The liberal mindset says it’s politically incorrect to tell women not to get drunk at parties, even if telling them prevents rape

Last week, Emily Yoffe, who writes regularly at Slate set of a firestorm when she wrote a post that offered what normal, non-politically correct people, recognize as extremely good advice:  Tweens and young women, if you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk.  Yoffe wasn’t giving rapists, even drunk rapists, a pass.  She was just saying that, as a practical matter, a young woman who is to incapacitated to make rational decisions or to lift a hand in her own defense, is a natural victim:

A 2009 study of campus sexual assault found that by the time they are seniors, almost 20 percent of college women will become victims, overwhelmingly of a fellow classmate. Very few will ever report it to authorities. The same study states that more than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently both the man and the woman have been drinking.


Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.

Honestly, I don’t think Yoffe could have been more clear.

I happen to agree with Yoffe 100%.  I agree to the extent that, whether sober or drunk, certain young men see a drunken woman, especially an unconscious drunken woman, as a perfect target for rape.

I also agree to the extent that drunken young women say “yes” when, had they been sober, they would have said “no.”  Men aren’t the only ones who wear beer goggles.  When the girls or young women wake up the next morning filled with regrets, they tend to whitewash their complicity in drunken sex by claiming “rape.”  Those fake cries of rape destroy the men against whom they’re aimed, but in today’s culture, these young women are so brainwashed that they actually convince themselves that their drunken “yes” equaled a rape — and then they go around suffering permanent emotional damage from the mantle of victim-hood that they draped upon themselves.

I know that, on the liberal side of the blogosphere, people went ballistic over Yoffe’s article.  I didn’t have to read those posts to know what they were saying.  I linked to Yoffe’s post on my Facebook page and got more comments than I’ve gotten on any other thing I’ve ever linked.  With the exception of comments from three conservative friends, all of my other liberal friends said variations on exactly the same thing:  While Yoffe is correct factually, they cannot approve of her saying what she said because it’s unfair to girls to say that they have a responsibility to protect themselves.

Please think about this for a moment.  These liberals agree that girls who drink to excess are vulnerable to rape and other attacks.  They simply think that this truism — one with huge practical implications for women’s safety — must go unsaid because its offensive to feminist ideology to state in any way, shape, or form, that young women have a responsibility to protect themselves.

In the comments section, I got all sorts of arguments against warning girls that drunkenness can be their undoing and all of these arguments were premised upon enormous logical fallacies:

There’s no excuse for men to rape.  I agreed, but pointed out that there’s a virtue to making it harder for them to do so.

Suggesting that women can take proactive steps to prevent rape will make them feel guilty if they are raped.  Yes, maybe, I said, but it will also mean fewer women get raped.

Just because people are drunk doesn’t mean they rape.  Huh?  Well, no, most drunk young men thankfully don’t rape drunk or unconscious women, but some do.  Given that reality, why shouldn’t the women avoid the risks of running across the “bad” drunk guys?  And certainly one of the most effective ways to avoid these guys is for you to keep your wits about you.

Men need to be told not to rape, rather than telling women not to drink.  But, but . . . can’t we do both?  And incidentally, we already tell men not to rape, a proscription that carries with it a heavy legal penalty.  Despite that, some still do, whether they are drunk or sober.

Saying that drunken women are essentially willing victims is a free pass for men.  Men are always morally responsible for their actions.  If a thief robs a house, he’s still morally and legally in the wrong.  But it doesn’t mean homeowners are relieved of the obligation to lock their doors.

It’s not fair to tell women not to drink if we also don’t tell other people not to do things that will protect them from crimes.  Okay, now they’re really getting desperate.  How often are we told to lock our houses, carry our purses so snatchers can’t grab them, check our surroundings before going to the ATM, lock our car doors, etc.?  But even if we weren’t told these things, there’s a difference between crimes of property and crimes of person.  While having our house broken into feels like a violation (been there, felt that), it’s not the same as having our person violated.  That means that the need for warnings about careless behavior with our bodies should demand more attention than for careless behavior with our property.

Since I’ve been working on Mr. Conservative, I’ve spent way too much time writing about rape, sexual assault, and pedophilia.  In 90% of those stories, alcohol is a factor.  It’s definitely a factor in terms of the malfeasor’s conduct, but it’s equally a factor in terms of the victim’s conduct.  This is especially true in the cases of the high school girls who find pictures of themselves on social networks naked or being sexually assaulted.  Two things invariably happen:  (1) The girls admit, or witnesses confirm, that the teenage victims had drunk themselves insensible; and (2) the other students at the school place more blame on the drunken victim than on the drunken perpetrator(s).

