexist? I’ll believe that when the exact same warnings are given to men on the same scale. And when the responses to a man lamenting that he drank so much he can’t remember the night before stop being “Dude! Sounds like an awesome night out, amirite?”

  • Persia

    Oh, no, totally. I just think sometimes a crime won’t happen if someone’s deprived of opportunity (of course, the ideal way to deprive someone of opportunity is to, say, encourage people to look out for each other, have guys stand up, etc.).

  • quietglow

    Well, more like a preventive measure against cancer that might apply to 1/3 of cancer patients if they follow it strenuously, but if it fails it’s got a built-in suppression mechanism to keep the patient from reporting failure.

  • quietglow

    You can’t make “ignore stupid advice” equal “giving into the rapists.” You also need to source your statistics since you were the same person that told me violent rape has been in decline since the 70s thanks to the proliferation of stupid advice. If you can’t handle the numbers, it’s ok. Just put them down.

    If 1/3 of women in the US are raped, obviously the advice we have been giving women (what charming way did you put it? “Your women?”) since the 70s is not working, and we should try something better.

    As for the quote, it would be nice if you could stop weaseling. You may have pointed out mugging and anti-rape tips were similar, but at the time you were trying an ill-advised comparison of the rape of women’s bodies to stolen property from cars.

  • $7768756

    You drew the exact same mugging tips= rape tips example yesterday.

    “what charming way did you put it? “Your women?”

    Huh. I did. I’d say that’s a typo, but I’m not sure for what. Yeah, that was a gross thing to say, I’m not sure what I was thinking. I apologize. Didn’t even realize I’d typed it.

    “If 1/3 of women in the US are raped,”

    That is a big, huge, IF. The simple fact is that it’s hard to get accurate rape statistics. Some some 1/3, some say 1/5, some say a hell of a lot less. Not perhaps coincidentally, rape crisis centers tend to have higher numbers. I chose that number because A. It’s a common number used by people as a “DON’T YOU REALIZE HOW SERIOUS THIS PROBLEM IS?” number and B. because it fits with the cancer number.

    You also have to remember that women live 75 years on average. So rape statistics could be declining, but a woman raped fifty years ago will still be captured in the statistical net for “total number of women raped.” It’s possible to have a high number of total women that have been raped over their lifetimes and a declining rate ofnew rapes that are occuring at the same time.

  • quietglow

    I said that advice to avoid rape is more advice that could apply to any scenario where one is accosted. You related some story about something being stolen from your car. I’d put it down as a single incident but you’ve been doing nothing but false equivalences through this whole mess.

    I said “if” because I didn’t really think it was accurate but I was responding to your argument. I notice you didn’t bother engaging with the substance of the argument, instead talking about how you doubt that number you said.

    Don’t lecture me on statistics or how data is collected. You don’t understand them well enough to educate me.

  • $7768756

    Oh, you’re a professional statistician?

    Ultimately, good rape numbers are hard to collect for a number of reasons. I like the numbers from the WaPo article primarily because the president of NOW likes them, and she seems like someone who knows something about rape statistics.

    Also given changing views of sex, rape and reporting, if rape rates were steady, we should expect to see a rise in the numbers, as people become more comfortable with reporting over the years.

    “You related some story about something being stolen from your car. ”

    An act generally known as “drawing an analogy”. Yes, shockingly, analogies don’t map perfectly on to the thing you’re using them to illustrate- if they were exactly the same, they would BE the thing. Yes I used mugging and theft as an analogy. No, they aren’t rape. People use analogy and metaphor all the time in conversation, lets not pretend that this is the first time you’ve encountered this concept. You’re a smart person, you know that drawing an analogy is not drawing an equivalence between two things, it is saying one aspect of one thing resembles in kind or execution one aspect of another thing.

  • quietglow

    Are you saying that you are?

    I know good numbers are hard to collect and why. I just told you not to lecture me. Why are you still trying to lecture me?

    I also know what analogies are. Constantly making comparisons between a woman’s body and property is a thing you’ve done. Lecturing me on analogies is not going to change this.

  • $7768756

    “Are you saying that you are?”

    I’ve worked with statistics and collecting data professionally- I work as an environmental scientist.

    ” Constantly making comparisons between a woman’s body and property is a thing you’ve done”

    No, comparing two crimes that have some aspects in common (like tips for preventing them) is a thing that I’ve done. I’ve also compared rape to assault, but you aren’t accusing me of saying women are like punches to the face.

    The simple fact is that you are putting the most negative spin you can on what I say because you disagree with me.

    I’m sorry that I think drunk women can give consent and that giving tips to prevent rape is no more insulting or worthless than any other tip to prevent any other crime. The problem is that instead of reading the dozens of times I make it clear I think consent is crucial in all sexual encounters, that I think rape is under prosecuted, that I support women who have been raped, and this and that and the other thing. Like you, I’ve had women come to me and tell me they’ve been raped, and I’ve supported them going to their universities, and, once, the police. But instead of focusing on things like that, you focus only on the small points of disagreement and spin that into this whole negative thing.

  • quietglow

    All right. You still don’t have a solid grasp on population statistics if you think that people’s *lifespans* interfere with us knowing the rates of violent crime. My major reason for thinking you didn’t grasp them was that my source gave incident report rates by year, but I see you just didn’t check that at all. Technically you probably are a better statistician, if that helps, but nothing you’ve said so far is new, illuminating, or something I didn’t think of.

    I quoted an exchange earlier in which you were aggressive and snide. I’m not bothering with that since this has suddenly apparently become quite personal. So:

    No, it’s not that I disagree with you. It’s that you argue badly. I can understand you being defensive, but you’ve tripled down on defensiveness. You claimed first-hand knowledge of something and revealed it was about something totally different. You make bizarre claims you can’t possibly support about women’s biology. I can’t think of an exchange we’ve had where you haven’t read my words and started talking about something else; it’s like reading incomprehension. Challenged, you mansplain. Then you paint everyone you have done this to as “disagreeing with me.”

    If it’s personal I don’t care to continue it, though. Please phrase the last word however you desire.

  • $7768756

    “You still don’t have a solid grasp on population statistics if you think that people’s *lifespans* interfere with us knowing the rates of violent crime. ”

    I don’t think that. I think that when you say 1 out of X women in the US has been raped, you can still have that be a high number AND have a dropping rate of new rapes.

    “I quoted an exchange earlier in which you were aggressive and snide.”

    OMG agressive and snide? Yes. I’m the only one who has done that. Shall we go back to my first comments here? And who responded to me in what way?

    “I’m not bothering with that since this has suddenly apparently become quite personal. “”

    Not really, I’m pointing out that you’ve been kind of a dick from the start, whereas I’ve been attacked from all sides, and called all sorts of lovely things, and the best you’ve got on me is I got agressive and snide.

    “You claimed first-hand knowledge of something and revealed it was about something totally different”

    I claimed first hand knowledge of a situation extremely similar to the one we were discussing. That entire thing was because we misread what the other was saying- I thought you were referring to false accusation, you were referring to the exact specific details of a hypothetical situation. Quit acting as though I pulled some sort of clever quick change. We’re communicating in text, miscommunications happen.

    “it’s like reading incomprehension. ”

    You have, from the begining, read things into my words I didn’t say, because you are determined to place my beliefs into a convenient little box, instead of understanding that you and I pretty much entirely agree on this subject, and we’ve been fighting over minor fringe issues. Instead, you continually assume the worst, and put words into my mouth.

    “Challenged, you mansplain. ”

    Oh god, another lovely pointless made up word. You know, it’s amazing how often that some radical pseudofeminist can be losing an argument, have facts and logical arguments placed in front of them but WHOOOPS that person has a cock! Sorry, bro, you almost had me but I don’t have to listen to people with penises.

    I’m right or I’m wrong. Explanations and arguments and logic aren’t gendered. If you think they are, you’re part of the damn problem.

    “Then you paint everyone you have done this to as “disagreeing with me.””

    Well, lets see- people have repeatedly accused me of saying things I literally did not say and literally disavowed. Repeatedly. So I’d say disagreeing with me is the nice way of putting it. Making up strawman bullshit is really the more accurate term.

    Bring an argument. Bring some data, a fact, a figure- anything. Instead all I get is “wahhhhhh this analogy doesn’t make me happy!” “OMG you disagreed with my received wisedom so ur a rapists!” “YOU SAID YOU THINK WOMEN ARE PROPERTY.”

    I’ve repeatedly made certain statements. Let me repeat them one last time:

    I think drunk people can give consent if they arent’ black out drunk.

    I think it’s difficult to tell in some situations if someone is blackout drunk and saying yes or drunk and saying yes. Having sex with someone in that situation is not rape.

    Giving out rape prevention tips, even if they seem somewhat obvious is not enabling rapists, victim blaming or collaboration with rapists.

    If you have literally no idea if you consented to sex or not, but you did get so drunk you blacked out, and you wake up next to a stranger with no evidence that you were raped, it is irresponsible to tell people you were raped. Cut ties, go to a shrink, but don’t go spreading rumors.

    In any other situation even slightly less ambiguous than that- believe the woman who claims she was raped unless significant evidence to the contrary is found.

    If you have objections to any of those statements, or can demonstrate a point in this conversation where I have deviated from them, please raise it. If not-then I really don’t see what the issue is.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    and warning your women about rape was part of that movement.

    You did.

  • $7768756

    I know. And I am sorry I wrote that. And not trying to weasel- I really don’t know why I typed it. Even as a misogynistic thing, it makes no sense.

