OK, so I have to wonder if I’ve got some sort of tone-deaf thing going on here. You reality-check me:
Emily Yoffe wrote a column for Slate yesterday that I thought made sense, if via a stupid headline. College women: Stop getting drunk isn’t precisely what she was saying. Rather, to stop getting so drunk they are literally incapacitated. To stop binge drinking. To protect their bodies the same way they’d protect anything valuable — with prudence and common sense.
Well. It had hardly hit the floor before the outrage began, most of which boiled down to why not tell men not to rape, Emily? Huh? Why not start with the perpetrators? Sure. Because that totally works. So hey, men! Stop raping women. There were also the usual comments about Saudi Arabia and victim-blaming and stuff like this and stuff like that.
Meanwhile, I found passages like this:
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.
“I’m always feeling defensive that my main advice is: ‘Protect yourself. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to the point of losing your cognitive faculties,’ ” says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who has written on rape and teaches feminist jurisprudence. She adds that by not telling them the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—she worries that we are “infantilizing women.”
“I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” says Christopher Krebs, one of the authors of that study and others on campus sexual assault. “But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”
…made it pretty clear: If you’re assaulted while you’re drunk it’s not your fault. But why not improve your odds of not being assaulted?
Every so often we have a crime wave here in Grosse Pointe, where thieves target unlocked cars parked on the street and steal whatever they can. Sometimes they break windows to get in, but more often they’re looking for people who’ve left things unsecured. Of course, these thieves shouldn’t be entering cars. Unfortunately, they do. Locking your car improves your odds of being left alone.
So my question is: What am I reading wrong here? Anyone care to give it a shot? I have to send these things out for feedback from time to time, because I’m aware that, sitting alone in my little home office all day, I might, technically, be going mad.
Hope I’m not.
Today was sunny and mild, but by late afternoon cloudy, overcast and en route to Autumn in Earnest. Pizza for lunch, a few chocolate-covered peanuts for dessert, a nice catch-up with a former colleague, to whom I gave our American Girl dolls and associated stuff. My goal is to get as much crap out of the house by the new year, whether through donation, sale or dragging it to the curb. I get these bouts once in a while, but this one I’m following through on. The vast crap reduction project is a go.
Bloggage? Don’t got none today — I’m watching those Tigers. There are about 50 zillion stories to read about the last of the shutdown, and I should probably start making my way through ’em.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 1:10 am
Before I sent my daughter off to college, I reminded her that she was the daughter of an alcoholic. I told her that she would have to make her own choices about drinking and drugs, but that drinking impaired judgement, and could leave you vulnerable to, among other things, sexual assault. So if you’re going mad, I’m going mad too.
Obviously, I still believe no means no, and if anybody lays a hand on my daughter, drunk or not, I’ll beat the crap out of ’em.
Dexter said on October 17, 2013 at 2:01 am
I remember my Army Basic Training Drill Sergeant clearly. His name was Sergeant Blackwell. He took his job seriously but he was not in any way cruel or stupid or maniacal like (maybe) some of his cohorts were.
One evening toward the end of our training cycle he came to the company day room and shot a little 8 ball pool with some of us. Sergeant Blackwell was a chain smoker when off duty, a Camel always stuck in hand or lips, and he told us that he would drink a beer or two on occasion, but he told us he would never do any drug or drink that would alter his keen sense of awareness or leave him in any way vulnerable because of some ingested substance.
Sergeant Blackwell then shared that the only way he survived a year in Vietnam combat was because he stayed straight and alert at all times. He knew well that most of us young men were heading to Vietnam and he knew well that some of us were going to die over there, and he knew that if we were always alert, always aware of our surroundings, we would have a much better chance of surviving. I probably was the one who understood what he was saying, but the prevailing attitude was “what they gonna do?—send me to Nam?” and we did not heed a damn thing Sergeant Blackwell was saying. Sergeant Blackwell knew we wouldn’t listen, that we would fuck-up every way we could, but he tried.
I would hang around Ann Arbor’s stores, coffee houses, and stores for a few hours after those football games I used to attend religiously, so I observed some kids acting rude , vulgar, and mean, most certainly due to alcohol and whatever drug was “cool”, and I have been in Columbus many a late afternoon after games when my daughter spent four years at OSU, and I have seen young college women stumbling around drunk out of their gourds or passed out in grassy areas sometimes, totally vulnerable to predators. Bad, horrible situations, Sergeant Blackwell’s plan for safety via alertness unheard of there, but never, ever, would any judge and jury do anything but throw the book at any assault based criminal, at anyone who took advantage of a passed out person and do horrible things.
MaryRC said on October 17, 2013 at 2:45 am
No, I’m with you on the Emily Yoffe/Dear Prudence column. Some of the criticisms are bizarre. There’s been a perfect storm of “Way to blame and shame the victim, Prudie!” on Jezebel and the like, with one commenter claiming that it’s never OK to talk about women taking safety precautions against rape because then you’re blaming them when they get raped (inevitably, I guess, according to this person). So in other words don’t warn girls not to drink too much and pass out at parties in strangers’ homes because when they get raped they’ll feel guilty? Or something like that, I don’t really get it.
And surely everyone knows that a columnist doesn’t write his or her own headlines.
Deborah said on October 17, 2013 at 3:07 am
I’m with you too. It’s being practical.
Suzanne said on October 17, 2013 at 6:38 am
I gave my kids the talk before college…have fun, learn something, and don’t be stupid. Now, I would add that if you are stupid, don’t Tweet your stupidity, which so many do. I think women do need to understand that no means no, but putting yourself in a situation where you can’t say no is just plain silly. The talk again. Don’t be stupid.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 17, 2013 at 6:46 am
No one is allowed to tell anyone else what to do, ever, even as a suggestion. Emily forgot that rule. You can refer to groups where there is social consensus that they are outside of the social contract (rapists, child molesters, malefactors of great wealth), but even those can’t really be told what they should or should have done if you start talking about them as individuals.
This is what makes preaching so interesting these days, because this iron rule has its nose well up and under the church’s tent. Or as the punch line of the old minister’s joke goes, “Now you’ve gone from preachin’ to meddlin’.”
