Rape

What's Wrong with Telling Women Not to Drink?

The time for and framing of PSAs.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Following up on my recent post about the confirmation process of Neomi Rao, I wanted to respond more generally to the point that Ted Cruz and various conservative commentators raised about what could possibly be wrong with telling women not to drink (or not to drink too much) to remain safe.

One problem is that there are lots of things that would make us safer, and yet we don't feel the need to inform people of each one. In the context of date rape, one way to stay safer is not to go on dates at all. Yet most people would not dispense that recommendation, even though ceasing going on dates would most definitely increase one's safety from date rape more than abstaining from alcohol does.

Inherent in that disparity in recommendations might be an assumption that maintaining the ability to go on dates is somehow important or worthwhile in a way that drinking alcohol is not. Perhaps that is accurate, but it requires more unpacking than mere assertions about statistical risk in the drinking scenario.

The second question is that of forum. Is there a way to tell college students to be careful with alcohol (for all sorts of reasons)? Sure! Hand out gender-neutral pamphlets at orientation that discuss safe quantities, levels of impairment, etc. Put up posters with that info. If that is genuinely the point being made (as Ted Cruz would have us believe, with his story at Neomi's hearing of what he would tell his daughters and how his drunk friend lost three of his limbs), there is a time and place to make it.

But is that always the point being made? I start squirming when I hear about how women need to share the "responsibility" of what happened. This must be broken down into two separate points: an evidentiary and an ethical one. Let us acknowledge for the sake of argument that evidence will be more difficult to establish when alcohol was involved in an alleged date rape (in reality, this remains to be proven). If the evidentiary burden is indeed met, does the fact that a woman drank in any way absolve of responsibility a rapist?

And to that the answer is a resounding no. The reason so many people are uncomfortable with the way that drinking advice wrapped into questions of responsibility has been used is the possible implication that 1) the man is somehow less responsible for rape if the woman was drunk and/or 2) the woman is somehow co-responsible in her rape if she was drunk.

Needless to say, this is where concerns about victim-blaming become significant. Supposed safety advocates seem a lot busier telling women not to drink if they don't want to be date-raped than telling men not to drink if they don't want to be accused of date-rape. And all that is why the protestations of Ted Cruz and others who advocate for good old-fashioned safety advice ring hollow. If all he cares about is absolute safety and not trade-offs, perhaps he can start thinking about the curfew for men.

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  1. `I start squirming when I hear about how women need to share the “responsibility” of what happened.’

    It’s certainly ridiculous to blame the victim for being violated. Would these policitian idiots really blame black people for letting cops shoot them? Somewhere, a village is missing Ted Cruz…

    1. These signs are very common in my city, including the parking lot of my neighborhood church (!) The city government posts them in many public parking lots too:

      HIDE your things. LOCK your car. TAKE your keys.

      http://www.hidelocktake.com/pr…..avy-gauge/

      Is the sign blaming victims for their property being stolen? Or is it providing a tip to avoid becoming the victim of a crime?

  2. Feminism frames of all women’s problems as existing at the hands of men and simultaneously asks men to fix things for them without taking responsibility for women’s problem’s on themselves.

    1. I’m not sure I understand what you are responding to here. Did something in the OP ask “men to fix things for [women] without taking responsibility for women’s problem’s on themselves?” Or even that all women’s problems are due to men?

  3. I got a wonderful answer when I challenged someone about whether he was going to tell his daughter she had every right to get drunk at a frat party.

    The wise, complete, and ethical reply he made was that he’s going to teach all his children all the hazards of alcohol consumption. I was impressed.

  4. We could all walk around under thick metal shields to mitigate the danger of meteorites or even construction mistakes. No one would blame such a victim for not having such a shield.

    One should be able to walk down a dark alley with wads of cash hanging out of pockets, but anyone who did so and was robbed would garner little sympathy, even as the cops would gladly haul in suspects and prosecute them.

    People who take back roads in blizzards when the freeways are shut due to white out get somewhat more sympathy from flatlanders who don’t know how stupid that is.

    Life is full of things that don’t work out. Getting so drunk that (a) you can’t remember what you said or did, or (b) no one else, especially someone similarly drunk, can understand what you say or do, well that’s not conducive to good evidentiary practices when you sober up and you are horrified at what you might have done, or what people think you did.

