One of my favorite blogs, Classical Values, is addressing a question about sexism and the law, specifically, if a man and woman get piss drunk and go at it with each other, why does the man get prosecuted for felony rape and the woman is suddenly a victim?
The conduct which is described graphically in a number of articles was so out of control that as I read about it, it struck me that all of the kids involved were so shitfaced drunk that none of them were making rational decisions….
Can a man be too drunk to consent to sex with another man, and would that be considered rape?
Looked at that way, people can understand the problems in assigning blame. But suppose we phrase it this way?
Can a man be too drunk to consent to sex with a woman, and would that be considered rape?
Putting aside the activist snark about the football players’ conduct being “homoerotic” in nature (which might itself be an interesting defense, for the boys could claim that they were forced into “unnatural” and non-consensual intercourse by their fellow teammates), I cannot see why the above question isn’t a valid one.
For those who follow us here at Chez Happycrow, this may ring a bit of a bell. This blog gets, on average about 10 visitors a day. I don’t post daily, and I only post when I have something to say, and I figure that if I’m in double-digits I’m probably doing okay. Now, I have a pet theory about choosing to get drunk, and that’s that getting trashed off your ass is a conscious decision which does not absolve you of your responsibilities as an adult. This is why we make it fucking illegal to sell and/or provide the stuff to anybody under 21 unless they’re our kids for whom we already have full legal responsibility for their actions.
When I posted this, I got something on the order of four thousand visitors in one day, almost all of them PISSED OFF:
Alcohol does not excuse a man raping you. But at the same time, alcohol doesn’t mean you get a free pass on your behavior, either. You do not lose your ability to give consent simply because you’ve chosen to drink and/or to get drunk — the sad truth is that a lot of women drink in order to give themselves permission to have sex. One survey in England (not exactly a Saudi-like bastion of sexual repression) that came out not too long ago suggested that a significant percentage of married women had never had sex, even with their husbands, while actually sober. Men know that lots of women drink to give themselves permission to screw, and many men will assume that if you’re drinking and dressed in a sexy way, that it’s perfectly reasonable to put 2 and 2 together and get 4. Don’t set yourself up for future emotional anguish if you don’t trust yourself when you’re drinking. Have a drinking buddy you can trust, and if you don’t want to get laid, make sure the guys you’re drinking with know that. It’s not rape if you get really drunk and get laid, but then regret the hell out of that the next morning, no matter how horrible you feel afterwards. Sorry — that’s about as politically incorrect as it gets. But you’re just as responsible for your actions as men are for theirs. (And if you use that as an excuse to take it out on the man by filing a false rape charge, you are officially A Bad Person.)
I got this more or less because I’d dared to tell women that if they wanted to be counted as adults, they needed to be held accountable for their own actions. The fact that I’d said, and I quote, “Alcohol does not excuse a man raping you” was besides the point. At this point, I was instantly a hater and a proponent of “rape culture” (irony, that, since it’s my fervent belief that rapists should be shot in the face prior to penetration).
Turns out I’m in good company. In her ever-restrained, low-key prose, JudgyBitch’s column “You weren’t raped. You’re a whore. Join the club,” JudgyBitch takes on the same issue:
Women, on the other hand, are completely fucked in the head in this exact same situation. They get dressed up in their best whore clothes, head out to a frat party, drink their faces off, end up in bed with some guy they wouldn’t normally touch with a ten yard pole, wake up the next morning feeling like a total slutbag and then it happens. Someone must be to blame for this. I can’t possibly have gotten shitfaced and exercised some really poor judgement. Moi? Ce n’est pas possible! I am an innocent blushing virgin with impeccable moral standards. Why, only whores get smashed and fuck random guys in a frat house, and I am not a whore so JESUS MOTHER OF GOD I WAS RAPED!