David C. said on October 17, 2013 at 6:58 am
Well, I think most of us were told not to get drunk a fair number of times as we grew up and I doubt that has changed much. So it’s not exactly new and earth shattering advice that deserves a column. So, I can understand how “listen little ladies, you may have never heard this before but…” could grind on someone. I think the reaction is an internetty way of saying “No kidding?”.
Alan Stamm said on October 17, 2013 at 7:29 am
You don’t seem to be going mad, at least not based on today’s evidence.
So no involuntary commitment order appears to be needed. Yet.
beb said on October 17, 2013 at 8:18 am
I’ll give an amen to David C.’s comment @7. This is the reaction I’ve been seeing on other blogs, that 1) this isn’t exactly a new idea and 2) It verges on “Blame the victim.” It comes across as a sort of mansplaining.
When I was robbed one of the responding cops wondered (to another cop) why I hadn’t seen the robber coming. There were lots of reasons – it was back, he came up from my back but mostly because you’d have to be a paranoid idiot to be constantly watching your back. I didn’t need a cop to tell me to live in a state of constant fear. I haven’t read Yoffe’s column but it sounds a lot like that cop saying I was an idiot for not looking over my shoulder every second of my life.
Parents having talks with their children about drinking is something entirely different. This is what parents are supposed to do.
Jolene said on October 17, 2013 at 8:33 am
I disagree that Yoffe’s argument was either what sensible people have always said or victim-blaming.
In fact, her argument is that in accepting the “don’t blame the victim” idea, which, after all, was not a big part of the culture when most of us were growing up, we have forgotten that we can, to some extent, protect ourselves from becoming victims in the first place.
I see her piece as what should be part of an essential feminist message: You can take charge of your life.
Of course, we know that bad things can happen whatever your efforts, but that doesn’t undercut the importance of making the effort.
alex said on October 17, 2013 at 8:34 am
I thought Emily Yoffe’s column made a lot of sense, and I also thought it was breaking new ground. The emphasis on alcohol awareness has always been placed on driving, never on self-defense. Who are these raging morons who think she’s blaming the victim? I think it’s a long overdue discussion and I’m glad she got it started.
And Jeff, since when is it unacceptable to tell people what to do? Republicans do it all the time. Don’t have abortions! Don’t be gay! It’s a whole lot easier than doing something substantive and constructive, like finding good homes for the millions of unwanted children who’ve already been born.
nancy said on October 17, 2013 at 8:44 am
I think of what a reasonable person might tell a young woman who laid out her plans in advance: “I’m going to a frat party tonight, and I’m gonna get shitfaced. There’s going to be trashcan punch, and tons of tequila, and I plan to get as much of it as possible into me. They’re going to have to take me home in a wheelchair.”
What would you tell her? I’d tell her, “That’s very unwise.” I would not say, “Go ahead and have fun, honey!”
Suzanne said on October 17, 2013 at 8:53 am
Sadly, many parents DO say “go ahead”. Maybe not in those exact words, but the kids get the gist of it which is that j kids are supposed to have fun and of course will drink too much, especially in college. I’ve been around too many parents who really don’t see a problem with darling daughter drinking herself into a stupor.
beb said on October 17, 2013 at 9:02 am
Yesterday I went to read the Rachel Maddow blog, much of it written by the exceptional Steve Benen, only to find that it had been “revised” much the way Slate has revised it’s site into a mass of tiles like some hideous version of Windows 8.0. And of course you can’t read any of the content without opening a new window, which makes them click-whores. The experience was so awful that I went elsewhere and never read anything Benen had to say about the shutdown ot Republican perfidy. Whatever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “keep it simple, stupid”?
And in damned if you do and damned if you done. Yahoo has carrying a report, largely from a “Might Girl” website about a #fail Spider-girl Halloween costume. The costume consists of a pink top with generic spider webbing and a white skirt. It looks nothing like Spider-girl, which is obvious because there’s a picture of Spider-girl printed on the package. Looking at the picture I’m not sure how many parents would want their 6 year old daughters wearing anything close to what Spider-Girl looks like. Spider-girl is all curves, huge boobs, microscopic waist, huge butt, with highlights on the costume to remind us that it’s skin tight. Her costume is the same as Spider-man’s, only stretched over a body that makes Barbie look flat chested.
Here’s the kink to the article:
A second drawing further down the page goes a long ways to vindicating crack-pot Frederic Wertham.
Walter Biggins said on October 17, 2013 at 9:06 am
I don’t understand the rage over this piece at all, and I think people are critiquing the headline over the essay. Some of what Yoffe writes is breaking interesting ground, in a few ways: 1) it argues forcefully for an overhaul in how Americans think about alcohol consumption, particularly regarding the pride that’s conflated with collective binge drinking; 2) it shows that, despite the mythology built up around date-rape drugs, most campus assault (sexual and otherwise) has its roots in alcohol consumption, usually occurring at events in which the rapist and rape victim know–or know of–each other; and 3) the conflation of feminist independence with getting shitfaced is actually anti-feminist and doesn’t encourage autonomy or agency but rather infantilization.
Yoffe repeatedly hammers home the idea that, if a woman gets raped in a drunken scenario, it is NOT HER FAULT. I don’t understand how the Jezebelers are interpreting this otherwise, based on what she wrote. Yoffe blames the perpetrators fully and robustly but acknowledges that determining the distinction b/w consensual drunken sex and blackout sexual assault is (and will always be) hard, and will always be something that college administrations cannot assess well, much less law enforcement. What Yoffe wants is a cultural shift around youths and drinking, a shift that encourages self-awareness and the understanding that the rights of autonomy and self-determination need to be paired with alertness and responsibility.
That’s not blaming the victim; that’s becoming a functioning adult. Binge drinking doesn’t encourage the latter, and neither does the sexual assault that often comes with it.
DanB said on October 17, 2013 at 9:09 am
So, Nancy, what is it about those two reactions you linked to that led you to, essentially, roll your eyes at them? Because a central part of the argument I’ve seen against Yoffe’s column is embodied in them. I’d argue that what she’s saying isn’t particularly new. The discussion about rape prevention is overwhelmingly about what women need to do to protect themselves. I’ve got to say that her sense that the desire not to blame the victim means that we’ve stopped repeating the sense that the onus is on women to protect themselves.