  • $7768756

    “There’s no other crime where people take offense at the idea that it might be wise not to act as if we lived in a perfect world where no one will ever try to hurt you.”

    Oh god, lorehead. Run. They’ll just think you’re a rapist.

  • $7768756

    “Let’s pick an example that isn’t rape, to get the emotion out of it”

    HAH. I wish you better luck than I had.

  • Rowsdower

    Why can’t it be both? There are measures a woman can take to keep herself safe(r), AND society needs to take rape seriously and pin the blame on the rapist. Prevention tips are in a woman’s best interests, but once there has been a rape or sexual assault of any kind, the conversation needs to shift to supporting the woman and prosecuting the rapist.

    Perhaps the lack of the shift is the missing piece here. It accounts for why Fred thinks: “And for both Ramsey and Yoffe, the implication is clear: If you’ve had bad ‘results,’ then you must have made bad choices.” No Fred, you inferred it, Yoffe didn’t imply it. Yoffe never said there was a foolproof way to prevent rape, just some higher-risk activities that are best avoided. Here’s what it comes down to: would you advise your own daughter to stay away from binge-drinking parties? I imagine you would, and you’re no rape apologist. And neither is Yoffe.

    By the way Fred, you denigrate Yoffe’s advice as “common sense”, but two things. 1) “Common sense” doesn’t mean that reminders aren’t a good idea, even for people who have had “common sense” from birth. 2) Yoffe is correct that there are a great many people who conflate rape prevention with rape apology, meaning that even what you concede is “common sense” is somehow controversial.

  • http://abipwu.blogspot.com Melissia

    Simply put, the problem with insisting on it being the woman’s fault for not doing enough is that it doesn’t matter what the woman does. Rape is not prevented by wearing long skirts instead of short; a thin layer of fabric will not stop a rapist. Rape isn’t prevented by staying at home instead of going out; many rapes happen at home. Rape isn’t prevented by staying sober; not all rape victims were drunk when they were raped.

    Rape is, in its entirety, an act– a crime, an assault, a violation– by the rapist. There is no blame to be placed upon the victim for it. The entire onus of the crime is upon the rapist who committed it. When talking about self defense and avoidance techniques– such as paying attention to your surroundings, traveling with friends, securing your home, and so on, many of which sadly don’t always apply to every situation, such as with family members or friends being the rapist– you need to do so in a way that makes this explicitly clear, at every step of the way… or you’re just giving rapists another justification for their act.

    Or, to be more blunt, “Dear Prudence” is a tool by rapists to justify their crimes. Dave Ramsey, much the same, justifies rape through blaming the victims for not doing enough to stop it. They are saying that the rapists aren’t at fault; the rape victims are. And through that, they are saying the rape should have happened, and that more rapes should continue to happen.

  • Rowsdower

    “Simply put, the problem with insisting on it being the woman’s fault for not doing enough”

    That’s not what I’m saying, or what Yoffe is saying for that matter.

  • http://abipwu.blogspot.com Melissia

    That is exactly what Yoffe is saying.

  • Rowsdower

    Did you actually read her essay? I know I did, and that’s how I know that’s not what she’s saying. I read it and understood it just fine.

    In fact, I wasn’t going to bring this up, but maybe it’s time to. You said this:

    “Dave Ramsey, much the same, justifies rape through blaming the victims for not doing enough to stop it.”

    Except you know what? Dave Ramsey has done no such thing, because HE DOESN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT RAPE. His field is evangelical financial advice, and Fred was likening his financial advice to Yoffe’s rape prevention advice.

    Still, that’s no reason for you not to put words in Ramsey’s mouth. You know “more or less” where he stands on this issue, or you assume you do anyway, and the specifics don’t matter after you’ve decided where to put him.

    My point: I don’t think you’re actually reading anything, or if you are, you’re extracting from it only what you want to. Thus, to you Yoffe is a rape apologist because she is more concerned with women protecting themselves than assigning blame afterwards. Yoffe also believes people are going to misinterpret her to fit their perspectives, and on that point you certainly prove her right.

  • http://abipwu.blogspot.com Melissia

    I can tell this conversation is going nowhere and it’s going to get there fast, considering I’m being called a liar after the second post. I hope you calm down and realize that there is never just one way to interpret what people have said, and that intentions don’t always equate with results.

  • Rowsdower

    You do play fast and loose with the truth, that’s for sure. Right now you’re trying to dance away from the fact that you half-read something Fred wrote and shoved a whole bunch of words in someone else’s mouth.

    An intellectually honest person would own up to that. Instead you’re making like I’m bad people for calling you on it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A lot of right-wing monetary and financial advice carries a huge underlying assumption about how if you’re not rich, it must be your own fault and you’re morally defective.

