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Monday, June 06, 2016

How to Rape Yourself

A lot of people seem upset with the rape sentencing handed down in this instance. The argument is that the young man should have been much more harshly sentenced than he was.

Now, many commentators, such as the one below, have been pointing out that alcohol is the fuel that drives student-student campus rape:
Yet columnist Scott Herhold had called earlier in the day for the judge to follow a probation recommendation for the county jail term rather than state prison. He noted Turner wrote probation authorities that he “would give anything to change what happened” and said he “can never forgive myself” for the incident. 
“You don't have to buy Turner's story that he so was drunk himself that he did not realize she had passed out,” Herhold wrote. “But it's hard to review this case without concluding that it has roots in a culture of campus drinking, the unindicted co-conspirator here.”

Slate has even gone so far as to have a female columnist point out that college women wouldn't get so frequently raped if they didn't get so frequently drunk. None of this commentary sits well with the politically correct crowd.

The problem lies precisely in the argument that a drunk person cannot give consent. In this particular instance, the woman was so drunk (three times the legal limit) she remembers none of what happened. The only person who was there for the entire encounter, the young man, was also drunk. In short, neither is a very good witness to exactly what happened.

So, for the sake of argument, let us say she was conscious at the beginning of the encounter and attempted to give consent (failing, of course, because she was drunk). We don't know if she did because she was so drunk she doesn't remember anything. But, if she did attempt and fail, we have to remember that HE couldn't give consent to the sexual encounter EITHER because HE was ALSO drunk. So, according to the "drunk" rule, if they were having any kind of sexual interplay when both were conscious, they would - technically speaking - be raping each other.

That's bad enough, but it gets worse. Remember, according to the "too drunk to consent" rule, Person A cannot functionally form consent or intent. If Person B has sexual relations with A, it is rape, regardless of Person B's state of mind. Drunk or sober, it doesn't matter. We judge rape purely by A's ability to consent. B's intent and/or consent is irrelevant.

But, if  Person A (whether male or female) is stipulated to be too drunk to give consent to someone else, arguably Person A is even too drunk to be able to consent to his/her own actions.

Put another way, if Person A is drunk, and therefore cannot be responsible for his/her actions towards Person B when B is conscious, why would the drunk A suddenly become responsible for his/her actions when B is no longer conscious? Perhaps B was never conscious to begin with - why would that change A's inability to consent to the sexual actions? Remember, Person B's state of mind is not relevant here. The rape of A revolves entirely around A's ability to consent.

As in the case of the young swimmer above, Person A is drunk, too drunk to even notice whether or not B is conscious. So drunk, in fact, that A cannot give consent to sex. Precisely because A is drunk, all sex is rape for Person A, because A cannot consent. Thus, by sexually interacting with B, A is being raped by B regardless of whether B is conscious because A cannot give consent for his/her own actions. Now, as the unconscious B is raping A via A's actions, it certainly may be the case that B is ALSO being raped by A via A's action, But because A is drunk, A is now in the peculiar position of raping himself or herself, using B as the conduit, simply by engaging in sexual action while drunk.

If we accept the "too drunk to consent" rule, then Person A is not responsible for the sex, even if Person A was the only one conscious and the only one acting. Which means the logic can be taken yet another step. In this situation, Person A's body is engaging in sexual conduct while his/her mind is unable to form the consent necessary for sex. You have heard of the victimless crime? This now becomes the perpetrator-less crime - everyone is getting raped, but no one is actually doing the raping.

This is where political correctness and the "too drunk" rule has taken us.

Rod Dreher has an interesting story: What is Consent to a Drunk?


Stephanie said...

Can you show me where in Catholic teaching it says rape is the woman's fault? Just wondering since you purport to be an authority on Catholic sexuality.

As a devout Catholic I'm genuinely interested how another Catholic can take this position.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Hey, Stephanie, great strawman. Can you point out where ANYONE says that rape is the woman's fault? Besides you, I mean?

The woman in this situation nearly drank herself to death, and had apparently decided to do that BEFORE she even walked into the bar. Alcohol limit three times normal. You don't get there on accident.

Here's the question no one is asking: Why?
Why was she intent on self-annihilation, getting blind drunk?
She was hating on herself LONG before she walked in the bar that night.

Women who hate themselves enough to try to drink themselves to death are likely to engage in other self-destructive behaviour as well. Like agreeing, while drunk, to sex with random men in dark alleys.

And if as a result of this self-destructive behaviour, the woman suddenly becomes a victims and gets the loving attention that had been denied her up to that point? Well, that's a plus, right?

Yeah, the man shouldn't have done it. But nobody is asking why she was nearly dead drunk in an alley way. Someone should ask that question.

By spending all our outrage on the young man and the rape, we are perversely doing to her exactly what what drove her to self-annihilate in the first place: we are ignoring her, and ignoring the reason she was in the alley to begin with.

Catholic teaching says we shouldn't be doing that.

fae said...

Maybe you should read her letter. She explains why she was drunk.

Having read her perspective also might help shape yours to be less, well, ignorant.

fae said...

Maybe you should read her letter. She explains why she was drunk.

Having read her perspective also might help shape yours to be less, well, ignorant.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Maybe YOU should read her letter.
It displays a very self-destructive attitude.

Anne Welch said...

Yea,no one paid attention to or took care of these young people when they were drunk and vulnerable. And yea,they both lacked self respect or any sense of personal boundaries. But the man raped the woman while she was unconscious--beside a dumpster--treating her like trash. And he knew what he had done was wrong because when he was caught,like Adam, he realized he was naked, he tried to run away.

At this point, there is nothing at all to be gained by arguing about whether the punishment fit the crime. The woman and man too need prayers. And we all need to be more intentional in protecting those around us by treating our bodies and theirs as temples of the Holy Spirit.

Angi Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Contarini said...

We don't know that she lacked self-respect or any sense of personal boundaries, except that we know she had too much to drink. She says--and I see no reason to disbelieve her--that she didn't normally drink much and thus misjudged her tolerance.

Tess Rooney said...

An unconscious person can not perform an action. An unconscious woman was raped, it was not her fault. She is not culpable for Brock Turner's actions. When discovered Turner ran away. He knew he was doing something wrong.

Steve Kellmeyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justjane said...

Person A (drunk) was not so drunk as to not be able to get a hard-on and emit sperm into the vagina of an unconscious Person B (so drunk, she is unconscious). Disgusting on both parts, but a woman CANNOT rape herself.