What we don’t hear very often is any attempt at a clear message about what rape actually is. Too many people still imagine rape as only being the scary stranger making an attack in the park or a dark alley (you know, rape-rape, “legitimate rape”). How many people think of their buddy who gets a drunk girl to come back home with him and has sex with her and she didn’t really say no as a rapist? That’s what the whole question of why we don’t tell men not to rape comes from. We do a terrible job of talking about things like consent and control over our bodies. There’s a tremendous amount of cultural baggage to overcome, but I don’t think dismissing the possibility of even talking about it as hopeless is exactly useful.
I agree that Yoffe had some good points, and she’s doing her best not to be victim-blaming. But as long as it’s still another voice in the longstanding chorus of “women protect yourselves,” especially as we see yet another disgusting case of genuine victim-blaming and rapist-protecting in the headlines, it’s going to get peoples’ backs up. (Yoffe’s longstanding pattern of being very anti-alcohol in Dear Prudie may be provoking part of the reaction, too).
DanB said on October 17, 2013 at 9:15 am
Poor editing on that last comment. The last sentence of the first paragraph should read I’ve got to say that her sense that the desire not to blame the victim means that we’ve stopped repeating the sense that the onus is on women to protect themselves doesn’t really match up with my sense of the overall discussion in the general media.
mark said on October 17, 2013 at 9:39 am
How could young men and women who listen to Kanye West and his ilk 18 hours a day, on a variety of devices purchased but never monitored by mom and dad, be confused about sexual assault?
nancy said on October 17, 2013 at 9:49 am
I guess I would respond by saying that of course we need to understand what rape is, in all its forms, from stranger-in-an-alley to guy-you-know-after-a-party. Of course we need to tell men that sex with a semi-conscious woman is crossing a line. But that’s only one part of the message, and frankly, I don’t know how many men would take advice from a middle-aged female advice columnist. I thought this was made clear in Yoffe’s piece. She is talking to women, and giving them a valuable piece of reality-based counsel so they can steer clear of dangerous situations before they escalate.
Yes, I understand why people, particularly modern young feminists, have a problem with this. All I can say is, they will learn in time why this makes sense.
Walter’s point is dead-on: We really need to reopen the discussion about drinking, too. I’ve written about this before here, and I really try to remember what college was like for me, and what it became. Of course we drank. Everybody drank. We drank to get drunk, to lower inhibitions, to have fun. I do not recall that we drank to hasten unconsciousness. We all were upright at the end of the evening, and we all walked home (perhaps with some help from parking meters). Barfing was seen as bad form. Toward the end of my time in college, a bar opened that catered to the frat crowd (not as significant at 1970s Ohio University as it was on other campuses), and the emphasis was very different. They had a dentist chair in the house, and their signature cocktail was delivered via shots poured into your open mouth in the tipped-back chair, after which the chair was spun around (to mix it, get it?). That was a culture shift for me.
This sort of thing? Was still to come.
And this is happening everywhere, and women are leading the way. When I was news-farming, I read the English-language European papers on a daily basis. Australia, England, Ireland — all these papers would regularly carry dispatches of “bachelorette” and “girls weekend” outings that sounded like something from ancient Rome. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to vomit. But that seems to be the point.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 9:50 am
I like Emily Yoffe’s advice column, but I definitely was annoyed by this story. Yes, it’s practical advice. Yes, women should take responsibility for themselves. But–it’s not very often that people involved in non-sexual assaults are put under the same kind of scrutiny about how their behavior might have led to it. Yes, it’s not a good idea to walk in that neighborhood after dark, but it’s probably not going to be an issue in court when you face your attacker. It always seems to be in these gender-based crimes that drunkenness is an issue.
And why is the onus for being safe always on the women? Someone is responsible for telling boys/men having sex with someone who is passed out or clearly in blackout mode is not OK. And that they shouldn’t binge drink either, so that they can have a better chance of reading women’s behavior and that their judgment is not impaired, and that they should help prevent environments where these things might occur.
Furthermore, I would imagine that many rapes or sexual assaults when someone is drunk are perpetuated by guys the girls thought they could trust to, I don’t know, not rape them, not total strangers. Yoffe is talking about college, but the case that tipped off her article was based on an incident that happened to high school girls and their classmates. It’s depressing to think that in high school you have to think about which boys might rape you and act accordingly.
Also, I’ve been thinking about how girls are put in the position of always the “gatekeepers” when it comes to sex and how far it goes, and what that does to our normal sexual development. It’s hard to lose yourself and really enjoy sex when you’ve taught you’ve always got to be on your guard.
I admit that sexual agency and alcohol create one murky environment, and I see that I am in the minority here, but those are some thoughts from the other side of the issue.
Julie Robinson said on October 17, 2013 at 9:58 am
Amen, Jolene! Taking charge of your own life is an essential message for all our young people. The current school climate, where they are told which classes to take, then taught to the tests, largely robs them of legitimate choices (and, I might add, much of the creativity they walked into school possessing). Is it any wonder they don’t know how to make good choices when they go off to college?
My off to college speech included a personal experience that taught me not to put myself in situations where others were going to drink beyond reason. An all-girl singing group I was in performed at a military base, and afterwards several of us took an invitation to an off-base party. Our own sensible consumption was trumped by the over-consumption of the soldiers, and they refused to let us leave. Their attitude was that we had come for a good time, hadn’t we? We were eating their food and drinking their booze, after all.
We didn’t have any transportation back to the base either, how dumb can you get? When we finally we able to persuade them to take us back, they dropped us off somewhere in the middle of the base. We had no idea how to find the building where we were staying and wandered around for hours.
I’ve given myself the yips remembering all this. What a near thing it was.