This last isn’t fair.  Indeed, it’s absolutely vile.  The fact remains, though, that outside of the rarefied world of elite feminism, it’s a reality:  On the street, kids know enough about the world to believe that girls shouldn’t drunk themselves to vulnerability and, if they do, they shouldn’t destroy some guy’s life by complaining if he takes advantage of that situation.

The best thing that the feminists can do for girls dealing with the real world, rather than the elite’s dream of a real world, is to issue constant, graphic warnings telling teenage girls not to get drunk.  If their body is a house, getting drunk is the equivalent of handing the keys to the guy trolling the neighborhood looking for a house to rob.

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  • Ymarsakar

    They want women to be left unprotected, so that they can come in and use totalitarian ideology to fill in the gap.
    Why is this surprising or new?

  • Ymarsakar

    “that outside of the rarefied world of elite feminism”
    Excuse me, feminism protects people? Since when? Clinton?
    Feminism rapes people and causes them to become slaves. Let’s not put up a smokescreen and make people think it’s different under the Left than outside it.

  • March Hare

    Book, I used your post as a starting point for a discussion with DD#2, who is 20 and plans to head off to college next year.  She thinks telling young women NOT to get drunk is excellent advice.  She doesn’t understand why anyone would object to stating such an obvious fact.  As she pointed out, it’s good advice for EVERYONE.  Her perception may be colored by the death of a classmate her sophomore year in high school–a popular and promising young man who choked on his own vomit after drinking at a party.
    But then, personal responsibility is an on-going discussion at our house.

  • Bookworm

    I’m glad your daughter is so sensible, March Hare. Apropos personal responsibility, I think (with great sadness) that Ymarsakar is correct when he says that the statist goal is the death of personal responsibility. 

    My liberal friends, of course, don’t think in those overarching ideological goals.  They’ve simply been programmed to believe that it’s very, very bad to suggest that the whole “empowerment” think with women only works when women take responsibility for themselves.  It’s not empowerment if the state turns you into a “Julia” and takes care of you from cradle to grave.

  • Mike Devx

    Some things ought to go without saying.
    I wouldn’t go jogging at 2 AM on a Friday night in a high crime area, either.
    Don’t pull out that wad of cash in the local beer joint and count the bills at the bar.  And don’t yell, “I’m filthy rich!  Moolah, baby, moolah!” while you’re doing it.
    Or to tell the world on Facebook that you’re leaving town soon for two weeks on a wonderful, wonderful cruise ship. Paaaaar-ty!  Maybe you should advertise in the classifieds: “Going on long trip to South Pacific on Nov 2nd. Need total stranger to watch my house and take care of things.  Please call 111-222-3333 or visit me at 1234 Main St.  And hurry! I’m running out of time!”
    OR vote for a President with a big grin who promises you the world, along with “Hope And Change”.
    Some things just ought to go without saying.

  • Aus_Autarch

    Hi Bookworm,
    I know your familiar with this argument, but you may also be interested in one youtuber, “Thunderf00t” – an atheist who is dealing with the same “liberal” illogic. His series about how “feminism is poisoning atheism” is a powerful attempt at rebuttal of the rhetorical constructions of the type of individual who cannot separate their left-wind core ideology from any other aspect of their mental life. 
    While I am not an atheist myself, I find the insight of individuals like thunderf00t valuable, and I think you may find some of his points useful in your discussions with your facebook friends.
    Video 1: “Teach men not to rape”
    Video 2: “Stay safe = you deserve to be raped”
    I’d love to hear what you and your elite cadre of commenters have to say about his points.

  • Tara S

    I don’t really understand the idea that women in particular aren’t responsible for what they do while they’re drunk. Yes, you might do something you’ll regret in the morning, like saying ‘yes’ to something you normally wouldn’t dream of doing, but you knew that when you took the first drink.
    We still blame drunk drivers for getting into the car, turning it on, and pressing down on the gas. We still blame drunk rapists for forcing themselves onto women. You’re responsible for what you do or say while you’re intoxicated if you’re responsible for getting intoxicated.
    That’s why I don’t really think ‘well, was he/she drunk?’ should enter into these debates half as much as it does. Most of the time, it doesn’t make any difference. Having sex with someone who’s unconscious is rape, regardless of whether they passed out because of drunkenness. Drugging someone and then having sex with them is rape. A 20-year-old having sex with a 14-year-old is rape. But I don’t think that having sex with a willing adult who chose to reach his or her current state of mental impairment is rape. 
    That’s not to say that it isn’t incredibly scummy to have sex with someone whose judgment is impaired while your own isn’t, because that’s low and should be looked upon with cold disgust. But I just don’t buy the “It’s not legal consent if she’s drunk” bit.
    (And, as an aside, how exactly does that line of logic work if both people involved are drunk and willing, but regret it when they wake up in the morning? According to that maxim, it was non-consensual on both their parts. Did they rape each other simultaneously? Or would this just be classified as accidental sex?)

  • Simplemind

    Young men should be told, with no sugar coating on it, that drunkeness will turn you into a criminal.
    You will damage, what you would otherwise not have;
    You will steal what you otherwise would not have;
    You will fight, when you otherwise would not have;
    You will sexually assault, when you otherwise would not have.
    As a result, you will go to prison.
    Young women should be told, with no sugar coating on it, that drunken men, are criminals. They should get away from them, just like they would run from a purse snatcher or mugger.
    Drinking does not necessarily equal drunkeness. But in inexperienced drinkers it follows like night follows day.  In other words, the longer you stay at a “party” the more likely you are to suffer harm. Regardless of whether you are a male or female.  

  • jj

    I don’t endorse excessive drinking.  On the other hand, my father once told me that he didn’t believe he’d ever seen either Winston Churchill or Ernest Hemingway sober, even pretty early in the morning.  Unable to say if they were inclined to the criminous – I wasn’t there; but it doesn’t seem so.
    As someone who’s been plastered – and though not by any measure making a habit of it has done so more than once – yet somehow managed to avoid any level of criminality, I’d say that’s a touch harsh, Simplemind.  Life is not that black and white.  Every afternoon the clubs on the upper east side fill with bibulous fellows; mostly hard-working and often highly successful bibulous fellows, too.  As far as I know there were whole generations that did that, and they mostly avoided criminality at any level, too.  (The criminality came when they were perfectly stone-cold sober: many of them the scions of long lines of corporate/legal sharks, and were the same sort of well-mannered sharks themselves.)
    On the other hand, good behavior and manners in general have been dying a protracted death for a long time, and the last remnants of those guys are pretty old now, and the shots are falling thick and fast in their ranks.  I guess as the society coarsens, so does everything else, including the behavior of those who’ve imbibed.
    But still: that list of absolutes is a little harsh.   

  • Bookworm

    jj: I think you nailed something in your last paragraph: as society coarsens, drunks coarsen too.  In a time when women were accorded a touch of reverence, even a drunk guy would think twice.  Nowadays, though, where feminism has turned every woman into, not a sex object, which kind of implies beauty and sexiness, but into a “for free” kind of prostitute . . . well, alcohol isn’t going to temper that viewpoint.

  • lee

    Eons ago, when I was a young undergraduate student, I drank to excess far too often. And I mean pratty gosh-darned plastered. All of but one of those times, I was in enough control of my faculties, that I knew what I was doing. Occasionally, I did something I later regretted (though hopping in bed was never one of those things. I was not a slut. And I don’t care what people say, or how they justify it, “hooking up” is slutty.)  That is not to say no one tried to, uh, take advantage of the situate–I was young, farlry hot, and at those times, drunk. I remember one time laughing so hard at a guy trying to proposition me, that I could barely stand up straight. My loud guffaws took the wind out his sails. He just walked away.
    Some terrible things happened that I heard about. There were girls who did get so mindnumbly drunk that they had no idea what was going and and were black out drunk. One male friend of mine quick a fraternity he had just pledged because the pledge class was instructed to target a girl to get her drunk enough to “pull the pledge train.” Essentially, to gang rape her. Another time, a girl who had been chosen at one of those parties to do that, threw up while this was going on, and she was stuffed out a third floor window, and suffered a broken back. (Apparently with only minimal spinal chord injury.) The fraternity got in big trouble for stuffing her out the window, but there was nothing about the gang rape. (Or attempted gang rape–I always liked to think that she threw up early enough to at least avoid that part of the horror.)
    I had a friend dump me because she had a party at her hous, and she got extremely drunk, and was flirting up a storm with a bunch of OLDER guys. Whom she DID NOT KNOW, and who had crashed the party. (We were stil in high school.) I somehow mananaged to throw them out. I called my parents and told them what was going on, and that I was going to stay at my friend’s house. She was sooooooo mad at me the next day, because the guys were soooo cute! But all I could think of was that she was VERY DRUNK, and we DID NOT KNOW THEM. And they were older–probably mid-to-late 20’s. I was hurt that she dumped me as a friend, but I have never regretted what I did that night.
    I agree with Emily Yoffe (and Tara above, and Thunderfoot. I was extremely–EXTREMELY–lucky that my first, and only, truly incapicatingly drunk exprience happened one month into my freshman year, and that the worst thing that happened was that I embarassed myself by barfing in front of the concessions stand for the movie we were watching. (Clockwork Orange. Still can’t watch it because of this.) I was lucky because I was NOT taken advantage of. I was lucky because a total stranger (a girl) took care of me. (And how she got me up EIGHT FLIGHTS of stairs, I will NEVER know.) And because she made sure I did not forget about it. Not like she threw it up in my fact (maybe the pun is intended) but she just gave me gentle reminders. She took care of me not only that night, but that whole first semester.
    I do think it is important that girls/women take responsibility for themselves. “Oh, I was drunk” and crying “rape” because one regrets the stupidity of the night is being childish. And thanks to the “Dear Colleague” letter and the whole ridiculous expansion of Title IX, young men are getting royally screwed by childish girls, and spineless administrators and faculty.  If I had a son getting ready for college, I’d… ask him to consider going to Wabash College. Or apprenticing and becoming an electrician or plumber, and skipping the whole college thing. And if he did go to college, I’d tell him to make darn sure he saves himself for marriage. Because if he doesn’t, he might wind up kicked out of college, blacklisted, in jail…

