Monday, October 20, 2014

Appalling Post @ Jezebel Re: College Date Rape

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Self Esteem

Photo credit: Jezebel.com

As an American University alumna, I’m absolutely appalled at this story making the rounds on Jezebel today, “Date Rape is an Incoherent Concept: Blaming the Victim, American U.  Edition.”

Located in our nation’s capital, AU is known to be a pretty liberal school. I’m usually so proud to be an alumna of such an open-minded institution — known for its diverse student body and a reputation of  producing politically and socially active alumni who do great things all over the globe.

As you can imagine, this is NOT the kind of news you want to share from your alma mater.

But it’s not something I want to see kicked under the rug, either.

I feel this message needs to get out, because there are surely other people out there who think like Alex Knepper. And it disgusts me to no end.

In his words: “Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI [an unrecognized fraternity at American University] party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex – especially anonymous sex – can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!

Really, Alex? Every girl walking into a frat party is asking for it? Really? I could go on, but I won’t.

I much prefer to share what this man said in the comments — and pardon the language — but I wasn’t about to censor this:

“Listen up Alex: I’m a gentleman of 51, so respect my age & experience for about 5 minutes and I’ll let you in on a couple of secrets: (1) Real men don’t take advantage of anyone’s state of inebriation. In just about any legal or moral junior handbook, this is sexual assault. (2) Gentlemen of moral character HELP people of either gender who are incapacitated, they do not take advantage. Basic societal rules of decency apply here. (3) Anyone merely entering a party, soiree, gathering, concert is not giving you explicit permission to fuck them. Your views on this do not make you pro-sex, it just makes you an apologist for predators. Combined with your obvious antipathy to LGBT folks, it also pretty much makes you a dick. I sincerely home this clears things up, Mr. Knepper, but I really fucking doubt it.”

A-frickin-men!!!

UPDATED TO ADD: Knepper responds–new post @ Jezebel.

How about you? Are you seething? What do you think about his diatribe?

Comments

21 Responses to “Appalling Post @ Jezebel Re: College Date Rape”
  1. Candice says:

    This makes me sick to my stomach. I’m on the same page with the guy who commented. I’m really getting sick and tired of seeing college students who need it explained to them that being drunk does NOT equal consent.

  2. B says:

    I am appalled at the audacity of this man, and the other men who agreed with him in the comments! The sad thing is, I think that this thinking is becoming more the common among young men of this era. In general I’ve noticed that men are being less respectful towards women in general. Sadly, it isn’t all that shocking to read that many of them now think that a drunk woman is able to consent to sex; I’ve even heard men comment about a drunk woman “asking for it” just by being drunk in a bar speaking to a man.

  3. As someone who has been sexually assaulted in a party/drinking scene, this is the stance I used to take. I used to blame myself, thinking it was my fault because I was drinking. But now I understand–I never “asked for it”. I never asked to be assaulted. There is a difference between regretting a drunken hookup the next morning and having a man hurt you and take advantage of you. Date rape is not just “wishing I hadn’t fooled around with a guy”. It’s a real, terrible thing.

  4. sleepydumpling says:

    I was seething, but I read the comment posted by the 51 year old gentleman, and my heart swelled that there ARE men out there who a) do not subscribe to that attitude and b) will speak up about it.

    Now I’m just pissed at the author of the post, but heartened by Mr 51.

  5. Forestroad says:

    “Let’s get this straight: any man who heads to an EI [an unrecognized fraternity at American University] party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a girl’s room with her is a potential date rapist, OK? To cry “she was drunk too” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of hitting someone with your car while you were DUI and blaming them for being in the road.

    “Date rape” is not an incoherent concept: it’s rape, period. The lines of consent in sex – especially anonymous sex – can become very blurry, so better to be safe than sorry and not take advantage of someone who is drunk. If you think you can’t control yourself if you get inebriated and end up around women who are also drunk, then don’t walk into the EI party! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!

  6. mamaV says:

    The first thing that comes to my mind is the date rape victims that read this post, they already have a difficult time coming forward, and when reading something like this it just reinforces the thought that – you asked for it.

    College date rape is many times not even investigated because a girl didn’t cry for help, perhaps passed out or too drunk to fight. This is pathetic.

    So what hole did this moron Alex crawl out of? I looked at this posts but I didn’t want to spend the time reading is POS.
    mV

  7. McLauren84 says:

    Wow, I’m absolutely horrified. Some argue that this type of content falls under the mandate of free speech, but HATE does not qualify as free speech. If your words intentionally disrespect someone, they should not be published. If this guy wrote a racist rant instead of a blatantly sexist one, I’m thinking it would be flagged and removed. Shame on American University for this. I’m with mamaV; I just feel so bad for any date rape victims already struggling to overcome it who might have read that piece.

  8. Nell says:

    I’m seething at the guy, but as a guy-girl (someone who grew up with guys only and still gets guy-speak better than girl-speak or girl friends or girl behavior) I can see where Alex might be coming from.

    A lot of men like casual sex. Some women do, too. Those women tend to congregate in places that foster casual sexual encounters, e.g. frat parties. Not every drunk person appears drunk- one of my very good friends seems in complete possession of their wits while being so drunk they can’t remember what they did the night before.