BigHank53 said on October 17, 2013 at 10:02 am
Yoffe’s column started a shitstorm because it landed in the blogosphere mere hours after this story made the rounds:
which is as depressing a story as you’ll read this year. Shorter: confessed rapists of minors (13 and 14) have the charges dismissed. Political pressure may have been involved, but there’s a truckload of rape culture evident in the story. Ms. Yoffe’s advice is not terribly helpful when so many cards are already stacked against women: their desirability is openly discussed and ranked, their sexual availability is damn near required (but don’t have too much sex), and because there are so few rules, it all descends into a morass of nasty popularity-contest tribalism at the drop of a hat.
There was an interesting (!) thread on this very column over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money yesterday:
which features lots of mansplaining and the pissed-off reactions to it. Was Yoffe’s advice actually bad? No, but it falls into the same category as “Don’t stick your hand in the garbage disposal while it’s running” and “Fire is hot.”
alex said on October 17, 2013 at 10:22 am
I can speak from my own experience that there were sexual encounters I would not have had if I’d not been wasted. Alcohol does impair one’s judgment and inhibitions and that’s a lesson that needs to be driven home to young males and females alike.
Some of the critics mentioned that the reason we don’t talk about these things is the old sexual double standard — male promiscuity is a badge of honor while female promiscuity is a badge of shame. But that’s the world we inherited. To counsel women to protect themselves is to acknowledge and deal with reality. Ideally the onus shouldn’t be on women but we don’t live in an ideal world and we never will.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 10:31 am
I get that in a rape culture women should protect themselves, but we should still work hard to end rape culture. Alex, substitute “women” in your phase “ideally the onus should be on women, but we don’t live in an ideal world” with “black people” or “gay people” and you can see the problem. Eventually everyone agreed that society had to change, not just the behavior certain groups.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 10:31 am
behavior OF certain groups.
Deborah said on October 17, 2013 at 10:46 am
How about we just tell everyone to be responsible for their own bodies, men and women, boys and girls. Males have to have discipline and control over their bodies not to take advantage or act non consensually. Women have to do the same. I don’t think anyone is saying women are the ones who have to make sure it doesn’t happen, both sexes have to act responsibly. Maybe Yoffe should write a column about how to tell boys how to be responsible for their bodies?
Bitter Scribe said on October 17, 2013 at 10:54 am
Thank you, Nancy. I get really annoyed with those people who bristle and lash out every time anyone dares suggest that young women need to take any precautions whatsoever. Suggesting that you not make it easy to be a victim is not blaming any victim.
OTOH, I wish ERs would stop routinely doing tox screens on rape victims. I’ve never understood what that’s supposed to accomplish, other than handing ammunition to the defense attorney.
Pam (the sister) said on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 am
I try at all times to lessen the risk of harm to myself or the risk of losing my possessions. I welcome any good advice I might receive from someone else. So when is advising young women about how to be careful and prudent interfering? Sheesh!
I think the TV is much to blame. We get a good laugh at shows that depict tiny, thin women judo karate kicking a HUGE muscled man. Women who can go up against military trained killers are pretty much non-existentent, except on TV. TV also shows a lot of women who do shooters in bars without ever getting the slightest bit tipsy. It wouldn’t matter anyway. If attacked, they would just judo chop them. Did it all start with Charlie’s Angels?
Jolene said on October 17, 2013 at 11:22 am
Always good to see that people will find the humor in any situation. Here’s how one person responded to the panda cam at the National Zoo being turned off. Low key, but cute.
Charlotte said on October 17, 2013 at 11:31 am
When I went to the U of Illinois in the early 1980s, it had the highest per-capita rape rate in the state. Made me furious that as a girl, you could never, ever walk anywhere alone on campus at night or even in the evening. I wasn’t in a sorority, but my suite-mates were, and they all had a buddy system in place — if someone was getting falling-down drunk, you never left them alone in a frat house because … well, they’d get raped. One of the biggest reasons I left was having to be on high alert like that all the time — even Manhattan when I moved there in the late 1980s didn’t feel as dangerous.
What I don’t understand, and never have, is the social sanction for things like Spring Break. The Nathalie Holloway case was a real mystery to me because who lets a 17 year old go to a vacation island and stay out all night paryting? We have a whole tribe of girls now — 9 to 23, and we talk to them all the time about staying safe.
I understand the impulse of the younger feminists who want to change the discourse around rape, but that doesn’t mean we should put our daughters in jeopardy to do it.
brian stouder said on October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am
This conversation (writ large) – absolutely including the dissenters – has great value. I hope people argue about it widely and at great length.
Aside from that, don’t miss Sheri’s excellent link from the end of the last thread:
Just to add that perfect little soupçon of WTF to the end of the Dumbest Government Shutdown In History, the House vote to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling was interrupted by the House stenographer completely losing her shit:
“He [God] will not be mocked,” the stenographer, apparently named Molly, yelled into the microphone as she was dragged off by security. “The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God. Praise be to Jesus.”
You cannot make this stuff up.
brian stouder said on October 17, 2013 at 11:50 am
…and indeed, when will security drag Raphael out of the Senate chambers, as he loudly gurgles about the terrible tragedy of a closed park, and how ashamed the president should be – regarding how crazy he drives otherwise upstanding angry white people
alex said on October 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Charlotte, I remember reading something back in the 1980s comparing crime statistics in Indianapolis to those of New York City and there were some startling facts with regard to rape. I think this might have been in a sociology class. Naptown, at less than one-tenth the size of the Big Apple, far outstripped the latter in terms of the number of reported rapes. The explanation for this was that the culture of sexual repression and gender inequality is much more prevalent in Indy.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm
I do believe we need to change the understanding around what is rape, and get rid of the notion that “she was asking for it.” If I had a son, I would be teaching him that it is wrong to be having sex with a drunk woman, because consent is vitally important in a sexual relationship and drunkenness makes consent impossible.
But, there’s always going to be a murky area around too drunk to consent, and it’s always going to be dicey taking such a case through the legal system. Just like we tell kids don’t drink and drive, warning them that getting drunk and having sex may result in consequences nobody wants doesn’t seem unreasonable or a case of blaming the victim.
Maybe I feel the way I do because I actually have a college freshman daughter, so it’s a practical matter, not an abstract matter for me. Yes, let’s change the culture, no, don’t blame the victim, but darling, don’t put yourself in the situation, it’s not a good place to be.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm
I just want to say that I really cherish this forum for providing a space where intelligent people can discuss such difficult issues civilly and respectfully! Most of the time, anyway.
