Friday, April 14, 2006

Rape

On his blog, a local radio host links to a story about an alleged rape victim being found passed out, and asks:
Hmmm. Is it possible that these guys didn't rape this woman? Is it possibe that the liberal MSM, Duke officials, and law enforcement jumped to conclusions? Is it possible they all rushed to do this because this was a black woman issuing the complaint against white guys?

I'm just asking.
While anything is possible, the evidence that she was passed out actually strengthens her case. I haven't been following the story of the rape by the Duke lacrosse team, so I can't comment more broadly. But having sex with someone who is drunk, let alone passed out, is rape. Someone passed out cannot give permission. Most state laws, including Kansas', set out specifically that having sex with someone impaired by drugs or alcohol is rape, by definition.

The only way her being drunk could be seen as an excuse is if you assume that getting drunk constitutes consent. That's absurd on its face, but let's play around with the idea, which is a specific instance of the classic "she was asking for it" defense. Her drinking, her clothes, her attending the event – whatever –
is consent, so it's OK for a lacrosse team to have their way with her.

Assuming, arguendo, that this is coherent, where does it leave us. She gave consent by getting drunk. Who did she give consent to? To do what? If getting drunk is some sort of blanket consent for anyone to do anything, any of the drunk lacrosse players could have raped a team mate. Why would he have been drunk at the party if he didn't want to have sex?

The notion that she implicitly gave consent, or yielded her right to exert control over her own body, is horrifically sexist. Since I've invested exactly zero time learning the background of the story, I can't say whether the rape allegations are credible or not on their face, but this is evidence in her favor, not against it. The only way to spin it around is to assume that she only has the right to refuse sex, not the inherent right to grant sex. If the boys took it without consent, that was rape. Period.