On Monday, Wall Street Journal editor James Taranto claimed (according to Media Matters) that cases of sexual assault on campus that involve alcohol are really "victimless crimes in which both parties are equally guilty." That's deplorable... Wall Street Journal has an editor? I though it was just Republican cyborgs in mobster suits. I hate the implication that just because I drink, I'm somehow an accomplice in crimes against myself. If anything I want to be an accomplice of crimes of fun- and happiness-making. If fun was Bonnie I would totally be Clyde.
In his WSJ column, Taranto was writing specifically about college students at parties who get date raped. It's stupid to blame young college kids, because the average college kid is barely self aware enough about rape culture SOBER. When I was in college I was at a party and a 19 year old boy let me talk about Spider-Man for 40 minutes while constantly refilling my drink and I thought, "Man, that's so sweet of him to give me all these free fruity drinks for free. This party is full of such nice generous boys! Good thing I have glasses so I know no one will hit on me, because movies."
I was at a comedy show recently and on stage I told a bit about how it's scary how prevalent and normalized sexual assault is. (Shockingly controversial, right?) After, a man came up to me and said, "You were the girl who talked about the dangerous of rape culture? Well, I have two daughters..." I braced myself for the usual onslaught of adoring fandom compliments. He continued, "And I just want you to know, you always have the choice to not put yourself in those situations where you could be assaulted."
I kind of laughed and walked away. What he said was so victim blaming that I didn't know what to say in response, and partially because I'm a woman I've been raised to just laugh nervously when something offends me and try to ignore it.
Alcohol can be used as a date rape drug. It impairs your judgement and your physical ability to defend yourself. Pressuring a woman into sex while she is drunk is still rape because she didn't give fully informed consent. So if you've ever felt taken advantage of, I'm so so very sorry that happened. People can be really awful and the world is a super scary place. Please know that it is NEVER your fault. And, I do honestly think it's getting better. We're not alone!