Bitch, please. You weren’t raped. You were trashed. Why is it that men are held responsible for their actions no matter what their state of inebriation, but women get a pass. It doesn’t matter if you were drunk, stripped naked, straddled the guy in your best cowgirl and fucked like a banshee. You were drunk. You can’t consent. You were raped.
Dude might have been just as pissed up as you, but he can’t cry rape because rationality. Only men are rational creatures? Really? Bull. Shit.
On the other hand, Diane Schuler begs to differ.
Oh, wait. No, she doesn’t. She’s dead.
Arrests for drunk driving among women have increased 36% in the past 10 years, even as those for men have plummeted, according to FBI statistics quoted in a study released last month. Inspired by Schuler’s tragic 2009 accident in which four children and four adults were killed, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) reviewed 20 years of statistics on female Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests from many sources.
What they found is truly alarming. In 1980, nine percent of drivers arrested for DWI—drinking with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08—were women; by 2007, women comprised more than 20% of all DWIs. Also steadily increasing are both the number of women jailed for drunk driving and the number of women involved in drunk driving fatalities, according to the TIRF study.
The legal precedent that Eric Scheie is looking for over at Classical Values is already written into law. The ladies do NOT forfeit their adult responsibilities merely because they have chosen to get shit-faced drunk. If they did, they wouldn’t be prosecuted and jailed for DUI.
And contrary to the screeching man-haters who made me the target of their Two Minutes’ Hate over in feminazi-land, that doesn’t mean that we live in a rape culture. It means that among the fundamental dignity that women possess is the right to be considered an actual adult, rather than a permachild who cannot be considered in control of her own actions. What the shrieking harpies are actually proposing is a vision of the law in which women not only do not have equality, but in which they never stand a chance of achieving it.
Adulthood and legal equality is not “rape culture.” This is rape culture, and if those people who are all about “sisterhood” are serious, they could try telling their political counterparts to sit down and shut up when they excuse the open misogyny and widespread abuse of women happening across the Middle East and Southern Asia.
Meanwhile, back to the topic at hand. Let’s spell this out in really small words, just in case any of the screechers come back and (as usual), don’t bother with that whole “actual literacy” thing.
- When somebody is passed out, they can’t give consent. Passed out due to ANY circumstances, whether that’s the rohypnol somebody tried to victimize a buddy of mine with, too much booze, or Medical Condition X. You cannot consent if you cannot engage in conscious volition, period. Doesn’t matter your sex, either.
- Ergo, yes, there is absolutely no question that these guys Scheie was posting about were committing a sexual assault. Put them away. And women who were in the reverse situation should ALSO be put away.
- Neither sex may be excused from legal responsibility/consent simply because they have voluntarily chosen to trash their decision-making ability. Crying “rape” because you don’t like the choices you made, or because you simply get off on having the power to ruin’s somebody’s life, is a crime, and you should be put away.
- Your inability to handle peer pressure does not constitute a crime on the part of your peers. Fucking grow up, mate.
- If somebody convinces you to take a powerful alcoholic drink in a form which was disguised which a reasonable person (not necessarily a wise person) would have no reason to suspect was alcholic, drug-laced, or otherwise spiked, you’ve grounds for prosecution and one hell of a lawsuit. AKA the rohypnol assholes have no “get out of jail free” card here — nobody reasonably suspects that a single drink is going to leave them passed-out and unconscious, and this is, by definition, criminal assault even if nothing else happens, every bit as much as if the guy threw a hook under your ear and cold-cocked you. Still assault, he’s just a coward using a sneakier tool.
- Beer-goggles does not make rape. Getting so trashed that neither party remembers actually having sex because they had an alcoholic “blackout” does not make rape.
- Somebody who has trashed their decision-making ability is not free from prosecution if they then drive drunk. Equally, they are not free from criminal liability if they proceed to take advantage of somebody with no conscious volition. Being shitfaced drunk is not an excuse for poor decision-making, and it is no more an excuse for committing criminal assault (sexual or otherwise) than it is for DUI or vehicular manslaughter.