    1. Yep, read the article . . . now I wonder why?

  5. “Supposed safety advocates seem a lot busier telling women not to drink if they don’t want to be date-raped than telling men not to drink if they don’t want to be accused of date-rape.” But men don’t have to drink anything to be accused. Men could participate in what seems to them to be consensual sex only to have a woman (or another man for a gay couple) allege days later that she lacked the ability to consent because of her alcohol intake. Set aside criminal conduct involving a woman who is passed out. I’m referring to a situation where the woman participates in and reciprocates sexual conduct (e.g., kissing, fondling, undressing, oral sex). Heck, it seems that even affirmative “I consent” statements could be tossed aside if the putative victim says that she was too inebriated to understand what she was saying and that the alleged attacker should’ve known it.

    Now turn to how to handle situations in which both participants are inebriated. It seems they both can’t knowingly consent in that circumstance, but only the male is considered a rapist or to have acted without the other’s consent. Do both parties “share responsibility” in that situation?

    So, yes–we shouldn’t blame victims for being victims. But it also is inaccurate to lump every concern about alcohol consumption and rape allegations into the bucket of “victim blaming.”

    1. Amen, to bad we can’t give thumbs up here.

    2. So, I know you said to set aside conduct where the woman is passed out, but here’s the thing: in reality, that’s really the only conduct the law accepts as rape by intoxication if the woman voluntarily drank. In the vast majority of states, the legal standard for rape is such that a woman who drinks voluntarily can’t allege she was raped due to intoxication unless she was unconscious or unable to express nonconsent or get away–essentially she has to be incapacitated. It’s actually incredibly difficult for prosecutors to take rape cases based on voluntary intoxication (where the victim voluntarily drank) because of this high burden.

      It also creates a catch-22 for the victim because if she was so incapacitated, then she makes an unreliable witness as to whether she was raped or who raped her. Outside witnesses are needed (for example, the Brock Turner case would have never gone to trial if the two witnesses hadn’t happened upon him in the act and the police weren’t able to verify her state so quickly–even then, it was in dispute; the Stuebenville case was only prosecuted because social media documented that she was unconscious and what happened to her).

      So, the truth is, it’s not so easy as you are portraying for women to drink and then turn around and use the law to accuse men of rape.

      1. I don’t believe JDS was referring only to the criminal law. He (or she) just said “accused.”

        You can be accused in a university disciplinary process and be kicked out of college without any reference to the criminal law. Indeed several students have had that done to them, even after the police have concuded there’s no criminal case to pursue. Morever, when the police can show it’s a false accusation, there are hardly ever any indictments of the false accuser.

        So the truth is, it’s very easy for women to drink and then use the university’s interpretation of Title IX to accuse men of rape, and get them punished, including destroying their careers by getting them thrown out of college with a “rape” rap, on evidence that would never go near the standard required in a criminal court. Also comes in handy for the sober but vengeful.

  6. It appears that Irina Manta, rather than engage the comments section like Bernstein or Volokh himself does, she went to a new blog post instead. Odds are she won’t engage with perfectly valid criticism that will be leveled at her here.

    To start, none of your critics were saying that rapists were NOT the guilty party, if indeed consent was not given prior to sexual activity. You can think and say that rapists are bad, and also think and say, by way of comparison, that I shouldn’t drive to the worst area of town and leave my new car running with the keys in it and the windows open at the corner store parking lot. Moreover, that if my car is stolen, it’s not immoral to say to me (even as a victim of a crime) that such a decision was not a bright decision, and that perhaps I should have been warned by those with more wisdom, and further, that I might have a future obligation to warn other about such a mistake that I made so that others won’t make it.

    1. Great comment! I totally agree with you.

    2. Perhaps this lady will post something worth reading in the future.

    3. ” if indeed consent was not given prior to sexual activity. ”

      I think that’s the key point we need resolved here. Are we talking about a woman who gets drunk, and then is forcibly raped, or maybe raped while unconscious? Yeah, string that guy up, and I don’t give a fart what his own state of inebriation was at the time.

      While still reminding women that it’s stupid to make yourself vulnerable to that.

      Or are we talking about a woman who drunkenly consented to sex, possibly when she wouldn’t have sober, and regrets it afterwards? Because that’s a very, VERY different scenario. The guy if sober and possessed of a good judgment as to how drunk she was, is at best a cad. If drunk himself? He’s symmetrically situated to the woman. No less, no more guilty.