I was also thinking that these types of situations bring up the issue of control–staying in control of one’s body to stay safe and exit a situation if it seems like it is not safe. Of course, not drinking or being drunk does not ensure control over whether you get raped nor not. For example, you could accept a ride home with an acquaintance who turns out to be a predator. There’s something about that illusion of control that bothers me–because ultimately it’s up to someone else whether they are going to attack you or not. You can do things to mitigate your risk, but again, nothing is certain. Which is true in all aspects of life, but in sexual assault it really seems to me that there is extra due care placed on the woman.
I’ve also been thinking about this a lot because after a Facebook discussion about this very topic yesterday, a friend asked me to fill in for her next week on a column she writes about these types of issues. It’s not much money at all but I’m excited to do it. So you guys are a helpful sounding board.
MarkH said on October 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm
I second Heather @35. Great discussion today on a subject that deserves the intellegent input here.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm
Heather, of course, nothing is certain, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mitigate the risks where you can. Wearing a seatbelt doesn’t guarantee we won’t get killed in a car wreck, but it lessens the odds.
Increased risk of sexual assault isn’t the only potential bad outcome of drinking until you’re blotto, too. There are the immediate risks, like alcohol poisoning and accidents; and the longer term risks, like depression and bad grades. Girls are drinking more like boys now, and there’s evidence that female bodies can’t process alcohol as well. They need to be aware of the risks, all of them.
I tend to use the term sexual assault when discussing the topic rather than rape, because people usually have a specific and limited idea of what rape is, whereas sexual assault at least leaves room for discussion.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I’ve always found whatever points Emily Yoffe intends to make crystal clear, and I agree entirely with Nancy’s reading of what Yoffe was getting at. I think that her argument is clearly valid. The idea that drinking oneself insensate in the midst of a crowd of drunken fratboys is somehow empowering is insane, or the disgraceful invention of some society of defense attorneys for crowds of drunken fratboys. I’m glad my daughter was finished college about the time the age of binge drinking and obligatory casual hook-ups began. I could be serving life for murder right now. I can’t honestly say I never had sex with a drunk woman, but not anyone I hadn’t ever met, and always in the context of a history of consensual, sober sex. I’d say one way of addressing this problem is charging those that see “date rape” happening and don’t do anything about it as accomplices. Dickless assholes.
Three things are clear from the whimpering out of the end of the shutdown:
Boehner was talking out his ass and lying through his tobacco-stained teeth about not having the votes, all along. He’s done, one way or another, which probably means Speaker Granny-Starver until the next Congressional election, which I think will see Wall Street and white shoe law firms mau-mauing, uh, primarying the Teabangers. The comedy potential is limitless when the Big Money turns on the idiot pissants. Those big cash guys? You get only one chance to shit the bed, I think.
Either Bachmann took a job as a House stenographer during the shutdown, to help out, somebody put bad acid in those water pitchers on the podium, or the producers of the Carrie remake perpetrated a live advertising campaign under cover of ending the shutdown.
Them House Teabangers and their titular leader are incompetent. They screwed up the back pay for fed workers they designed themselves. They meant well, but Bad Uncle got to them in the end.
Did everybody see the end of the President’s press conference yesterday when he was leaving the room and some reporter yelled out a question about whether this wouldn’t all happen again in February. He paused, turned, and with an absolute poker face, said “No”, and left.
With regard to the delusional stenographer, where was the Sergeant at Arms when Joe Wilson, my Congressman, was shouting? Is her name actually Molly, or is Molly a nickname for indicating drug of choice.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm
Perhaps drunk-tweeting is the reason for this spectacularly tone-deaf tweet?
LAMary said on October 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm
I think there’s more drinking now, especially high school kids. And I hear parents being ok with it because at least it’s not drugs.
My sons are probably tired of me telling them they shouldn’t use anything to the point of severe stupidity, legal substance or not. They shouldn’t drive, bike, or anything else that might hurt them or someone else when they’re using some sort of chemical to alter their mood, and that nothing they ingest is going to improve their life. It could definitely do the opposite.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm
Did any of you ever watch “Southland”? Great TV show about cops in LA. Canceled, of course. Anyway, one scene always stayed with me. Regina King played an experienced detective who was still dismayed at all the violence against women she saw. She said something like, “Man, if this was happening to members of some ethnic group, people would be staging protests and having a fit.” That’s how I feel about this issue. We’re so used to rape culture that we don’t even get that mad about it.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm
GOPer FUBAR on furlough back pay.
Ex-Goober-nor Appalchian Trail thinks this is only fair, like his AWOL time from the SC state house. I emailed him to ask when the SC state treasury can expect his check for the time he spent away from work on his SA trek. He married that woman, and campaigned with her on his arm. Teabangers still elected him. That seems to be several sandwiches short of a picnic.
I think more kids binge drinking these days is partially a result of that stupid Nancy “Homewrecker” Raygun’s Just Say Yo! campaign
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm
I am mad about rape culture. I think what happened in Steubenville and Maryville is unacceptable, that we need to teach our sons better. I think what happened at Notre Dame and the Naval Academy and at numerous colleges across the country where football players (and other students) are raping young women (drunk or otherwise) and getting away with it is ridiculous. (Though at the Naval Academy the students are being court-martialed, though only after the victim brought in a lawyer.)
I do want to change the culture. I also want my daughter to be aware of the culture, as it exists right now, and do what she needs to do to protect herself.
brian stouder said on October 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm
What Sherri said
mark said on October 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Sherri- What do you mean by “rape culture.”
Charlotte said on October 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm
From what I hear from my college-aged girls, especially the one who keeps winding up driving a dorm mate to Planned Parenthood for Plan B, the control issue is complicated by years of abstinence-only sex ed. Let’s see if I can parse this. And I’m talking consensual sex only here — although it’s pretty easy to see where the lines blur.
