Rebecca Watson made Mount Wahmbulance explode

Content note: rape apologism in the linked post’s quoted responses.

Rebecca Watson decided to Tweet something super controversial to satisfy my feminazi need to make men cry:

mind blownMinds were blown! Up is down! Left is right! Cats and dogs, sleeping together! These two Tweets only raised more questions, and clearly I was the only person on the Internet who could answer them.
[…]
not all people are like us, and so, there are the Tweeters who flooded me with their concerns, none of which were for people who have been raped while they were drunk. No, their concerns are for themselves, that they might one day be accused of being rapists because they didn’t give someone a breathalyzer before having sex with them. Here’s a thought: if you’re about to have sex with someone and you feel like they might have drunk too much to consent but you don’t have a breathalyzer handy, then why not err on the side of not being a rapist and not have sex with them?

There are now people out there bragging about how the very idea that consent is problematic when people are drunk makes them a rapist many times over, with the clear imputation that this obviously means that the concept is utterly ridiculous. Rebecca also quotes responses way worse than that.

We’ve got a long way to go.



Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, violence

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. Here’s a thought: if you’re about to have sex with someone and you feel like they might have drunk too much to consent but you don’t have a breathalyzer handy, then why not err on the side of not being a rapist and not have sex with them?
    That’s what I don’t get. Or rather, what I do get, and find very telling about the people who “don’t.” If, somehow, you really do find consent hard to figure out, you could conclude that it therefore doesn’t matter much if you violate, ignore, or bypass it – or you could conclude it’s therefore important to take extra care about whether you have it and that it’s not impaired – which conclusion you draw says a lot about you. Whether you want it to or not.

  2. This reminds me of the work, going back to around 1980 eg Tim Beneke 1982, Robin Warshaw 1994), showing that it’s not at all hard to get rapists to admit to what they do so long as it’s not called rape. A recent-ish study: Lisak and Miller 2002 (abstract only), and some general discussion.
    Nothing has changed. I wish I was surprised.

  3. (Gah. Sorry. Could a kind moderator fix my link in the previous comment? :redface:)
    [Moderator note: done! ~tt]

  4. “If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.” – Rebecca Watson
    If this is true, than 80-90% of people who have ever had sex have been raped.

    • Dmit’s comment belatedly approved because I couldn’t cope yesterday with this level of teh stoopid it burns.
      ** have been drinking =/= drunk **
      I like my wine with my meals, and drink more than my doctor would like most weeks. I haven’t been drunk to the point of incapacity for decades. There is a very large difference, and pretending that Watson didn’t know that difference because of the limitations of 140-character tweetspace is a blatant strawman argument against the fact that she is describing an actual legal definition of criminal sexual assault in many, many jurisdictions.

      • P.S. too drunk (or otherwise temporarily impaired) to consent is an ancient legal standard, by the way, when it comes to contract law. It was enacted to prevent fraudsters from getting people drunk or otherwise intoxicated enough to sign over assets/rights while their cognitive faculties are impaired, and for several centuries now has been a legitimate argument for the court to negate the validity of many a legal transaction.
        There’s also a long-standing requirement in legal transactions for consent to be fully informed.
        Decades ago the law caught up to the obvious logic that these venerable standards of establishing the validity of consent for transactions are ethically also applicable to personal interactions. If not, why not?

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