      And from what I can tell from statistics, this drunk has sex with a drunk scenario is far, far more common on campus than forcible rape.

      Or are we talking about the good Professor refusing to admit a distinction between the two scenarios?

      I for one would like this to be explicitly addressed.

      1. > He’s symmetrically situated to the woman. No less, no more guilty.

        For the record, although this is certainly a correct “equal” perspective under the law, there are plenty of social conservatives who are completely fine with inequality under the law and treating the male as under a higher obligation (or providing a worse punishment, ceterus paribus), as might be expected from a common sense (and common law) POV.

        THAT BEING SAID, for such a perspective to be argued would require a wholesale re-discussion on traditional gender roles and requirements… and I don’t think the US is heading back down that road any time soon.

        1. As somebody, (I forget who at the moment.) remarked, chivalry imposed constraints AND provided benefits to both men AND women.

          Feminists have been busy rejecting their constraints, and the benefits men could expect, while expecting to retain their own benefits, and keep men subject to their constraints.

          It doesn’t work that way, it was a package deal.

      2. I think we are faced with the usual dishonest motte-and-bailey argument, where the professor, when challenged, insists that having sex with unconscious women is rape, and then when the challenge has abated, goes back to condemning and punishing drunk men who have ambiguous sexual encounters with drunk women.

      3. From the way she discussed the issue in relation to drunk driving in the previous post, and posted this despite absolutely no one suggesting sex with someone not actively consenting is remotely ok, it almost certainly includes ‘I was actively consented but you didn’t override my agency because I was drunk but not so drunk I couldn’t engage in complex behaviors like yanking down your pants and begging you to bang me.’
        This attitude is a major problem. And even if the guy isn’t also drunk, why should legal liability turn on making a judgement that a woman is simply not allowed to drink x number of drinks and have sex? Active consent should preclude liability for refusal to override it based on insanely unreliable assessments of intoxication level and whether or not it’s still a valid active consent.

        I’ve done stupid shit and had very high-risk sex with partners I wouldn’t have any sex with sober, while so wasted it effected memory, never once did it enter my mind that it wasn’t still my decision and my responsibility. If you actively made the decision to get drunk, then actively made the decision to do something in which you were an enthusiastic affirmative participant, that is your responsibility full stop, no one elses.

        I hope I’m misjudging and we’re not in “even if a semi-drunk girl has sex with a blacked out drunk boy, the boy is a rapist” land, like that awful case that went to federal court over a Title IX kangaroo court finding that yes, that’s indeed the case.

    4. I don’t disagree with your point, but I’m wondering why you think Irina Manta is duty bound to respond here to your argument. Or why it is worse to do it with a second post rather than down here with us common folk.

      1. I don’t really mind if she responds to it with a new post, that’s fine. I just think she’s gliding right over a freaking hugely important aspect of the situation, and I’m suspicious that it’s not by accident.

        The term “rape” encompasses a huge range of events, from the most horrific, to the only nominally illegal. And she keeps using that word, and not clarifying which part of that spectrum she’s talking about.

        Now, maybe that’s just an innocent omission. But given what’s going on on our campuses right now, I don’t think that’s a safe assumption

        So, I want to know what kind of “rape” she’s talking about. Because it matters.

        1. True. I was actually responding to mad_kalak’s comment. You are much quicker than I at formulating your thoughts into words, so your comment popped in there while I was still pondering.

        2. It even includes things that I don’t believe are morally wrong (and very few people do).

          Here in California, sex with a minor is stat rape. While there’s a lesser penalty (misdemeanor) if the age difference is less than 3 years, it’s still illegal.

          I have no moral qualms with an 18 year old having sex with a 17 year old (presuming there’s consent etc) and yet it’s a form of rape here, and you can end up on the sex offender registry, even if there’s a 1 day age difference.

    5. “It appears that Irina Manta, rather than engage the comments section like Bernstein or Volokh himself does, she went to a new blog post instead. Odds are she won’t engage with perfectly valid criticism that will be leveled at her here.”

      She’s adopted the “Ilya Strategy”: post outrageous nonsense and then run away from the criticism.

  7. “Inherent in that disparity in recommendations might be an assumption that maintaining the ability to go on dates is somehow important or worthwhile in a way that drinking alcohol is not. Perhaps that is accurate, but it requires more unpacking than mere assertions about statistical risk in the drinking scenario.”

    Geeze, lady! What species are you, anyway? Apparently not one that reproduces sexually. Or maybe just by IVF through some lottery system?

    Yes, maintaining the ability to go on dates IS more important and worthwhile than drinking alcohol, and not one bit of “unpacking” needed to understand that.

    1. For some of us, drinking alcohol was necessary to maintain the ability to go on dates. I’m not sure who’s case I’m making there. Just freaking glad I don’t have to date anymore.

      1. Take it from me, on that scale you were practically a Lothario compared to me. I’d have had to have been rendered unconscious and flung over somebody’s shoulder to go on a date for my first few decades. Horrific childhood incident, I was socially phobic about women, was about 40 before my first date.

        1. “Horrific childhood incident, I was socially phobic about women, was about 40 before my first date.”

          And that was back when the worst think that could happen if you asked a girl on a date was that she’d say no.

  8. “But is that always the point being made?”

    That although both boys and girls have an equal right to get drunk on campus, most drunk boys that are looking to sexually assault someone would prefer drunk girls over drunk boys. Relying on drunk boys to properly pick up the signs that a drunk girl isn’t interested is not the best way to avoid sexual assault.

    Of course, the drunk boy is at fault, but it’s like crossing the street with a traffic light without looking and getting hit by a car. It’s their fault, but you get hurt.

  9. “Supposed safety advocates seem a lot busier telling women not to drink if they don’t want to be date-raped than telling men not to drink if they don’t want to be accused of date-rape.”

    I also don’t think this is the tact you want to pursue. Teaching women that there are some dudes who are predators is neither wrong nor blaming them for being raped; it’s a risk management strategy. You’re never going to get more than 75% of the likely perpetrators convinced that it’s not okay, mostly due to mental illness and retardation. If instead 75% of women have effective ways to know when it’s okay to drink and not, we reap greater benefits, if only because there are more victims than perpetrators. If women are drinking without a care but not the men in social situations, you just get more effectively raped women.

    1. “The second question is that of forum. Is there a way to tell college students to be careful with alcohol (for all sorts of reasons)? Sure! Hand out gender-neutral pamphlets at orientation that discuss safe quantities, levels of impairment, etc.”

      There’s a fairly easy argument against warnings being gender neutral, especially when you consider your own “telling men not to drink if they don’t want to be accused” bit. Different people see different risks from drinking, many along gender lines. There is rarely going to be a dude who feels that he was taken advantage of when he was barely sober, but clearly there are a plethora of women who feel that way. In exactly the inverse, men bear greater risks of being accused of sexual assault while drunk than women do. They are also more likely to fight or engage in other risk-taking behavior (like driving while drunk).

      There are risks that both genders share, but that’s no reason to ignore the gender-specific risks.

    2. I disagree with your final sentence. Men are more likely to do dumb things while drunk (as are women). If men didn’t drink, I’d expect rapes to decrease.

  10. If we’re talking about forcible rape, or rape by true incapacitation, then sure. But suppose somebody gets drunk enough that they are unable, as a matter of law or whatever code of conduct is in place, to consent. If they say that they want to sleep with someone, and that person believes that they are able to consent, then sure, the drunk person bears some responsibility.

    1. Is Manta making the case that the drunk person doesn’t bear some responsibility? Maybe I’m not understanding Manta’s post, other people seem to be getting meaning there that I missed.

      1. Alpheus : Is Manta making the case that the drunk person doesn’t bear some responsibility? Maybe I’m not understanding Manta’s post, other people seem to be getting meaning there that I missed.

        What constrution do you put on this ?

        The reason so many people are uncomfortable with the way that drinking advice wrapped into questions of responsibility has been used is the possible implication that 1) the man is somehow less responsible for rape if the woman was drunk and/or 2) the woman is somehow co-responsible in her rape if she was drunk.

        This looks to me awfully like a denial that the drunk person bears any responsibility for the ill that befalls her – in this case, rape.