  • Rowsdower

    Understood, which is why Fred was likening Ramsey to Yoffe. Mind you, I don’t think that the two are comparable, but I get that Fred does.

  • Carstonio

    This isn’t about assigning blame afterwards. While I wouldn’t label Yoffe a rape apolgist, her mistake is treating rape prevention as solely or primarily about women changing their behavior.

    No, rape prevention means we stop socializing males to believe that they’re entitled to treat females any way they want, and we get tough with the males who do commit rape. Our justice system, our culture, and ultimately our society have all failed women, by shaming their sexuality, treating them as suspects when they’re raped, and by prosecuting only a tiny minority of the rape crimes.

    Any man who would force himself on an intoxicated woman should be locked up. Yet in reading Yoffe’s column, I wondered if she believes in the old myth that men just can’t help themselves around a woman who is in no position to resist. Not as hateful as Glenn Beck having a male character tell a woman “Don’t teast the panther,” but the same sad view of sexuality.

  • Rowsdower

    First of all, I feel like I’m talking with you, rather than the two of us kneejerking at each other. I like that.

    When it comes to Yoffe, I agree that the focus of her articles is on what a woman can do to keep herself safe(r) — not safe, but hopefully a little less statistically susceptible to rape. There’s a reason why this is her focus: because she’s an advice columnist, and her bailiwick is advising people what they should do. If she’s not giving a complete solution to the rape crisis, I bet it’s because that’s way beyond the scope of what she can conceivably accomplish. She can possibly persuade a woman to avoid a high-risk situation, she’s doing that much.
    And I should be clear: she’s not even offering a solution of any kind, except to the stopgap approach of a woman keeping herself safe(r) (hopefully) among men who are the real problem. The solution will be teaching men not to rape, or to shield rapists for whatever reason. But again, I don’t think Yoffe can actually keep rapists from raping through the power of her column, so I get why she would focus on the good she can actually accomplish.
    Like I said in my first post, though, once a rape has occurred, the discussion needs to change so that “what she should have done” is stricken from the conversation. Whatever she did or didn’t do to avoid being found by a rapist, the fact is a rapist went and found her, and the rapist is the problem. It’s like trying to drive safely: you can make good choices, you can drive defensively, but there’s really nothing you can do if the other driver is reckless and stupid. If the other driver hits you it’s the other driver’s fault, and there wasn’t anything you could do about it.

  • Carstonio

    Thanks. I was thinking along similar lines, and from my reading here, so did some other Slacktivites. I would expect any parent to give similar advice to a daughter starting college. Yoffe erred in expanding her point to young women in general, drifting into the type of pearl-clutching that one sees in almost any media treatment of that demographic. The advice cannot be generalized without framing the problem as women’s behavior, regardless of the advice-giver’s intentions. Her column implied that young women are being irresponsibly reckless.

  • Rowsdower

    And yet, if you’re trying to advise women what to do to be (statistically) safe(r), you will be seen as giving men a pass. There’s no winning that one. Even if you disclaim to high heaven that men are the actual problem, you’ll still be criticized for speaking to women at all.

  • Carstonio

    Yoffe is not the victim. On issues that affect young women in particular, she often turns into a scold instead of a mentor. She has lectured the ones who choose to remain childless, telling them that they’re making the wrong choice and that they’ll regret it later.

    With her column about rape, this wasn’t an instance where she would be criticized no matter what she said. Instead, it’s inherently impossible to expand the advice to all women without treating their behavior as the problem, because of the social and cultural context. If anyone is wronged by critics from all sides, it’s young women themselves. Just an example, if they show skin they’re accused of seeking male attention or of seeking many sex partners, and if they cover up they’re slammed for denying men the pleasure of looking at their bodies.

  • Rowsdower

    “Instead, it’s inherently impossible to expand the advice to all women without treating their behavior as the problem, because of the social and cultural context.”
    Who’s incapable of that? I say avoiding binge-drinking parties is good advice for all women, 100% of them, but I don’t think it’s a SOLUTION to the problem because the root of the problem lies elsewhere (i.e., with men). I’d like us to get to the point where there are no rapists lurking about, but until we reach that point, make it as hard as possible for them to catch you unawares.
    “Leave yourself an out” remains good advice for 100% of drivers, but if there’s a drunk driver coming at you and you weren’t able to find an “out”, it’s still not your fault.

  • Carstonio

    You’re still framing the issue as if the advice were being given to a specific woman, such as a daughter. Yoffe is presuming to speak to all young women, making the issue about the behavior expected of the entire sex, and thus one more double standard. Yoffe shouldn’t have stopped at simply condemning the rape. She should have devoted half the column to speaking to men directly, telling them exactly what constitutes rape and letting them know that they’re on notice.

  • Rowsdower

    “Yoffe is presuming to speak to all young women”

    Yes.

    “making the issue about the behavior expected of the entire sex and thus one more double standard.”

