In a previous post, I wrote that the law and society have absolved women from any responsibility for their sexual behavior while under the influence of alcohol. If a man wakes up in bed with a woman that he didn’t expect, he has to “chew off his own arm,” but if a woman wakes up with a man she didn’t expect, then she only has to cry rape.
While I wrote the previous statement with a bit of humor in mind, the underlying statement is that it can be alleged that a substantial number of women may have used “the rape card,” in response to what was possibly a drunken “hook up.” This does not discount the fact that there are men who will take advantage of an intoxicated woman and proceed to rape her. Criminals are creatures of opportunity and a drunk woman is a golden one for a rapist.
Many rape cases have been attributed to rapists using date rape drugs. One British professor has posited a study which states that most of the reported cases of women who were raped by use of date rape drugs were actually the victims of alcoholic excess and recreational drug use, rather than the use of “roofies.” Logic would dictate that this could be proved or disproved simply by drug testing the victims. However, I personally do not know whether law enforcement agencies do drug testing or use the proper tests for these drugs. But for the record, the notorious date-rape drug Rohypnol has a post-ingestion detection duration of five days in urine and up to a month via hair follicle analysis. Ketamine has a blood/urine detection period of 7-14 days. GHB can be detected by hair follicle analysis for up to a month but only has a 12-24 hour duration for blood/urine analysis.
The reason that I listed the above facts is that a large number of feminist groups are trying to quash the results of this study. The fact is that the most potent and popular “date rape drug” is alcohol according to studies by various law enforcement agencies. But when law enforcement agencies/organizations start campaigns to encourage women to be more careful and take more responsibility for their safety when they go out drinking, feminists choose to interpret this as an attack on women and “victim blaming.” They choose to interpret these studies and warnings as an attack on the victim, even though such research is simply attributing the consequences of an action.
For the sake of discussion, let me preface any further discussion by saying that I do agree that the act of rape is the responsibility of the rapist. A person who chooses to force sexual contact on an unwilling or unconscious person is indulging in morally reprehensible and criminal behavior. This discussion is not in any way, shape or form, meant to defend or excuse that particular behavior set. I am not here to defend men who purposely use or take advantage of alcohol or other controlled substances for the sole purpose of rendering a female (or male) victim incapable of acting on their own volition regarding sexual choice. What I intend on doing is examining the legal and social surrounds involving the use of alcohol in a social setting.
First off, we can all agree that there is sufficient historical evidence that will establish that men and women have been drinking together in social public gatherings for more than 250 years. We all know that they have been seeking each other for sexual congress in social public gatherings for far, far, longer than that as well. So, let’s restate that just for the record. Men and women will often seek each other for sexual congress in social public gatherings and for at least 250 years and alcohol has also been present and imbibed by both men and women at many of those same gatherings.
The purpose of imbibing alcohol in a social setting is that because of alcohol’s nature as a depressant, it acts as a deinhibitor. It lowers social defenses and as a result, people are more prone to act on subconscious or repressed impulses if they have indulged in its use. This is common knowledge and is based on established scientific proof. In the realm of our modern laws, because of the common knowledge that all people have regarding the nature of alcohol, a person committing criminal acts cannot cite their state of inebriation as a defense or an excuse for having committed those acts. In fact, the use of alcohol often further incriminates a person being tried for a crime. The most evident example of this is the harsh sentencing applied to people found operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. But returning to the subject; we can establish that people who drink alcohol in a social public gathering/venue, do so in order to lower those social defenses. A common euphemism for that is “loosening up.”
Now we get to the point of the thing. Men and women both indulge in this behavior. Men and women go to nightclubs, bars, and similar venues and often as not, their underlying purpose is to meet other men and women (usually of their preferred gender for sexual contact) and they almost to a person, will indulge in the imbibing of alcohol. In simple terms, if you’re going to go to the club, you’re going to drink, and you are going to try to hook up with somebody. While there are exceptions to this, those same exceptions would not apply in this discussion in any case because those people either had no intention to drink and therefore would not be acting from impaired judgement or they had no desire to hook up with anyone, and therefore would not be involved in making overtures toward another person.
The purpose of the above part of my essay was to clearly frame the terms of my examination. I want to be clear that in this examination we are talking only about women and men who are consciously and of their own free will, indulging in alcohol and are also to a social public venue for the purpose of meeting potential sexual partners of their preferred gender. These people will often indulge in the use of alcohol and will further indulge in excess often leading to a severely diminished ability to make decisions or consent to activity from a place of informed safety.
So, with all of the above established, I am forced to beg the question regarding the prosecution of men only in regards to alleged unwanted sexual contact where alcohol or other controlled substances are involved. How can our lawmakers in any pretense of fairness defend such adjudications which hold only men the sole bearer of legal responsibility while intoxicated, while granting women the agency and license to ignore the consequences of their actions and decisions while under the influence of alcohol? While a simple blood test administered the morning after the alleged rape could easily determine whether both parties were sufficiently intoxicated to rule that neither one had the capacity to make a safe decision regarding sexual congress, the problem is that many drunk rape accusations are made at least two days after the actual sex act has happened. Considering that the statute of limitations regarding rape is quite long, any such evidence is all but gone by the time the accusation has been made.
Feminists feel that the discussion of alcohol’s effect on judgment is used as a way to dismiss the “alleged rape,” but they again fail to bring up the reduction of inhibitions that is associated with the use of alcohol. After a few drinks, that nerdy, slightly overweight guy who that hot chick would not have given the time of day to, may suddenly look like George Clooney to her. But in all seriousness, the alcohol may have lowered her social defenses enough so that guy may have said a funny joke and she would find that the normal social inhibitions that would have prevented her from accepting an advance from such a guy would not be in place and then human nature would run its course. But then there’s the morning after; the alcohol has worn off and suddenly, all of those manufactured walls that she normally keeps up are back in place. Add to that the fact that she may have imbibed enough to impair her memory and you’ve got yourself a rape case.
Men openly acknowledge that sex with a “less than desired partner” can and often does happen if alcohol is involved. We even have a name for that phenomenon; we refer to the circumstances leading up to the unfortunate hookup as “having your beer goggles on” and while it is commonly used to refer to a woman who would be considered physically unattractive under normal circumstances, the unwritten point is that the development and common usage of this colloquial phrase acknowledges that men collectively recognize that alcohol will lower your social defenses and inhibitions leading to a sexually-oriented decision based upon impaired judgement. Furthermore, when an “unfortunate” situation occurs because of “having your beer goggles on,” the woman involved is never blamed for the situation. It is always considered that it was the man’s alcohol-impaired judgement that caused the “unfortunate” events to transpire. A similar colloquialism involving male homosexual activity and alcohol is “You’re only ‘x number’ of beers away from being gay” and it jokingly alleges that if a man consumes enough alcohol, his inhibitions regarding homosexual contact may be reduced or eliminated providing enough alcohol is imbibed. (In some circles it is also unfortunately used as a humorous euphemism for the rape of a straight male by a gay one by the use of alcohol. I mention this here simply for the sake of clarification and not as a reinforcement of the negative trope regarding predatory activity by homosexual males toward straight males.)
So what we are left with is one simple fact. There is a legal and moral loophole that allows women the agency to retroactively retract consent to sexual access via the agency of alcohol. And the unfortunate truth is that because of the nature of the crime of rape, the only person who would truly know at the time would be the woman making the accusation. And what we are left with is the simple question of whether a woman declaring rape by the way of intoxication is a victim of a predatory male or her own poor judgement.