Apr 18, 2012
commented on Savage Love Episode 286
Let's start from the top: Rape is sex without consent. Someone cannot legally get consent from a person who is intoxicated. Who is responsible for getting consent? The person initiating sex. If the caller was blackout drunk, the woman who had been stalking him could not possibly have had his consent for sex.
Even if the drunk person is begging for it, you cannot have their consent. I had a friend in college who became a tough guy whenever he got drunk. He would ask people to punch him in the stomach and in the face, telling them that he wouldn't feel a thing. As much as he begged, even grabbing my hand and trying to slam my knuckles against his jaw, I never hit him. Why? Cuz that's an asshole move, and I don't want to be labeled an asshole. Likewise, the stalker had sex with the caller without his consent. She is a rapist.
Why do so many people want to let this stalker off the hook?
Having had a prior sexual relationship doesn't mean that the stalkerwoman had the caller's consent. Following that logic, we could all be having sex with our former partners without their expressed consent and be protected. Which gets dicey if they're in new committed monogamous relationships or marriages. If someone is raped, being drunk, or having admitted to being "a drinker," doesn't absolve a rapist from having committed rape. If that were the case, I could steal your wallet whenever you've been drinking and not be called a thief. Rape is not an appropriate consequence for someone being drunk. In case you're wondering, the appropriate consequence for being drunk is being hungover.
The majority of rapes that are committed are done so using alcohol or drugs as a means to put the victim in a vulnerable state. In our culture, where drinking (and, specifically binge drinking) is a norm in social interactions, alcohol is the #1 date rape drug. And most survivors would say that they drank willingly. That doesn't make this stalker's behavior any less creepy and predatory. All she did was realize that he was vulnerable and take advantage of the situation.
Unfortunately, Dan outlines only 2 possible outcomes for this survivor of rape: that it wasn't rape, or that he was raped and "someone goes to jail." There's another option: That it was rape, and whether or not he takes legal action, he can go and get counseling. Unfortunately most rapes aren't even reported, and since our culture is one that protects rapists (as evidenced by all the victim-blaming, bullshit excuse-filled posts above), many survivors don't report for many reasons, including one that Dan points out: The caller is less likely to be believed because he is a guy. Male survivors of rape often don't even get counseling to help themselves because they often don't know what resources exist for men, and/or because many rape victim advocacy programs are housed in womens' centers. That's starting to change, but as long as rape is considered a "women's issue," many male survivors won't get the help they need.
Bottom line, the caller went out, and got drunk at a party. How many of us have done that before? Does that mean we all deserve to be raped? Reading through some of the posts above, it sounds like a lot of people think we do. So what if the caller didn't delete her number, so what if he answered the phone? The stalker was unable to get his consent, it was rape. No grey area involved.