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  • Charles Martel

    I ran across an article a day or two ago about the distessingly high percentage of young Japanese who longer care to engage in sex, including everything from simple touching and kissing to intercourse. Their society, which was so communal for so long, has become incredibly fragmented, and whatever unitive aspects sex once had for the culture in general, it’s now just an object of consumption–or non-consumption.
    On the subways, millions of men and boys openly read Manga comics, often with sado-masochistic or pedophilic themes that depict forms of sex that few real-world Japanese women would care to accommodate. I wonder if that particular state of being male might not be too far off in our future. Heck, it’s probably already here in the form of privately and extensively consumed Internet porn. (U.S. feminists would scream bloody murder if American men were to openly read smut that degrades women on public conveyances.)
    But both cultures are pulling away from any notion of sex as a pleasurable connection between people as opposed to something like plucking an available tissue, sneezing into it, and then throwing it away. The irony is that militant feminism is a major factor in the debasement of sex: If you envy pigs’ (men’s) ability to wallow in the mud, you can decide to become a pig yourself. Just don’t tell us later on that you really didn’t mean to get so dirty and that you’re really a clean freak at heart.

  • Ymarsakar

    Charles Martel, your information comes from the Guardian article Neo wrote about, which is translated from Japanese studies.
    Are you sure you are going to trust that the translators translated what they said they were translating?
    The Left’s deception is not merely about Western politics. Do you really trust them to understand Japanese culture and provide you the “digest” that your gateway of information needs?
    I wouldn’t do that.

  • jj

    Yeah, I doubt they’re standing there reading comics. Much more likely to be actively sharking.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left needs to make women rely on authority and power to force men to become “safe”. The same way Islam needs their jihadist males to rely on authority and power to force women to become “safe”, so they aren’t “uncovered meat” and corrupting the males who need a proper pure motivation for jihad (virgins and sex).
    Authority is not the means to an end, but the goal in and of itself: power to rule and dominate slaves.

  • Beth

    Don’t friends look out for each other anymore?  Of course, don’t get so drunk that you can’t get yourself out of a tricky situation but….hey….where are our friends when we need them? 
    Maybe I’m crazy but one of the things I’ve told my kids, boys especially (high school and college aged), is that if you are a true friend of the girls/guys at the party, you will protect them by not letting them go down a path that you know they do not want to go down (No matter how much they say differently under the influence). 
    Am I asking too much of my children to a) behave;(read:  have fun that you are still in control of) and b) watch your friend’s backs? 
    It is mind boggling that common sense and decency has become such foreign thoughts in our culture.

  • Ymarsakar

    In a culture orientated around Obedience to the Leftist death cult, there is no room for individual “conscience”. No one is allowed to make decisions unless those decisions are authorized by Greater Social Justice Society and Leftist Human Utopia of Perfect Being.
    There is no room for “friendship” unless the State authorizes and orders you to be friends. There is no room for “mercy” and “compassion” except through the arms of the state and its bureaucratic enforcers and goons.
    People Will Obey, whether they like it or not.

  • Ymarsakar

    The path to having a conscience and having the power to resist and act on it, requires one to have a personal sense of justice and individual authority. Something that you would do and keep doing even if the Entire World was against you. Whether this comes from hating humanity, human society, the government, or loving one’s friends, doesn’t really matter. All and any emotion can be used as grist for the war mill.
    For it is the eternal conflict between slavery and free will at work here.