        First, this looks like a claim that if the ill requires the intervention of some malevolent human agency, you are absolved from any responsibility for putting youself at risk. But that this absolving from responsibility does not apply if the ill arises from the forces of nature (whether they be the interaction of high places and gravity, wild dogs, chemical reactions, the interaction of automobiles and trees etc) or from yourself (eg the interaction of yourself and a pistol.) If Manta has anything usefu to say as to why the former case makes your own responsibility disappear and the latter cases don’t, she has not offered it.

        Nor does she offer anything on whether this moral theory applies also to crimes other than rape – like burglary, theft etc.

        1. And second, no one has suggested that a malevolent human is less responsible for his crime if his victim did something dumb (and is therefore responsible for that dumb thing) than if the victim didn’t. The perp remains fully responsible for his crime. But that does not prevent the victim from being responsible for running foolish risks. Responsibility is not a fixed sized cake, where any slice awarded to someone reduces the slice available for anyone else. If you’re gangraped by eight people, each one of them is fully responsible for his crime. Just as responsible as if he he’d done it all by himself. He doesn’t get to shuffle off seven eights of his responsibility to his fellow perps. Although this point was probably made a dozen times by various people in the previous thread, Manta has refused to engage with it.

          Conclusion – she prefers to wrestle with straw men.

          1. Okay, I see. Pianist was making a hypothetical situation distinguishing forcible rape from a situation where a drunk woman consents to sex. My reading is that Manta is talking about situations involving forcible rape, making the point that a victim being drunk doesn’t make her co-responsible. She doesn’t really address the situation where a drunk woman verbally consents.

            Puts me in mind of Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story, saying that “the woman was worse for wine, and there are rules about that sort of thing.” Hopelessly quaint, I suppose. Maybe even then.

  11. Life is full of risks. Are you directly at fault if you weigh the risks and make a choice and then a third party acts? No. But that doesn’t absolve you from the obligation of, at the very least, being aware of risks and the choices one makes in light of them. One can then choose to limit their risks. Is that necessarily fair, given that it’s the risk of an unwanted third party action? No, it’s not fair at all. It sucks. Welcome to the real world.

  12. “Feminist declines to accept that women have responsibility for their own actions; film at 11.” – no headline ever.

    This entire post is an excellent example of what is wrong with Leftist feminists. Starting with the “and other conservative commentators” – establish the enemy in the very first sentence! – and continuing all the way down to the final “curfew for men” – as if gunpoint confinement is the same as not making bad decisions.

    Nowhere in the post is there awareness that the problem is not “date rape” (a term she fails to define at all, and seems to include everything from violent penetration to drunken regret). The problem is the drinking to the point where someone makes bad decisions. The advice is not “Don’t drink if you don’t want to be raped” (note the inherent assumption that drinking too much = rape at the hands of evil men)… the advice is “Don’t make bad decisions, like drinking to the point you are making worse decisions”.

    Hilariously, the same arguments about women being irresponsible were used in opposition to the Suffragettes. Perhaps, now that feminists have gone full circle and embraced their uncontrollable, irresponsible natures, we should reconsider if they really are still deserving of the heavy burden of voting.

    1. I’ll take issue with your “bad decisions” angle. In a perfect world, people should be able to drink until they are blackout drunk and only incur the risk of direct damage to self. Such a perfect world assumes the absence of third party bad actors. In the real world, you need to judge the risks of third parties. And if you believe the risks in a particular situation are minimal/reasonable, and you are wrong, that doesn’t make it a bad decision. And you’re not at fault for the actions of the third party. However, you still had agency and made a choice. And you should be able to recognize that with that agency you can always make less risky choices.

      But what you can’t do is wish away risk. And such risks should be able to be openly recognized and discussed.

      1. Such a perfect world assumes the absence of third party bad actors.

        Not to mention the dangers of the natural world. Do not try to walk home dead drunk after a party if it’s 20 below and snowing hard. Don’t drive either.

        And if you believe the risks in a particular situation are minimal/reasonable, and you are wrong, that doesn’t make it a bad decision.

        If you make a shrewd judgement of the risks, and you’re willing to take them, and you lose, then fine. Not a bad decision. But if your estimate of the risks is woefully inaccurate, and it goes pear shaped, it kinda does make it a bad decision.

  13. Isn’t this student article the underlying source of all the outrage?

    https://bit.ly/2BvhldY

    Let me check to see if she said anything outrage-worthy. Assuming that we’re now looking at old college articles as part of the whole spaghetti-against-the-wall process.

