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Columnist Claims Drunk Girls Deserve Rape

Columnist Claims Drunk Girls Deserve Rape

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Old sports:

 

Whoa, nellie. 

 

Reading Salon.com today, I came across an article about a very inflammatory op-ed, written by an American University sophomore named Alex Knepper, that appeared in AU's student newspaper. His shrill, rambling and rather self-contradicting piece complains that feminists fundamentally misunderstand what makes sex exciting and pleasurable, and take all the fun out of it. His diatribe wouldn't be worth paying attention to ... except that he writes: "Any woman who heads to a [frat] party ... ,  drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy's room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry 'date rape' after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone's head and ... later claiming that you didn't ... intend to pull the trigger."

 

Upon first reading this, I thought, No need to remark on such inanity; recognizing at all would be giving Knepper's article more respect than it deserves

 

But then I wondered how many of Knepper's fellow male students--not only at American but at other campuses around the country--agree with him. Most of the responses to his piece expressed outrage and astonishment. But some of the commenters were behind him all the way, including one who wrote: "Knepper, you put dumb sluts in their collective place. Biddies deserve to get donkey punched when they get to [sic] drunk, drunk." As I hope I don't have to say, the violence and misogyny in that statement is terrifying. 

 

Another reason this seemed worthy of remarking on is because more than once in the last few months, I've had this experience: A guy has invited me back to his place for a night-cap; I have accepted, thinking we'll smooch a little--only to find that he'd misinterpreted my willingness to return home with him for an intention on my part to have sex with him. In one case, the guy even grumbled, "Did you really think we were just going to have a drink?" (Uh, yes, I really did!) Another said, "I'm 25--what do you expect?"

 

I remark on this to make a point: Two people walking into the same scenario--or apartment--can have radically different expectations, and make radically different assumptions, but that doesn't mean the person with greater physical strength is allowed to enforce his expectations.

 

It is also to say that were I drunk, college-aged, less stubborn, less sexually confident, etc, I might not have walked away from those experiences laughing.

 

 

The Salon writer goes on to remark: "A more appropriate analogy [than the gun-to-one's-head scenario], actually, would be that you walk into a gun shop, ask the clerk if you can take a look at one, and then decide not to buy it."

 

Right. And here's an analogy that is as fallacious as Knepper's: All kids who have sex without a condom indicate that they want to get STDs. But of course, all they're really doing is making a bad decision in a situation that may be heated and confusing; betting that the chances of a worst-case scenario happening are so low that they can discount it.

 

The Salon writer continues: "Here's where I actually agree with Knepper, though: 'There's rape and there's not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation' [he writes]. But we don't achieve that by muddying the waters of consent, which he does by suggesting that certain behaviors -- for example, drinking at a frat party -- imply a 'yes' to sex. I suspect Knepper is an immature, attention-seeking little twit, but there is a reason this is a perennial feminist debate: The gray areas do exist. How do we draw a clear line of consent, especially when alcohol is involved? [Activists] Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti have suggested one idea: Relying on enthusiastic consent -- a 'yes-means-yes' as opposed to a 'no-means-no' model. It's a start, but we aren't likely to get much farther unless we keep having these conversations, preferably without the bomb-throwing."    

 

Yes-means-yes: I like that.


Even better: An enthusiastic and unequivocal and unhesitating yes means yes--and if a person isn't saying yes, yes, yes with both her mouth and her body, please do everyone a favor and wait till next time. 

 

Lovelies ... what do you think?

 

xxx

 

 

 

(For more about dating, relationships and my so-called life, check out my Facebook fan page.)

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