    No. It’s not a double standard to tell them there is a threat to women and a way to keep (statistically) safe(r) is to avoid binge drinking parties. The problem is that rapists at binge-drinking parties are overwhelmingly male and they overwhelmingly target women. If there’s a gender disparity at work here, it’s because rapists aren’t raping enough men to make things fair.

    “She should have devoted half the column to speaking to men directly, telling them exactly what constitutes rape and letting them know that they’re on notice.”

    How many rapists do you suppose tune in to Yoffe to find out whether they should stop raping? I think Yoffe knows better than anyone (by now anyway) that she has a choice: she can either earn / maintain Anti-Rape Cred by yelling at rapists, or she can try to warn 100% of women of a known rapist trap. Personally I’d rather she do the latter; the former makes people feel good yet helps nobody, while the latter angers people yet helps some.

  • Carstonio

    Of course it’s not a double standard to advise a woman to protect herself. But is to treat that self-protection as the beginning and end of addressing rape on a societal level. That’s like assuming that all overweight people got that way by overeating.

    You’re wrong in assuming that Yoffe had to choose between advising against binge drinking and holding men accountable. When talking about the problem of rape on a societal level, Yoffe had a responsibility to talk about what men need to do and how men need to change. Not because of “anti-rape cred,” whatever the hell that means, but because our society overwhelmingly excuses and condones rape. Or more broadly, society shames female sexuality.

    The only way we can reduce entitlement among men is to make it less socially acceptable. The only way the justice system will do its job to prosecute rapists is if we put more pressure on it.

  • Rowsdower

    “But is to treat that self-protection as the beginning and end of addressing rape on a societal level.”
    And that’s where Yoffe can’t win. She directly blamed rapists for rape, but because she didn’t spend half her column yelling at rapists and telling them they were on notice, you decide she must be blaming the victim. Even though an advice column is the last place where it would actually do any good to yell at rapists; when I asked how many rapists do you suppose read Yoffe’s column for advice on whether to rape, that was a serious question. It’s a question that answers itself, but a serious question all the same.
    One of the things that bothers me about a lot of “Progressives” is that, given a choice between making a symbolic statement on behalf of society’s victims or actually helping them in some imperfect fashion, they choose the former instead of the latter. I’m sorry to say that’s what I think I see in the great majority of Yoffe’s critics: even if Yoffe is offering solid advice (even “banal common sense” as Fred puts it), that doesn’t matter because it doesn’t double as an extensive manifesto on how rape is never justified.
    Do you want Yoffe to fix the rape problem in the country all by herself? Leave something for us to do already!

  • Carstonio

    I don’t know whether I’m not stating my point correctly or whether you’re twisting it around. This isn’t about “yelling at rapists,” because that’s simply the false distinction between them and “good” men. All men need to be educated on what constitutes rape and what constitutes
    respecting women’s boundaries. Myself included.

    Remember that Yoffe wasn’t writing to a specific woman but expounding on what she saw as a broader social problem. I don’t expect anyone to fix rape by himself or herself. I do expect them to condemn rape culture instead of condoning it or dismissing it.

  • Rowsdower

    I understand your point, I think, but I also think your point is off. Yoffe can’t fix rape culture with her column but she CAN advise women on a way to try to avoid being raped. Her advice is sound, so in theory nobody should find fault with that advice in and of itself, but you and others are also mad that she hasn’t proven to your satisfaction that she thinks rapists are in the wrong and that she despises them enough. What sort of crazypants standard is that?
    You were wondering what the hell “Anti-Rape Cred” was in the other post, and I think it may be so omnipresent to you that you don’t see it — “Anti-Rape Cred” is being forced to prove, through heartfelt pronouncements, that you hate rape with a burning passion and will give no comfort to rapists, and until a person does that they are to be considered at best fairweather opponents of rape. As far as I’m concerned, Yoffe said she believes rapists are at fault, I don’t see it contradicted in what she writes (bearing in mind I perceive a distinction between prevention and blame), and I’m glad Yoffe is warning women away from a danger zone.

  • dpolicar

    Yoffe can’t “fix” rape culture with her column… true.

    She can oppose it, she can reinforce it, she can condemn it, she can ignore it, she can draw attention to it, she can distract attention from it, she can do a lot of things with respect to it, but she can’t fix it.

    Those are choices with consequences.

    What some people are objecting to is that Yoffe chose to distract attention from it by calling her audience’s attention to how the behavior of women results in rape rather than, for example, calling her audience’s attention to how the behavior of rape-culture promoters results in rape.

    They object to it because they consider the latter to be far more important.

    You (and Yoffe) seem to believe the former is more important.

    For my own part, their position seems more justifiable to me than yours.

  • Rowsdower

    I believe we understand each other.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There’s advice and then there’s better advice.

