This one involves MRAs, Wooly Bumblebee, and the details of sexual assault. It’s not pretty.
Earlier this month, I wrote about being very cautious about alcohol after being sexually assaulted by someone who had used alcohol to incapacitate me. I’ve written about the assault before. I usually link the story when I talk about it. I didn’t this time because I knew what was coming and didn’t feel like having the details hauled out and mocked.
That choice has resulted in some…interesting criticisms. We have Reap Paden trying to tell me that I was writing about being an alcoholic. (Uh, no.) And then there’s Wooly Bumblebee:
This one is perfect for @szvan and her beer goggles: [A Voice for Men link] #VictimCard #WomanUp #PersonalResponsibility
Beer goggles. I mention being sexually assaulted while under the influence and she talks about–
All right. Let’s just look at the post she’s linking. If you want to see the whole thing, clicking on the picture above will get you to her tweet. I’m not improving their Google rank for this crap. The title is “You weren’t raped. Join the club.”
There is a little bit of irony here, in that Wooly Bumblebee accidentally got something right. I wasn’t raped. The sexual assault I experienced didn’t meet the legal definition of rape. Of course, everything else, both about her and about the article is dead wrong.
You see, the article is yet one more exercise in claiming that the combination of alcohol and lack of consent is about regret, not rape, not a premeditated crime. It wants you to have a story already in mind when you hear that someone was raped or assaulted while drunk. The problem, of course, is that the narrative they’re desperate for you to accept bears no resemblance to what actually happens. Want to see? Just compare the “beer goggles” scenario that Wooly Bumblebee claims to what actually happened.
Their idea of how this goes?
They get dressed up in their best whore clothes, head out to a frat party, drink their faces off, end up in bed with some guy they wouldn’t normally touch with a ten yard pole, wake up the next morning feeling like a total slutbag and then, it happens:
Someone must be to blame for this! I can’t possibly have gotten shitfaced and exercised some really poor judgement. “Moi? Ce n’est pas possible! I am an innocent blushing virgin with impeccable moral standards. Why, only whores get smashed and fuck random guys in a frat house, and I am not a whore so JESUS MOTHER OF GOD I WAS RAPED!”
Bitch, please. You weren’t raped. You were trashed.
What really happened?
I was fifteen and sitting in the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot at UW-Stout on Christmas Eve eve.
Some frat party. Those empty parking lots are real meat markets, you know. Also, I’m pretty sure my “best whore clothes” don’t include a winter coat.
I do remember being offered a rum and Coke. My friend, who at eighteen was hoping she was pregnant, didn’t drink anything. I’m not sure whether I had a second drink.
I’m not chatty, so I didn’t really notice how hard I’d been hit until it was time to climb out of the back of the truck and back into the cab. If I didn’t have a second drink and the rum wasn’t 151, I was drugged.
That’s an inclusive “and”. A couple of small paper cups worth of rum and coke isn’t supposed to equate to drinking one’s face off. But I wasn’t controlling the amount of alcohol in my drinks. That was “some guy [I] normally wouldn’t touch with a ten yard [sic] pole”.
Also, I did have plans to have sex that evening–with a guy I hadn’t met even. I had no illusions that this made me a whore. Nor did I think it was a bad idea. I just thought I should have some say in who my partner was. You know, the way the law and basic decency suggest.
On track would have been meeting the guy to whom I was going to “lose” my virginity. Virginity didn’t actually mean anything to me, but mine was getting annoying. I kid you not, there were two guys, uncle and nephew but very close in age, arguing over which one of them was going to take my virginity nine months down the road when I turned sixteen and was legal.
I had other plans, which included shutting these guys up already. They also included the younger brother of the fiance of a friend of mine.
They most decidedly did not include his father, who was the asshole mixing my drinks. Nor did it take until morning for me to be unhappy about this.
He insisted that I sit between him and my friend. Then he unzipped his pants and explained that unless and until I “lent him a hand,” we weren’t going anywhere.
So I did. I was too intoxicated to think to counter-threaten with the fact that he’d already committed one federal felony by hauling me across state lines to get me drunk. I had nowhere to go, because I was trapped between him and my sober, silent “friend.” My one coherent thought was that this would be a very useful time for that passing out thing some people did around alcohol. I did that too.
I couldn’t stay passed out through the whole ride home, though, probably because it wasn’t safe. So there are nightmare flashes here and there of streetlamp illumination moving at freeway speeds.
There wasn’t any bed, either. Every single detail of how it isn’t really rape or sexual assault when she’s been drinking is wrong, with the possible exception of one.
No, we don’t live in a rape culture. We live in a “Don’t You Bitches Have Any Friends?” culture. Me and The Princess have our fair share of experience dancing like madwomen in our lingerie in night clubs filled with horny men who were starting looking like the cast of Ocean’s Twelve after that last appletini. Many nights ended with crazy slobbery make-out sessions with “the dude who looks exactly like Brat Pitt” (except when we looked at him in daylight later).
Here’s the thing: we protected each other. Not from the guy who looked like Brad Pitt through our appletini-googles. We protected each other from our own bad judgement. “Rape culture” theory holds men, and only men, responsible for what women do.
Yeah, I had a person with me I thought was a friend. The thing is, the person she should have been protecting me from was, in fact, that guy. Even if she’d done it by substituting her good judgment where my drunken judgment failed (“Take us home right now! You don’t want to be caught with a drunk minor in another state.”), she still would have been protecting me from him. He never looked like Brad Pitt, just like that nasty, creepy old guy who held the keys to the truck and my way home.
And no, I didn’t hold him responsible for what she did.
She never said anything to me about why she didn’t try to stop it.
Every few years, she sends a note saying she’d like to catch up. She sent another one yesterday.
I don’t answer those. He was the criminal in that situation, but she, despite what the MRAs would like you to believe, is part of that rape culture that doesn’t intervene and just assumes this sort of thing is going to happen as though no one were responsible for it. It took them both for me to end up in that situation.
The post at A Voice for Men would like you to come away with this message:
Women and men who really were brutalized aren’t helped by your phony version of a rape culture. In fact the rape culture you create with your lack of personal responsibility, your “I’m a pure snowflake and men are sex maniacs who oppress me” mentality makes it worse for people who were truly hurt and not just regretful.
So embrace your inner slut. Or trust your friends when they tell you it’s time to say nighty-night to appletini-Brad. Or you know, shut the fuck up. Take your pick.
This “you” they claim to be talking to? She doesn’t exist, not as a cultural phenomenon. She’s the myth that people who want to deny the reality of rape and sexual assault assume when they hear the word “alcohol”. You know, just like Wooly Bumblebee did to me.
Want to talk about “womaning up” and “personal responsibility”? Fine. I hold her, the author of that post, the people who published it at A Voice for Men, and everyone who opens their idiotic traps to repeat the myth personally responsible for all the rapes that continue to go unreported and unpunished under the false accusation of “regret”.