If you’ve been taught that abstinence (control) is the only acceptable means of birth control, and if you’ve been taught that good girls prove they’re good by abstaining, then there’s an appeal to losing “control” that isn’t readily apparent. If you lose control by drinking too much, “by accident” then you’re not responsible for wanting to have sex, so you’re still a “good” girl in your own mind. By extension, what I’m hearing is that some of these girls rely on Plan B because obtaining/using birth control “proves” you’re planning to have sex, which means you’re by definition, not a “good” girl.
So you can see where this leads into a whole morass of confusion and date rape/grey rape/ I-didn’t-mean-to-but-was-it-rape?
Not to excuse anything, but just reporting what I’m hearing from one of my college-aged kids, the one who has sensible parents who got her the birth control she needed when she had her first boyfriend, and never shamed her about sex. She finds herself doing a lot of counseling at college.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm
MarkH: Some good definitions here:
Charlotte, that abstinence angle is a very interesting point!
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm
Sherri, I guess in part it comes down to a “chicken and the egg” issue, that is, which thing do we focus on first/more? Both sides are important, but I wish that there was a little more focus and effort on one of them. A friend of mine suggested an anti-rape education campaign by a group of pro male athletes. Have them talk about consent, respect, making wise decisions, etc, as well as the impact and seriousness of rape and sexual assault. That would be a nice start.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm
Speaker Oompa Loompa voted against the shutdown ending bill. What a shameless asshat. If he thinks this will cover his butt with the Baggers he’s nuts. The long knives and AKs came out this morning. But this vote by Boehner may be the most pitiful profile in political cowardice I have ever seen. Guys from my state, Wilson and Sanford voted against ending the shutdown. Surprise, surprise.
Rapist behavior at the Naval Academy trickles down from the top of the chain of command.
Heather@41: A great show. I think it is between seasons, not cancelled. It was cancelled on one of the non-ccable networks a few years ago, but picked up by TNT. I hope it’s not 86d permanently. Incredibly good cast, particularly Regina King and Michael Cudlitz.
Sherri@39: She can’t access the Obamacare website. It’s blocked in Cruz’ office.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm
Heather, I wish the NFL would dedicate a month to violence against women rather than breast cancer awareness, but I’m not holding my breath. Culture change takes time; I have a college age daughter right now. I suspect that many of the people who have a negative reaction to Yoffe’s column do not have teenage daughters. If you’re a 25 or 30 year old woman, then yes, her column probably does feel like more of the same. But that doesn’t mean that 17 year olds, or 15 year olds, or even 13 year olds, don’t need to hear it. They don’t have the judgement or experience that a 25 year old has.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm
With respect, Sherri, if we just offer more of the same advice and no solutions, nothing is ever going to change. And don’t think those young girls don’t pick up on the hypocrisy in our culture. I remember when I was a teenager, my stepfather gave me a strict curfew because “you could be raped.” I could be raped at 10 PM as well as at 1 AM, but whatever. My younger brother later had NO curfew. That still makes me angry, and that was more than 20 years ago.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm
I think we agree more than we disagree, Heather. My message to my daughter is not “don’t drink or you’re be raped.” My message to my daughter is much the same is my message would be to a son if I had one: drinking impairs your judgment, and puts you in bad situations. After all, I wouldn’t want my hypothetical son accused of rape, either, and it’s unlikely the boys involved in those situations were stone-cold sober.
My message to my daughter has been about everything: make conscious choices. If you want to have sex, take responsibility for that choice. If you want to drink, take responsibility for that choice. Choices aren’t made in a vacuum.
I think the culture is changing, slowly, the way culture does. The Steubenville and Maryville cases would have just been normal, not outrages, once upon a time. Yes, there’s still plenty of victim-blaming, but there are more people standing up and saying, this is wrong. Would a national sports columnist have written about such a case even 5 years ago, except to dismiss it as “boys will be boys”? (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/another-steubenville–015638389.html)
Jolene said on October 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm
Prospero, John Boehner voted in favor of the bill ending the shutdown, not against it. Also, most of what I’ve been reading today says that he has become more popular and respected in his caucus, not less, because he opposed Obama in as many ways and as long as he could, caving only at the ast moment.
Heather said on October 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm
We definitely mostly agree, Sherri!
OK, enough of this stuff for me today. Time for some cat pictures. Or the calming manatee:
nancy said on October 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm
What about cat culture? When will someone, anyone, stand up to cat culture?
Mark P said on October 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm
What Prospero said about the rape culture at the Naval Academy appears to be true throughout the services. When a woman is raped in the service, she commits the crime when she reports it. That’s the rape culture. That type of attitude can only exist when it exists at the top of the chain of command. The fact that the military and our government don’t do anything about it shows that rape is not taken seriously. That’s the rape culture.
brian stouder said on October 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Pam and I never shy away the subject of appropriate behavior with regard to other human beings, and our approach is that anything we say to the 18 year old young man we can (and usually at that same moment do!) say to the 15 year old young lady….and if the 9 year old young lady is listening, than the more the merrier.
A month ago, their 17 year old cousin officially became a parent, and therefore these topics and others have come up fairly often.
All is fair-game for discussion, if not immediately then at a suitable moment
Jolene said on October 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm
On Facebook yesterday, Nancy said that the Students Against Drunk Driving group at her daughter’s school had changed its name to Students Against Destructive Decisions. Apparently, the national organization that serves as a resource to local schools made this change some time ago as part of an effort to take on a broader range of issues. Although the web site mentions “relationship abuse”, there’s not much mention of sexual violence.
Still, I like the idea of a focus on decision-making as a way of encouraging kids to think before they act. It’s tricky to take on any sort of issue related to sex in public schools, but, still, this sort of forum offers a possibility for broader discussions of what it means to act responsibly.
Icarus said on October 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm
I know I’m coming late to this post and haven’t read through all the comments. My first thought about the context of the message, don’t do this or this could happen. Often a woman is blamed for what she was wearing at the time.
” If you’re assaulted while you’re drunk it’s not your fault. But why not improve your odds of not being assaulted? ”
If you’re assaulted while you’re wearing something sexually provocative it’s not your fault. But why not improve your odds of not being assaulted?
Doesn’t the same concept apply as those unlocked car doors or drinking to excess? In the same way that what she is wearing might attract the type of person who doesn’t have their best interest at heart?
alex said on October 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm
One of the lies taught in abstinence-only sex ed is that contraceptives have high rates of failure and are completely unreliable. This is why a lot of kids don’t even bother with it and learn the truth the hard way. Just ask one of my partner’s nieces who dropped out of college and moved home again in order to have a baby.
coozledad said on October 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Y’all want to rag on them young parents, but sometimes I wonder what it’d a been like to father a young’un when I was eighteen.
Boy and me could a stole a truck or two together.
And someone’s got to drive the getaway car when you hit that liquor store. Might as well be someone too young to drink.
Jeff Borden said on October 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm
Man, what a lot of interesting comments today. I read the column in question and had no problems with it, but maybe that’s because I’m a childless male. To me, it was all about simply keeping control over yourself to the best extent possible and recognizing that alcohol (and, yeah, marijuana, ecstasy, etc.) often hinders that control. God knows enough of us do it at all ages that our graveyards, our hospitals and our rehabilitation centers are well-stocked with victims of drunk drivers. And this after decades of very strong and intense efforts to curb drinking and driving.
One of my male students recently gave a speech on avoiding crime around our campus. He was mugged of his smartphone and wallet when staggering home drunk as a skunk. The robber didn’t even really hurt him. . .just pushed him down and took the stuff away from him because he was helpless and alone.
How can it hurt to keep reminding people that bad things can happen when we allow any substance to obliterate our abilities to reason and function?
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm
Jolene@58: I was relying on WaPo for that information about how Boehner voted. And he will undoubtedly be attacked by Teabangers next time he faces a primary. As I said previously, he will be defended by his Wall Street and banking backers, whose yanks on his leas finally got his attention in the standoff. cf. Cruz’ attacks on the Senate GOPers, who he claimed rained friendly fire down on their House colleagues:
The Frankenstein’s golem “grass roots” Tea partiers aren’t likely to do anything as logical or sensible as to realize that Boehner listened to voices of sanity in the end and tried to pull the party back from the edge of the cliff. But, as I said before, the big money that watered the Bagger astroturf will turn on the monster with torches blazing and farm implements flailing.
Jolene said on October 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm
Jeff, I came across the article linked below a while back and brought it up again yesterday in discussing the Yoffe’s article, solely because of the first sentence. I shouldn’t have been surprised by it, I guess, but it’s quite a statement on the effects of excessive drinking.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm
Back to work for GOPer legislators means protecting tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and subsidies for oil and gas companies. And passing a farm bill that slattens SNAP programs to ensure that farm subsidies from which way too many of them collect checks remain in place.
Jeff Borden said on October 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm
Thanks, Jolene. It stands to reason beer would be a major contributor to hospital visits because it’s so easy to get and relatively cheap to buy. I was teasing one of my over-21 students a few years ago about the popularity among college students of Bud Light, which I find pretty tasteless and disgusting. The student was quite candid that you could get a case of 30 cans for a very low price and that quantity –as in drinking to excess– was far more important than quality.
Rana said on October 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm
I have to say I’m noting what I think may be a generational divide in how her column – and advice – is being perceived here. Speaking as a relatively younger woman (though not as young as the ones on Jezebel) I very much understand the irritation and even outrage it has provoked. The problem with it, though it is more diplomatically phrased than most such “advice” columns addressing the subject, is that it comes back to the same place: it is the responsibility of young women to prevent rape by regulating their behaviors.
But here’s the thing: that self-regulation does not actually prevent rapes from happening. All that it does – and this is not insignificant for the specific young woman who may benefit here – is shift the vulnerability onto a different “less wise” victim, and give the cautious young woman a pass if she is raped despite adhering to the rules.
Women have been raped drunk, sober, in dark alleys, in their own bedrooms, wearing slutty clothes, wearing baggy sweats, and so on, and it’s pretty clear that a woman who is drunk, scantily clad, and roaming around a dark alley with a bunch of decent young men is far less likely to be raped than a woman who lives a sober life at home with an abusive relative.
So this advice – which is ostensibly about avoiding rape – is actually not about protecting oneself from rape, but about protecting oneself from being blamed and held responsible if a rape does occur. We know this happens. We’ve seen it happen many, many times, including in courtrooms and police stations, where the rapists of children get off because their victims “dressed sexy” or women who have the misfortune of being drunk at the time of their rapes find themselves being cast as slutty women who were “looking for it.”
So, yeah, it’s not wise to put yourself in a vulnerable position in a world where rape is common and blaming rape victims for not preventing their own assaults is common… but let’s not fool ourselves and think that advising women to avoid such positions is about preventing rape per se, because it is not. It’s about regulating women’s behavior while turning a blind eye to the behavior of men who commit the crimes. After all, generations of women have received such advice, and followed it, and it has not reduced the incidence of rape at all. Perhaps it’s time to try something different?
Rana said on October 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm
Also – this particular advice columnist has a poor history with regards to how she has responded to victims of sexual assault in the past. She has suggested to a number of them that their behavior was, in fact, part of why they were assaulted, so in this context, it’s hard to read this latest piece charitably, despite all her disclaimers that she’s not trying to victim blame.
alex said on October 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm
I think I’m beginning to understand the outrage — that traditionally victims have been blamed for being drunk, dressing seductively, etc., and counseling against drunkenness is seen by some as giving validation to those who hold such uninformed views.
Still, I have a hard time reading insensitivity into what Emily Yoffe is saying, but that’s because I recall the confessional she wrote earlier this year about her own experiences with sexual predators. I thought it was quite bold and courageous of her. She understands that even in your right mind you can easily be very conflicted about unwanted advances and how to respond appropriately and forcefully.
As someone who’s made it to the half-century mark, I can look back on just how much women have been liberated within my own lifetime. When I was a child, women having careers of any sort was almost unheard of. They were socialized in such a way that their mannerisms were infantile and coquettish. Their identities were entirely defined by their relationship to men. In the ’70s, Virginia slims were marketed to women with the tagline “You’ve come a long way, baby!” What a bunch of condescending crap that was. Today it’s almost impossible to imagine such a world, and yet there’s still quite a bit of cultural lag, and people lamenting the passing of the old power structure and refusing to accept that it’s dead and gone.