    Crappy advice in, to use a noncontroversial example – say, chemistry, is to “use dimensional analysis to check your work”.

    Better advice is “dimensional analysis is part of checking the units of your answer and is part of the toolbox of assuring yourself that the answers you get are correct. Other aspects to checking your work include making sure you haven’t made any arithmetic mistakes which would produce unreasonable answers, such as negative energies when you know there cannot be negative energies.”

    It’s all about recognizing when a statement is overgeneral or simply doesn’t address enough circumstances.

  • Carstonio

    You still seem to be missing my point. Yoffe’s error was in not blaming or acknowledging rape culture. Our society still doesn’t accept that sex with an intoxicated woman constitutes rape. Most men still believe that the burden is on the woman to say no. Yoffe wasn’t necessarily blaming the victim, but she was still framing rape as about what women do or don’t do.

    And Yoffe’s error was also in implying that young women selfishly pursue hedonistic behavior without thought of the consequences. This is the same woman who lectures women who are childless by choice, belittling their preference and insisting that they’ll regret it later. In both cases, that’s not offering advice, that’s presuming that young women don’t know what is best for them. A big reason I prefer Carolyn Hax, who advises readers to own their preferences and choices. Yoffe doesn’t consider that women might feel pressured to binge drink for the same reason they might feel pressured to have sex.

    In another context, civil rights leaders often tell young blacks the virtues of responsibility, but they stress implicitly and explicitly that this is because the society is gamed against them. It’s one thing for such a leader, or a black parent, to advise the young blacks to be polite and nonconfrontational with police. But if the person spoke that way to a general audience, it would endorse white prejudices regardless of the person’s intention.

    Sexism and racism are both structural. Taking about “rapists” as though they’re distinct from other men is too much like the fallacy Chris Rock debunked, that one has to consciously want to hurt blacks to be a racist. It cannot be stressed enough that men don’t rape because they’re out of control or hard-wired to be sexual hunters, they do so because they believe women own them sex.

  • Rowsdower

    “You still seem to be missing my point. Yoffe’s error was in not blaming or acknowledging rape culture.”
    I understand your point, I just don’t think much of it. Yoffe can do a lot more good telling women that binge-drinking parties are dangerous than she can railing against rape culture. You think she should spend half her column talking about rape culture; I say that would be half her column wasted, accomplishing nothing more than demonstrating her Anti-Rape Cred* to your satisfaction, perhaps. Or perhaps not.
    Mind you, I do think there needs to be a discussion on rape culture, men need to be taught not to devalue women in even subtle accidental ways, and so on. But a “Dear Prudence” column is not the right place for it. The topic of rape culture most likely has to involve actual literal discussion, exploration of recent local events, personal experiences, confronting opposing points of view, and so on. That’s a lot to expect of an advice column, in fact I say that’s an unreasonable amount to expect of an advice column.
    But avoiding binge-drinking parties … ? Yeah, I say that falls under the category of “advice” and can be reasonably communicated in “Dear Prudence”.
    *: Which is why civil rights speakers have to be so damn careful about what they say, so that nobody can accuse them of being Uncle Toms. Personally I think it’s idiotic that they have to keep proving and re-proving that they aren’t in fact Uncle Ruckus; just mentioning it once and then moving on should be sufficient. Just as Yoffe says that rapists are responsible for rape, and that ought to be enough for people to quit calling her a rape apologist. Ought to be.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    DO you REALLY think that there are women out there who have NEVER been told that binge drinking may be dangerous? DO you even think that there are women out there who haven’t been told that if they go to a bing drinking party they might get raped? DO you even think that there are women out there who haven’t had it intimated to them that if they went to a bing-drinking party and got rape, it would be their own fault?
    ANd if you do, do you have any basis for this other than “Well women still get raped, so they must not have heard.”?
    Because that bit, “Well women still get raped, so we gotta tell them not to binge drink harder” — THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

  • Rowsdower

    The issue isn’t that they haven’t heard the advice ever, only that they don’t think it could happen to them.
    You used a lot of caps so I think you really, really, really hate rape. Good for you Ross! But I would still tell my daughter not to binge-drink while off at college, and I wouldn’t mind Yoffe reminding her either.

  • dpolicar

    I would still tell my daughter not to binge-drink while off at college

    Sure, me too.

    I would also tell my son this.
    I would also tell my children not to have sex with people sufficiently drunk that their judgment was impaired.
    I would also tell my children not to talk about doing this as though it were admirable.

    I would also tell my children to intervene if they saw others doing this, or talking about doing this as though it were admirable.

    I wouldn’t mind Yoffe reminding her either.

    Sure, me neither.

    That said, if whenever the subject of rape comes up Yoffe reminds my daughter not to binge-drink, and never brings up the other stuff… well, Yoffe is of course free to talk about and ignore whatever she chooses to, but I would encourage my children to get their advice elsewhere, because I don’t trust Yoffe’s priorities.

