Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Drunken Ramblings...Or Binding Contract?

Drunk women can consent to sex, judges rule

This is a very difficult problem.

On the one hand, it trusts women to make decisions, which is something we have patently been denied in the past.

On the other hand?

This opens the doors (floodgates?) to untold numbers of date raped women losing any hope of convicting their attackers.

While I think this ruling is important to enabling and empowering women, I think we may be putting the cart before the horse on this one. BEFORE we say "saying yes when drunk is an all-clear," we need to establish that it's also perfectly reasonable to say no during the act of sex and expect that decision to be honored. We also need to establish that if it's totally cool and acceptable for men to have drunken hook ups, the same must be true for women. This ruling aside, we must remove the shame surrounding behaviors and actions some women feel they "need to be drunk" to do.

And last of all, but this is a little lower down on the list, we need to hold men just as accountable for their drunken behavior as we would women. Too many men are forgiven for laundry lists of offenses (other than rape, even) "because they were drunk."

An article from last week asked if the party girl antics of Britney and Paris would be as publicized if they were men. Much as I hate to say it, I think the answer is a "no." With this in mind, we need to refocus on the accountability of all people.

Either being drunk renders all decisions made null and void (regardless of gender, natch), or all decisions made while drunk hold the same sway. There can be no middle ground, and there can certainly be no allowances made for gender.


Anonymous said...

I like your post. I think I would prefer, however, that you replace the word "gender" with the phrase "one's biological sex", as the concepts are not synonymous, and you I think you meant to refer to the latter.

Red Stapler said...


I am well aware of the difference in terms, and I considered which to use very carefully. I picked gender because the outcome of this kind of situation is dependent on how others view the parties involved, not the individuals' self-identification.

I can be a biological woman, but others may perceive me as a member of the male gender.

I am not trans anything, I'm just using that as an example.