    Back in a minute…

    1. “So when two drunken students return to a room and have sex, did the man force the woman against her will? Did the woman have regrets the morning after and deny giving consent? After a beer-tinted night can anyone remember what really happened?”

      “A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted. At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.”

      “Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does, strips women of all moral responsibility.”

      “Being treated like a lady is not something to be laughed at. We are all better off living with social structures which encourage mutual respect.”

      So the verdict is in-she’s basically that collaborationist woman in the The Handmaid’s Tale who supports the sexist dictatorship.

      1. If you are a woman at college, I can see where it would be annoying to see the guys get told, OK, guys go out, have fun, the world is your oyster, just don’t rape anybody. Girls, be very careful or you might get raped. No drinking, don’t go out alone at night, be careful how you dress, etc.

        But dragging a female judicial nominee for stuff she wrote in college suggesting that women use caution on campus hardly seems like the hill you want to die on.

        1. This, plus she was writing that article as a female student addressing other female students, neither hectoring or encouraging the male readers.

          So while I agree that it’s sophomoric to bring up a nominee’s writings as a sophomore, I don’t want to seem to concede that this is covering up an embarrassing thing she did as a coed, it’s a fairly sensible article from all I can tell.

          1. Also, I’d like to see some kind of study about how many people find true love at frat parties. Hypothesis: Not a whole lot.

  14. I keep thinking back to the scene in Die Hard where Willis’ character had to hold a sign in Harlem that said “I hate niggers.” Would you liberals who keep saying that telling women to be cautious is blaming the victim say that a white man assaulted under such circumstances didn’t at all contribute to the situation?

    1. I keep thinking back to the scene in Die Hard where Willis’ character had to hold a sign in Harlem that said “I hate niggers.”

      I believe you.

      I would wager on it.

      But if this constitutes a respite from the fixation on throbbing male members and rectums, I suppose this is progress.

  15. Also, the term “dating” covers a wide range of situations, from “let’s go get some coffee before class” to “come up to my place to drink some more whiskey and see my etchings.”

    Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

  16. Is Irina Manta going to be a permanent fixture at V.C. now, or do we just have to suffer her for a limited time?

    1. Post is still here, so who knows.

      1. Heaven forbid you conservatives have to read something with which you might disagree.

  17. If the evidentiary burden is indeed met, does the fact that a woman drank in any way absolve of responsibility a rapist?

    According to the very article that you’re criticizing, the answer is no: “Clearly, if the male student forced the woman to have sex against her will, then he should be held responsible…. A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted.”

    Look, I understand that an obsessive focus on women’s drinking could be the product of (or play a role in creating) a discriminatory environment. And if you want to be a little suspicious of someone who seems to be obsessively focused on the issue, that’s fair game, I guess. But as far as I know, Neomi Rao has offered this opinion exactly once in her life, when she was 21 years old, in response to a specific situation that had recently happened at her college, raising a perspective (ultimately, a reasonable one) that she apparently felt was not part of the conversation on campus. And that sin is so unforgiveable, in your view, that she deserves criticism not only for expressing it, but for not volunteering for a self-imposed struggle session to apologize for her wrong thinking.

    I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit. Don’t waste my time.

  18. And all that is why the protestations of Ted Cruz and others who advocate for good old-fashioned safety advice ring hollow. If all he cares about is absolute safety and not trade-offs, perhaps he can start thinking about the curfew for men.

    I confess I am not Ted Cruz’s biggest fan. But I imagine he would deny caring only about absolute safety, and would offer liberty as an end in itself. Which might make him alert to the tiny distinction between :

    (a) offering advice and
    (b) punishing people for being outside after 9pm

    Each post she writes gets sillier.

  19. The first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging.

    Still, this post is a good reminder of how intellectually unserious ideologues can be, of whatever stripe.

    1. Yup…

  20. What’s with comparing a median to a mean?

    1. Oops.

  21. ” If the evidentiary burden is indeed met, does the fact that a woman drank in any way absolve of responsibility a rapist?”

    I alcohol impairs the ability to consent, what if both were drunk? In my opinion, at that point, either both parties are rapists, or there was no rape, anything else is giving one party greater rights than the other.

    1. A Duke dean spilled the beans:

      “Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.”