  • Rowsdower

    Fair enough. I say good advice remains good advice even if you don’t trust the adviser’s priorities.

    Two links I found:

    http://phonaesthetica.com/2013/10/22/on-emily-yoffe-and-the-way-things-ought-to-be/

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/23/young-women-drinking-and-rape/with-rape-a-threat-theres-nothing-liberating-about-being-wasted

    I present them without comment — they were interesting, they covered a lot of the concepts common to both Yoffe and her critics, make of them what you will. Or, you know, don’t.

  • dpolicar

    Taking up bandwidth to say “Don’t stick pencils in your ear” to teenagers is probably doing more harm than good, on balance… not because it isn’t true, but because true advice can leave someone worse off when it displaces higher-priority true advice.

    Taking up bandwidth to say “Don’t binge-drink” to teenagers is probably doing more good than harm, on balance.

    But I’d be cautious about letting it displace higher-priority good advice.

    Two links I found: […] I present them without comment

    I accept them the same way.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    And if your daughter called you up in a panic and told you she’d been out binge-drinking and woke up in beith a strange man, physical indications of intercourse and no memory of how she got there?

  • Rowsdower

    Well obviously I’d call her a drunkard whore who got what she deserved, right? Is that the answer you were looking for?

    As I said in my very first post, once there has been a rape, the conversation needs to shift away from prevention tips. So in this scenario I would remind my daughter that I love her, I’ve got her back, and I’m coming immediately. I would also encourage her to talk to the rape crisis center since they are on-campus already and have the benefit of experience, and since the scenario you laid out has so little detail, I would also encourage her to talk to some friends to see if they can help piece together what happened. It could be that, once the panic has lifted and they’ve helped her recall the events of the evening, she’ll remember that the sex was consensual (if ill-advised).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    Actually, what I was looking for was for you to come up with a way to reconcile your victim blaming withthe fact that you know damned right well that it would be a monsterous thing to tell a rape victim.

  • Rowsdower

    Ah, the totally legal high an imbecile gets from self-righteousness, it’s your drug of choice, isn’t it?
    Here’s the difference between me and you: I would rather make sure women are aware of risks so that they can better avoid them, while your entire thing is assigning blame AFTER they’ve been raped. Guess which one of us might actually be helping them on some level? (Hint: it’s not you.)

  • Julie McGalliard

    Are you really unable to see the difference between telling college students in general that binge drinking is dangerous, and telling FEMALE students IN PARTICULAR that binge drinking is dangerous BECAUSE THEY COULD GET RAPED? “Don’t do it because rape” will always sound like a victim-blaming threat in a way “don’t do it because you could choke to death on your own vomit” doesn’t.

  • Rowsdower

    “Don’t do it because rape” will always sound like a victim-blaming threat if that’s the way you insist on hearing it. And apparently it is, since you put it in the category of “always”, meaning there is no way to express it that you won’t interpret as victim-blaming.

  • Julie McGalliard

    Right — that was my point. There is no way to express that particular thought — “girls, don’t do this thing, because you could get raped” — without it sounding like victim-blaming. There are ways to express DIFFERENT THOUGHTS associated with rape prevention which don’t come across as victim-blaming.

  • Rowsdower

    And here I thought the other guy was nuts for thinking that you need to maintain a 1:1 ratio between advising women to avoid rape traps and denouncing rape culture.

  • Julie McGalliard

    You might be trolling or sincerely misguided, but either way it’s obvious you’re not even attempting to understand my point. So, we’re done now.

  • Rowsdower

    What if you have a really dumb point? You don’t believe it is possible to warn women about the rape threat at binge-drinking parties without also blaming the victim; certainly you don’t think a person should even try, and should instead come up with strictly non-rape-related reasons to avoid binge-drinking parties.
    But you know what? I respect women enough to not treat them like babies. I think it’s possible to communicate to them that, among the risks of binge-drinking parties, is that you are at increased chance of being raped. I also think it’s possible to express that you can’t ever really prevent rape, all you can do is play the percentages and do your best, but even so there are no guarantees — and whenever a woman does get raped, whatever she did or didn’t do, it’s 100% the rapist’s fault.
    But what do I know, I am making like women are intelligent creatures who can understand things.

  • Carstonio

    I never called Yoffe a rape apologist and my point shouldn’t be misinterpreted that way. Her column wasn’t a Dear Prudence entry, but a general opinion column under her own name. And from my reading, she wasn’t necessarily advising women before the fact to avoid binge drinking, but ruminating after the fact that the women might not have been raped if they hadn’t been binge drinking. That’s the same thinking that Richard Cohen used over Trayvon Martin’s hoodie.

