Peter Hitchens—the younger, dumber, assholier, and even more incoherent brother of professional fuckhead Christopher Hitchens—has now thrown his two pence into the Daily Mail's stupendously thoughtful salon on how women should stop getting themselves raped. The summary of Hitchens' article is:
Women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not. No, this does not excuse rape. But it does mean a rape victim who was drunk deserves less sympathy.—and it only gets worse, way worse, from there.
There are so many jaw-droppingly stupid contentions in this piece, I hardly know where to begin; it's just one utterly daft statement after another. So I'll just begin at the beginning: Hitchens asserts in his opening paragraph that "Women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not get drunk" as if it is fact, without citation. But last year, the UK Home Office analyzed reported rape cases in England and Wales from 2003-2004 and found that "there was some evidence of alcoholic consumption by the victim prior to the offence (although not necessarily intoxication) in 31 per cent of cases." It would be inaccurate to extrapolate that data to include non-reported rapes, especially when having been drinking before being raped can be a deterrent to reporting (thanks in large part to articles just like this one), but there is also simply no evidence to back up Hitchens' bold claim that "women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not get drunk." And it's unbelievably irresponsible for the Mail to have put that balderdash out there like it's fact.
Because it will be treated as if it is, truth be damned.
Hitchens goes on to say that rape is "the inevitable result of the collapse of sexual morality," which is just classic. Evidently, he's unaware that rape pre-dates the Pill, or whatever equivalent boogeyman he'd cite as the linchpin of moral decline. Not only does rape pre-date the Pill, the sexual revolution, miniskirts, Madonna, and "hysterical ultra-feminist propaganda" (as Hitchens loves to refer to the idea that rapists are solely responsible for rape), it also pre-dates marriage—and whatever other accoutrements of Hitchens' "sexual morality" he fancies protect women against rape.
The rape of women is as old as penises.
The truth is, Hitchens and men like him aren't lamenting a time when rape didn't exist; they're lamenting a time when women didn't have the legal means or cultural precedent to challenge being raped. They're lamenting a time when a word like "rape" didn't even exist, when every decent person knew that gents occasionally had their way with ladies and that was just the way of the world; it wasn't a crime, for heaven's sake! Back in the good old days, if a lady said no, you just took her—and it was merely proof she wasn't a lady of virtue to begin with, but a filthy slattern who hadn't deserved better in the first place.
I cannot see why women who ignore the wisdom of the ages, and make themselves more likely to be victims by drinking too much, should get the same size cheque as women who are raped despite acting responsibly.See? Filthy slatterns.
Hitchens goes on to explain he finds absurd the concept that an intoxicated woman isn't responsible for being raped:
Of course she is culpable, just as she would be culpable if she crashed a car and injured someone while drunk, or stepped out into the traffic while drunk and was run over.At this point, as you can see, Hitchens has totally lost the plot. Indeed, "getting drunk" is not something that happens to you—but getting raped is. Comparing getting behind the wheel of a car and getting held down and forcibly penetrated without consent is patently ludicrous, not to mention about as divorced from the actual experience of being raped as I can imagine. Essentially, Hitchens' argument is that women should be responsible for their choices, without ever acknowledging that rape isn't a fucking choice.
Getting drunk is not something that happens to you. It is something you do.
And the only way his tortured argument to hold women responsible for their rape if they've been drinking (but not, for example, for "dressing provocatively") is by arguing that being intoxicated puts a woman at greater risk of being raped, which isn't even true. But what if it were? Women aged 18-22 in the US who attend university are more likely to be raped than women who don't. Would Hitchens argue that female university students are therefore "partially culpable" in their own rapes? I mean, getting an education is presumably "acting responsibly," but it's also engaging in high-risk (for rape) behavior. What a conundrum! Who to blame…?
But Hitchens doesn't have time for such hysterical ultra-feminist propaganda and zany thought experiments proposed by feminazi rape victims. He's got to explain why "the feminist thought police" are full of shit with their whole "You may be a victim-blaming rape apologist if…" routine.
[B]eing drunk – which makes you miss danger signals, make bad judgments, lose consciousness in unsafe places and then lose your memory, too – [is not] comparable with 'dressing provocatively' as the feminist thought police would like to pretend.Isn't he charming? He likes to see some skin, so let's not start blaming women for that, or else women might deny him his free porn by shrouding themselves in burqas, like they do in Muslim countries, where, of course, there is no rape. (It's positively adorable how he disdains extremist Muslim men and yet shares so much in common with them, by the way.)
If women want to dress provocatively, then they should be free to do so, and I say thanks a lot to those who do.
Our society is based on self-restraint. We can be provoked and still behave ourselves. We do not need to compel women to dress like bats, as many Muslim countries do, so as to curb the unchained passions of hot-blooded menfolk.
What I wonder, however, is this: If men can be provoked and still behave themselves, then why is it that women who drink are acting irresponsibly and must take some personal responsibility if they are raped? If men can be provoked and still behave themselves, then so what if a woman drinks and passes out naked in the middle of Trafalgar Square? If our society's based on self-restraint, then why not expect men to restrain themselves from raping, no matter the circumstance?
It's continually amazing to me how many men are eminently willing to suggest, in the same breath, that men can "behave themselves" yet all have potential rapists lurking within, given the right set of circumstances.
Like a woman who's had a drink.
But don't worry, lads—if you rape her, it's partly her fault.
[H/T to Shaker Debra.]