    That said, most of the guys I know would rather be dead than have sex with an anonymous stranger without affirming thrice that they were certain, willingly consensual and in control of themselves. Honestly, though, some of his second comment resonates in me and my own conscious. I like partying a lot- I also like having my facilities not impaired to the point of memory loss (or rather memory overload). There IS such a thing as personal responsibility. Communication is key, no matter what your sex IMHO.

    I like the “don’t rape her” post referenced in the second to last link of Alex’s defense. I also think that as strong, emancipated women we are capable of saying no. Implying that all partying women will get drunk to the point of no return, thereby opening the door to date rape is as insulting as the idea that every frat guy will jump at that chance.

    Gender equality goes both ways. I’ve never really gotten into the Jezebel thing because I refuse to bend that principle. And I guess that’s what I get from Alex’s post, as clumsily worded as it may be- or maybe I’m reading something into his words. I think Gentleman 51 said it right- with the exception of his last three sentences which to me are superfluous, insulting and stooping to a level a man such as he has no need to stoop to IMHO. What I’m also missing in his reply is, once again, gender equality. His rules are applicable to women as well!

    All in all, to minimize risks, let me tell you that it IS possible to survive your college and uni years without ever attending a frat or sorority party.

    (it’s so much better to visit frat houses when there’s no party going on- billiards!)

    • lissa10279 says:

      Nell, I think the key is that personal responsibility cuts both ways — men and women. If a woman used Alex’s argument about men, she’d be just as asinine.

      I don’t personally think it’s a good thing to get so wasted you don’t know what’s happening to you (though we’ve all probably had our fair share of drunk moments, myself included!). But I *also *don’t think being wasted gives *anyone* the right to take advantage of you, either! There’s just no excuse.

      Imagine if college kids were more focused on taking CARE of one another vs taking ADVANTAGE?

      • Nell says:

        Sure it doesn’t! And if there was purpose or malice involved in getting someone drunk, that’s definitely outside the realm of that person’s responsibility and very much a criminal act in my eyes.

        I also think exploiting hopelessly drunk girls is malicious. Still, what I’m trying to say is that it’s people’s own freaking responsibility not to get so wasted as to think that following a (probably also drunk, therefore logically challenged) stranger to their room while the prospect of having sex is clearly in the air is a good idea. It’s hard enough to communicate intent right when everybody is in full possession of all their facilities, in a situation as mentioned it’s downright impossible unless you get very clear. So either remain un-drunk enough to say no, or place your hope on your own character.

        My mom had a scare when in college- she was slipped vodka and a date-rape drug in some juice she had (which is why she raised us to be paranoid about our glasses at parties). She ran off as soon as she realized she was getting woozy and managed to find a toilet where she could lock the door. She then proceeded to shout for help.

        I’m just saying- it’s rather easy to say no. And it’s unfair to place full responsibility on the guy whom one didn’t say it to.

  9. 1noelle says:

    How many times have we gone back and forth about if we like or don’t like a person or right at that critical moment you decide it is not what you want? That happens when SOBER!!!

    There are so many issues from the massive amounts of drinking that take place and the mass amounts of immaturity that can put a person in harms way.

    By no means should anyone think it is justified and assumed consent for sex if you attend a party and have drinks. It would be no different than a woman going to a bar.

    Then he thinks that because he is gay that would mean anything different? What does his sexual preference have to do with the idiotic and disgusting statements he made. Let’s hope he never has a daughter of his own!

  10. Anna says:

    Ughh. Why, AU, why! The Eagle (AU’s student newspaper) has really been taking a turn for the worst recently and this only pushes it further towards totally jumping the shark. I feel like Knepper represents the worst of AU and it makes me so sad to see our school’s name appear in headlines like this.

    • lissa10279 says:

      http://bit.ly/9YJIVM = WashPost article about it :(

      Anna, as an alum, it’s really sad to hear the downturn the Eagle has taken. This was a bad editorial decision — maybe on a personal blog, he could get away with this kind of venom. But in a university-sanctioned newspaper? Ugh.

      And like MamaV noted … for the victims of date rape who have been afraid to come forward — he plays into that fear that someone will say, well they asked for it.

      I call BS. No one asks for it, and no one deserves to be raped. Period.

  11. tammy says:

    While this is clearly disturbing, it’s not really a surprise. Women are continually seen as a piece of meat; use them however you wish. Young men are being taught this fact everyday in the media in dozens of ways. Why WOULDN’T they look at rape as just unconscious sex? If no one has taught them that it’s unacceptable and wrong, of course they’re going to partake.
    I also believe that young women need to be more responsible for their own behavior and to not put themselves into a potentially dangerous situation; that being said, no one deserves to be raped just because they were in the room and drunk.

  12. Sarah says:

    Lissa,

    I’m an AU alum too.. and I’m absolutely appalled as well. As much as I wish it was different, I can tell you from my experience with student government there that rape of any form isn’t taken seriously at all. I heard about a woman who was strong enough to report a rape and all her rapist got were JAMS session. Disgusting.

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