    Yoffe and Cohen probably don’t believe that the victims had it coming – I suspect it’s a natural human tendency to deny the randomness of the world’s suffering. Female jurors in rape trials are more likely than male ones to view the victim as provoking her attacker, rather than admit to themselves that they’re just as vulnerable. The writers are probably engaging in woulda-shoulda-coulda by proxy because the alternative is far more unsettling.

  • Rowsdower

    You haven’t called her a rape apologist, no, but plenty of people have. Even Fred, who is astoundingly spot-on with so many topics, feels that Yoffe is blaming the victim and doing so in a fashion on par with the shittiest of evangelical hucksters.
    Richard Cohen may be blaming the hoodie, but he IS the equivalent of a rape apologist — a racist apologist, I suppose. (Fun statistic for you: at the time of the ZImmerman trial, an amazing 45% of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Zimmerman. This is from a Fox News poll by the way. No other criterion — not age, gender, income, or even race — tracked with Zimmerman support as consistently as Republican affiliation. And I would say you can’t be a Zimmerman fan if you aren’t, at a minimum, convinced that black teenagers are criminals.)

  • Baby_Raptor

    When you rape apologize, you’re a rape apologist. It doesn’t matter how hardcore about it you are, or how polite, or how loud. You’re still rape apologizing.

    “Oh, but I said it nicely!” doesn’t change how a rape victim hears “It was your fault.”

  • Carstonio

    I’ve read heartbreaking accounts by African-American parents who prepare their sons for the reality that white society views them as dangerous animals, I get the uneasy feeling that Ramsey and Yoffe might go no further than simply advising young African-Americans to stay out of white neighborhoods and high-end stores.

  • http://abipwu.blogspot.com Melissia

    Remember the kid who saved a lot of money though honest work, and bought a really expensive belt… then was arrested because of his skin color on suspicion of theft? Yeah, that’s how some states (perhaps even most of America) are right now :/ Personally though, I think he handled it rather well– he didn’t fight the policeman, but he did stick to his rights and he didn’t get in trouble for it. Then he very firmly took the belt back for a refund out of protest of the store calling the police on him for *buying a belt from them.*

  • Abby Normal

    I always seem to remember this in these discussions, but I’m going to repeat it anyway–

    A psychiatrist I used to work with often screened his patients with the following scenario:

    A woman bakes a pie and puts it in the window to cool. A man walking by outside steals the pie. Who’s at fault?

    Hint: the correct answer is not “the woman who put the pie there”; if anyone answered differently it was an indication of a pretty fucked-up worldview.

  • rizzo

    I’m always torn when I see people cry ‘victim blaming’ at someone who is trying to advise young women that it’s probably a bad idea to get blackout drunk. On one hand, no, a woman shouldn’t have to worry about being raped when they get crazy wasted…on the other hand the reality is that they do have to worry about it. People tend to take extreme stances on both sides of the issue and it seems to be rather intractable to me.

    Personally I just avoid having sex in general, it’s not worth the time and effort anyhow so why bother?

  • Sue White

    It’s victim blaming when you lecture people *after* they’ve been victimized. It’s rubbing salt in the wound to imply that they brought it on themselves. There’s a time and place for such advice.

  • Lliira

    Can I take it that this means you will also stop talking about Dan Savage in glowing terms? Since he called a woman who had been raped a “monster” for not wanting to have sex with her husband who was badgering her about sex. And claims bisexual men don’t exist, and that unless “black people” (who of course all hold the same opinions about everything) start supporting the right of rich white men like him to marry each other he won’t support them, and claims all women are bisexual to some degree, and claims that the only way a woman can really orgasm is through her clitoris no matter what she says, and and and…

  • tabbitha

    What I can’t understand is why so many people here seem to think binge drinking is perfectly okay and doesn’t cause any problems, so we should never advise college students to be careful about how much they drink.

  • Isabel C.

    Um, exactly where did anyone say that? Are you responding to any post in this reality? Because arguing against nonexistent stuff can be fun, but doesn’t really accomplish anything.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    “Advising college students to be careful about how much they drink” would be “Hey college students: be careful how much you drink since it might lead to you either committing or being the victim of an opportunistic crime.”

    It wouldn’t be “Ladies, if you get falling down drunk, it’s your own damned fault if you get raped”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Can i point out that the issue of overdrinking and binge drinking overlaps with, but is not identical to, the issue of rapists who move in those milieus* and who try to maneuver themselves into situations which maximize their chances of being able to take advantage of them?

    Binge drinking should be combatted on its own merits**, but it seems to me that there is a tendency to use the fact that it exists to try and obscure the fact that those who take advantage of the phenomenon are the ones to blame for doing so, not the drinkers who have had too much.


    * I edited this because I am a believer in Anglicizing plurals rather than letting another language dictate their usage in an Englsh context.

    ** If only because it is an indirect contributor to things like drunk driving, and could be a public health issue due to physiological effects, e.g. liver damage, etc.