David C. said on October 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm
I looked at the archives of Dear Prudie and I must say she comes across as a concern troll agony aunt who thinks she is a cool agony aunt. I’m something of an expert on aunts, and the very worst aunt type is the concern troll aunt who thinks she is the cool aunt.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm
Rana@68: The I get as drunk as the frat guys and it empowers me faction is far worse and far more reckless and thoughtless than the don’t get so loaded you don’t know what’s happening around you advice, without a doubt and construing the advice to young women that there is evil in the world and they are more susceptible to it if they are wide eyed and legless as “blaming the victim” is bullshit, straight up. In a perfect world, maybe young women should be as free to indulge weaknesse for substances as men are, but claiming the world is perfect because it should be is arrant, spectacularly irresponsible crap. White people should be able to walk around Roxbury or the South Bronx without fear, and black people should be able to go to a bank in Wellesley or Easthampton for a mortgage without being rousted by cops. Sounds great but it’s far from the real world.
And WaPo has made the article naming Boehner as a no vote on ending the shutdown magically go away, without a correction I can find. It had a cutesy graphic with lots of blue and red squares next to the names of the Congressional varmints, and there was a red square next to Boehner. This in no way changes the fact that in the last 16 days he has displayed absolutely Wormtongueian mendacity and cowardice.
Deborah said on October 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm
I am the mother of someone who was date raped one day before her 16th birthday. The perp was the captain of the football team of a “religious” high school. It happened in a deserted parking garage. A few years later when she was in her early 20s she was sexually assaulted again. She has a neurological condition that makes it difficult for her to read body language, all nonverbal communication, among other things. She has since learned a lot of coping skills, but it was all hard work on her part to do so. she could not rely on society changing on her behalf. And by the way she approves of this message.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm
Here’s progress: the NFL Network’s broadcasting crew is wearing purple tonight for Spirit Day, to show support for LGBT kids.
brian stouder said on October 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Dog gone it! The video Nancy posted is now dead and i cannot see it, due to a copyright claim by Huffington Post.
Aside from that, Deborah – your post made my heart ache.
I get the point Rana is making, and I have no argument. As a father of two daughters and two sons, I’d like to at least latch onto a strategy, if not a solution. I suppose that might well apply to many other people, too.
If I was going to grasp at a “simple solution” – one thing that leaps to mind is requiring young folks to get a sort of “drivers training” mandatory course, involving the study of criminal prosecutions of younger people involved in these sorts of offenses; especially offenders who were intoxicated when they the violated another human being, as well as the law.
I remember having to watch the horrible, ghastly and bloody driver’s education crash films way back in the day. Maybe something like that will take the shine off the idea of trying to “score” (or whatever) at some drunken puke-fest
Suzanne said on October 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm
I certainly don’t blame the victim here, but the culture has changed and young women(and men)do need to understand that poor behavior leads to poor outcomes. I agree with Nancy that back in the day college kids drank, no doubt, but I don’t recall anyone chugging vodka before a party or a night at the bars in order to achieve a high level of drunkenness before leaving the house. Drinking was done to loosen up and have fun and sometimes drunkenness happened, but the goal never seemed to be throwing up and/or passing out. Now,however, it seems that IS the point.
I blame parents to a great extent. High school parents renting limos for their kids on prom night is fairly common now, so that, well, you know…(wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I’ve heard too many parents joking with their kids about all the partying at college (again wink, wink, nudge, nudge). The conversation about the fact that when everyone is good and intoxicated, bad things can happen never takes place and the consequences are horrible.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm
I’m sure I haven’t done justice to today’s comment thread, but on a not-fast, not-really-careful read through, I *love* Heather’s thoughts at #48. Thank you. Will steal.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm
And it made me think of C.K. Dexter Haven and Mike Connor of South Bend, Indiana, who says in “High Society” to Tracy who is not sure what happened the night before: “You were somewhat the worse, or the better, for the wine, and there are rules about such things.”
beb said on October 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Your daily dose of cuteness
infant’s Halloween costumes inspired by Breaking Bad.
Connie said on October 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm
I have a real problem with the Breaking Bad kid’s costumes I’ve been seeing. Yes, let’s dress our children like a murdering meth dealer. It most certainly isn’t cute. It’s appalling.
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Jeff(tmmo), The Philadelphia Story, please; High Society was the remake. The Philadelphia Story had Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart, and is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Prospero said on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm
Sherri@73: Oregon is wearing pink helmets this weekend. With their uniforms, I predict waves of nausea, nationwide late Saturday. Good Lord, this is going to be hideous. Televised Ipecac.
Basset said on October 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm
And why IS drinking Bud Light like fornicating in a rowboat?
Sorry, couldn’t help myself…
Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm
Pros, that still isn’t as bad as the Oregon cheerleaders wearing contacts with the Oregon logo, like they did last week.
Cathie from Canada said on October 18, 2013 at 12:46 am
Interesting divide in this conversation — it seems that the older people are, the more they “get” what Yoffe was trying to say.
I’m not sure whether she is right or wrong (I’m older myself, and I totally get her point too), but the difference in perceptions between young and old(er) is noticeable.
Maybe its just that as we live more years we reach a certain level of cynicism or maturity or whatever. We stop believing that society will change to what we want it to be, and start accepting that society is what it is.
So from the younger perspective, the Jezebel readers, Yoffe is just enabling rape culture and all its horrible and demeaning attitudes toward women. From the older perspective — dare I call it, the Nancy perspective? — not getting shitfaced is just a common sense precaution.
We don’t tug on superman’s cape, we don’t spit into the wind, we don’t pull the mask off the old lone ranger and we don’t mess around with Jim.
Brandon said on October 18, 2013 at 1:54 am
I have a real problem with the Breaking Bad kid’s costumes I’ve been seeing. Yes, let’s dress our children like a murdering meth dealer. It most certainly isn’t cute. It’s appalling.
Hattie said on October 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm
If I had been just a little bit drunker at that college party so longer ago when a man tried to rape me I would not have been able to fight him off.
Hattie said on October 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm
long, of course.