Alright. I saw this video a week or so ago and need to share because it is totally rad.
So yeah. I mentioned this in my initial video about this topic, but let me reiterate. Consent is NOT the absence of no, but the presence of yes. A person cannot give consent if they are passed out, nor can they give consent if they are so drunk they obviously have no idea what is going on.
I feel this should be obvious, but given the studies on the topic, it isn’t. And of course this is where victim blaming comes in too. I’m going to cover two points regarding this.
1) If you purposely feed someone tons of drinks or shots to lower their inhibitions/ability to reason, you are pretty much planning rape. Read that again. Seriously. Rape is having sex with someone against their will, or without consent. We’ve already discussed consent. I’ve witnessed this many times, and of course experienced this attempt myself, and it never ceases to amaze me. How does the thought process work? If you’re feeding a woman drinks or shots in order to try to make her more down to sleep with you, especially if she’s already rejected your advances when sober, mildly buzzed, even reasonably smashed, what does that say about you that you feel the need to do that in order to have sex with her? Why do you want that from someone who obviously doesn’t want you? *And here I answer my own question, because rape isn’t about sex, it is about power.
There is a lot of terrifying research on this from college campuses. What intrigued me the most was that when college men were asked if they would force sex on someone versus commit rape (these are the same things, guys) the number almost doubled. When we change the words involved, there is a massive disconnect.
2) The classic, “if someone puts themselves in a dangerous situation, they deserve what happens to them,” is bullshit. Right. First off, nearly 80% of victims know their perpetrator, so typically they don’t know they need to be arming themselves against rape. And what kind of effed up message is that to tell women they need to always protect themselves from rape?
In fact, I once got in a massive debate about this with an ex boyfriend who was in
a fraternity, who said something to the effect of, “if a girl goes to that type of party she should know what she’s getting into.” Of course my head exploded. No. If I go to a party, I have the right to get a drink and assume it hasn’t been spiked with something that will make me pass out. I have the right to get drunk, and not have a dude try to slam me or manipulate me to go to his room, tell me it’s so I can sleep it off, and then, you know, try to put his penis in me. Yet, survey says, apparently a lot of people disagree.
I don’t blame any one person for thinking these things, because this is obviously a cultural issue, where people are not taught about communication and consent.
But with this argument, if that is the case, I want to know, precisely at what point does a woman lose the right to say no? At which point in the night does she start to deserve, or should she expect, sexual assault? If she agrees to go to someone’s room does this mean she is obligated to have sex? If she wants to fool around but not have sex when does she lose her right to say no, that she wants to stop? Is she allowed to change her mind? At which point during these interactions does she suddenly LOSE her right to autonomy over her body, and somehow owe someone sex?
If you have ever had any of these thoughts about women who say they were raped, I want you to seriously THINK and answer those questions in your head, and see how much sense they make.
So yeah, what is the answer? I’d say teaching about communication and consent along side the stuff about condoms, contraception, and those terrifying pictures of STD’s. We need to teach our kids what consent means and why it is important. From a personal standpoint, it’s about being good parents and teaching our kids to respect each other. I can’t help but wonder when I saw guys pulling this stuff in college (observing a guy pretend to put something in a woman’s drink while winking at his buddy, or the amazing winner I saw trying to drag a girl upstairs who was OBVIOUSLY too drunk to know what was going on) where their mothers or fathers were growing up. Where along the way did they learn it was okay to get sex this way? To treat another person this way?
I’d say another giant step is to revamp the way we approach rape prevention as a
society, which presently pretty much tells women to not get raped, rather than tell men not to rape. In addition to that, we need to educate people on what rape IS, so there isn’t this massive disconnect when people think “forcing sex” and “rape” somehow aren’t the same thing.
The poster to the right is supposed to be tongue and cheek, but it is pretty much EXACTLY the reverse of what we consistently tell women as far as protecting themselves goes.
Alright, on that note, I’m out. Looking forward to some live blogging from CLPP later this week!