Linds Lets Loose: Sense, sensibility and parties

Lindsay Kriz

Last week, a Slate article was brought to my attention via Facebook.

The article in question, “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk,” claimed that the reason women are raped so much is because they believe they have the right to drink just as much as boys do, and that it is a “feminist issue” to be able to do so.

The author, Emily Yoffe, talks about the idea that it is now taboo to tell young women not to drink so much, and that it shouldn’t be.

Initially, I was horrified just by reading the title of the article. Of course women should be able to drink and not worry about being raped. It’s called common decency, and boys are not feral animals who can’t control their actions.

However, as more and more people commented on my Facebook post regarding the article, I began to have a change of heart.

Hear me out: I will in no way be victim-blaming, which is a disgusting habit that unfortunately still exists today.

However, I do believe in being safe and knowing your limits for your own sake. Yes, a man or woman should be able to be passed out on the ground and not be physically assaulted or raped. But for health reasons, one should not allow themselves to get to this point in the first place.

I’m sure someone will read this piece and say, out loud, “It’s college, you’re supposed to get blackout drunk!”

To which I say yes, drinking may be a part of college, and getting drunk may be a part of college, but one must be able to learn his or her limits before pushing them too far.

Another aspect that made me re-think my position, in a sense, is a memory I had regarding my mother. She and I were hiking, and I was telling her about victim-blaming, and how a woman should be able to stand naked in a crowded room of sweaty biker guys and not worry about being assaulted.

My mother and I argued to the point of her becoming furious, as she kept arguing that a woman should know better than to put herself in that situation — another form of victim-blaming.

This memory brought me back to a comment made on my status, in which a girl told me about a mental health patient she’d heard about who literally could not see what was wrong with rape, even when he was lectured on the subject.

Do we make an exception for those who are not at a healthy mental capacity to understand that rape is wrong? Or do we find a way to blame the victim as both Yoffe and my mother did?

Here is where I now stand on this issue: Yes, one should be aware of his or her surroundings, and should strive to be as safe as possible. However, if a rape occurs, I do not care about what sob story you want to throw me or what circumstances you want to throw in, including, “But he didn’t know what he was doing!”

Rape is never the victim’s fault. Ever.

There’s a difference between being proactive and telling someone to be safe and smart in certain situations, and being reactive and saying, “I told you so, it’s your own fault!”

And clearly, many in our society are still struggling to understand the difference.