      1. Absolutely inconsistent with the constitutional requirement of equal protection under the law.

      2. What about two men with each other or two women with each other? Which of them has to gain consent?

    2. I’ve always been curious as to whether there’s been a case where both parties were convicted of rape.

  22. Rather less attention is being devoted to Neomi Rao’s remarkable assertion that Americans who pushed for decent treatment of gays were undermining American culture.

    Perhaps that episode will be next.

    Or, perhaps additional sketchy positions will emerge.

    1. Would you like some cake?

    2. You know, if you’re hunting for someone who had sketchy past views on how gay Americans were treated, perhaps you should look up the author of these quotes…

      “Marriage is between a man and a woman,”
      “We have a set of traditions in place that I think need to be preserved.”
      “”I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ? for me ? for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix,”
      “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage”
      “”I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage”

      1. Let me guess…Hitler?

        1. Sounds like Obama or the Clintons before they “evolved.”

          1. Sounds like Eddy isn’t actually going to give us any cake.

    3. I believe I’ve already pointed out to you that she didn’t assert that, you’re just making it up.

  23. What’s Wrong with Telling Women Not to Drink?

    Well, the idea of Roe v Wade tells it all! It is the woman’s body and nobody has a right to tell her what she can do with her body!

  24. Let us acknowledge for the sake of argument that evidence will be more difficult to establish when alcohol was involved in an alleged date rape (in reality, this remains to be proven). If the evidentiary burden is indeed met, does the fact that a woman drank in any way absolve of responsibility a rapist?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I’m not really sure what this argument is? Asssuming when a guy had sex with a drunk woman, he raped her, does her being drunk mean he didn’t rape her?

    The rest is just argument from outrage.

    1. You can’t make any assumption that when a woman has sex when she was drunk she was raped, a woman is raped when she says no, and actually means it, or resists, or is unconscious, or perhaps when she is too drunk to give consent and the man is not. But when both the man and the woman are both too drunk to give meaningful consent then the rapist is the one who was on top. Otherwise it’s just perpetuating the patriarchy.

  25. A few thoughts, part

    1) I agree that there is a time and place for telling women that binge drinking is risky behavior. There’s room to discuss what that time and place is. I think people who are *always* against discussing best defensive practices by the law-abiding are in the wrong.

    1. Part 2:

      2) There is a separate issue, which is that sorting out evidence about drinking is messy and invites us to apply our prejudices, which can be unfair. I think everyone agrees that having sex with a person too drunk to respond is wrong, but what about a person who consents (or even initiates) in the moment but later on believes they lacked the capacity to consent? I think that while it’s clear if one person is incapable of consent and the other person knows it, is capable of consent, and initiates sex, then that person is guilty of a crime. In the same case, if the drunk person initiates sex and the sober person is capable of resisting and doesn’t, then the sober person is guilty of a crime, In a case where they’re both drunk, I can see a few possible rules, none of them ideal:

      a) If both people are incapable of consent then either (i) they raped each other and should both be punished or (ii) neither one of them committed rape;

      b) If both people are incapable of consent, then the person who reports the incident first is the survivor and the other person is the rapist. (With a possible exception if the second person has no memory of the incident).

      c) If both people are incapable of consent, then the person who regrets the encounter more in hindsight is the survivor and the other person is the rapist.

      d) If both people are incapable of consent and are of different genders, then the most male person is the rapist, and the least male person is the survivor.

    2. Part 3

      3) There’s another problem, which is that the evidence of ability to consent is often difficult to obtain and interpret. My understanding is that we want to allow mildly drunk people to have sex with each other, but not severely drunk people, so we try to figure out how drunk each person was days months or even years later by their testimony and the testimony of people who saw them. That’s a process that’s going to lead to a lot of injustice however you slice it – either a lot of false positives, false negatives, or both.

  26. If a woman can’t be held responsible for her sexual behavior when she’s been drinking, why can a man? How can a man have been responsible for his ‘choice’ to have sex with a woman when his decision-making facilities have been impared by alcohol?

    There is a difference between fucking an unconscious girl and fucking a girl while both actors are drunk. All rational people know this. Why does no one have the modicum of courage it would take to say it publicly?

  27. Drunk or Not Drunk – a woman isn’t differently responsible for being raped in any way.

    Drunk – a woman may be more susceptible to being raped.

    Sorry – that’s reality today. I told my daughter better to be unraped rather than rightious, drunk and raped.

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