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Interesting Discussion going on in Feminist land

October 15, 2008

This PSA from Australia is causing a bit of a ruckus in feminist land (see discussion here at Broadsheet):

The video depicts a young girl, who is drunk, getting date raped by guys she has been with at a party. The video moves in reverse, moving from the very disturbing rape scene, back through the party, the drinking, being picked up by her friends, to a scene where her dad is giving her a case of alcoholic beverage to drink.

Victim-blaming, and parent-blaming are being screamed about.

The feminists are pissed…if woman is drunk, you are to blame for being raped, and if you give your daughter alcohol, you are setting her up to ask for being raped. Emotional blackmail – ridiculous that being drunk gives “permission” for males to perpetrate violence.

But then, in the comments, some one speaks up and says – but if you are passed out drunk, you can’t fight off a would be attacker. Nor is your judgement quite up to par. And WTF is with the parents giving alcohol to MINORS?

I agree. In getting that inebriated, a person puts themself into a bad situation – their motor functioning is impaired, as is their reasoning and their judgement.  And as a parent, isn’t giving alcohol to your minor only adding fuel to an already potentially bad situation?

Just because being drunk doesn’t give your attacker an excuse to attack or abuse you, it doesn’t exactly exonerate your responsibility to yourself, to stay SAFE.

I might have right of way, but if I step in front of a speeding Mack Truck, aren’t I throwing common sense away in the face of my “right”?

Yeah..I might have the right to cross before the truck proceeds…but if I go up against the truck, I’m not going to win, am I? At least, not without paying dearly.

We do have a responsibility to teach our children (sons and daughters) to use their heads, act responsibly and stay out of potentially compromising situations, to stay SAFE.

Just some of my thoughts

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2008 4:40 pm

    I think your analysis is absolutely correct.

  2. susankay permalink
    October 15, 2008 8:00 pm

    well yes — but when men get drunk it appears that they are likely to rape. when women get drunk they GET raped. something out of sync here.

  3. episcopalifem permalink*
    October 15, 2008 8:44 pm

    True Susan – apparently, from some research I looked at, alcohol is involved in about 55% of date rapes, by both perpetrators and victims.

    The fact that men perpetrate the violence that women receive is a complicated by product, that doesn’t change the fact that drinking alcohol lowers inhibitions on both men and women.

    Women who are drunk aren’t asking to be raped..but they also aren’t helping themselves to NOT get raped. If the woman was driving drunk, and killed herself or someone else by drinking and choosing to get behind the wheel, we’d say she was responsible for her actions – choosing to get drunk and drive.

    But somehow, if you get drunk, and get into a bad situation, while in an altered state of consciousness, you have no responsibility in that situation for putting yourself in a bad situation? No responsibility for getting drunk, and having to deal with the negative ramifications of that? That isn’t the same, in my mind, as ASKING to be raped. It’s just failing to take precautions to STAY safe.

    The fact is, using alcohol doesn’t help the situation.

    And giving your kids alcohol, as a preemptive measure – so we know what and where they are drinking – doesn’t help either.

  4. October 16, 2008 9:37 am


    I agree completely with your take on the issue. There’s got to be a “paying attention to the Real World®” component at play here (your analogy of stepping in front of a truck illustrates it perfectly).

    And the Aussies certainly could have picked a better way to make their point 😛

  5. October 17, 2008 7:56 am

    I agree with your analysis as well and am remembering a scene from “What’s Your Point, Honey?” (a documentary about young women and the political process) where one of the young college-aged feminists is leading a campus discussion about the date-rape/alcohol problem with other young women. So in that case, the young feminist group on campus took responsibility for informing other young women of the connection between alcohol and date-rape as a way of encouraging young feminists to take responsibility for themselves.

    Now, to say there is something off about men raping while drunk is a massive understatement. Maybe a sequel should be done starting with a young man in jail, going backwards to the date-rape and to his drinking. The problem is, these guys usually don’t go to jail.

    Men have their own work to do on sexual exploitation. Lots of it.

  6. Doxy permalink
    October 17, 2008 11:49 am

    I go back and forth on this issue. It pisses me right off that women are responsible for “keeping themselves safe”—especially when men almost never have to think about that issue.

    I just realized that what really bothers me is the whole issue is grounded in what I term “rabid individualism.” That is the notion that each of us is responsible only for ourselves. If we lived in a culture that promoted the idea that we are responsible for each other, maybe both men AND women would see it as their responsibility to take care of people who made bad decisions, rather than take advantage of them when they do.

  7. October 22, 2008 6:02 pm

    Good point, Doxy (like I’m surprised).

    As to alcohol, long ago, when I was filling out police reports, there was a box called “HBD–Had Been Drinking”. The departmental joke was “Fill it out or not; everybody here assumes they had been.” no matter what the crime.

    The patriarchal rape culture has been depressingly well documented for decades; it is incumbent for any alert, moral human being to resist it wherever and whenever possible.

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