I normally don't disagree with other rape victims about their experiences, but I have to disagree here.
A former beauty queen has told of her horror at being raped by a burly nightclub bouncer because she was too drunk to fight back. Her terrifying story comes as the Home Office warns of the dangers of binge drinking, which peaks during the festive period.
She wasn't raped because she was too drunk to fight back. She was raped because the burly bouncer wanted to rape her and used alcohol as a weapon and because he believed that he could get away with raping her under these circumstances.
Her decision to drink is the only decision she is responsible for. Most likely even that wasn't a decision she made completely independently. Many men who are willing to rape and want to rape someone who can't fight back will present themselves as generous people helping a girl or young have a wonderful time.
One clue is that the request for sex doesn't come before the girl or woman is incapacitated or nearly so. Those who delay do so because they don't want the girl or woman to have a chance to get away. If a girl or woman doesn't have the capacity to easily avoid sex, she hasn't really been given a choice even if the rapist goes through the motions of asking for consent.
Just as bars are being held legally responsible when their patrons get drunk and then are allowed to walk out and get behind the wheel, bars should be held legally responsible when their patrons are so drunk they can't defend themselves and are allowed to walk out or are taken out by a potential rapist.
Sober cab programs should be expanded to safe and sober cab programs. Those in charge of the bar, including bartenders and bouncers should be statutorily prohibited from claiming sex with a drunk patron was consensual since their position gives them the power to spike drinks and to issue orders to their patrons.
If bars are using women-only specials as bait to bring men into the bar, they have an even greater moral responsibility toward keeping those women safe. If a bar turns a blind eye to the criminal sexual exploitation of their patrons in an effort to increase revenue, they are complicit to that crime and should be accountable. At the least their liquor licenses should be at risk.
The financial consequences should be greater if a bar lets in underage drinkers since that is evidence that they are willing to break the law to increase business.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism