Date Rape: It's the Rapist's Fault

A number of comments made by prominent figures in the past few weeks’ have brought rise to an ugly but familiar topic: date rape.

Last week, community member and former George Washington University president, Stephen Trachtenburg, said that women should “have to be trained not to drink in excess” in order to prevent being raped. A Fox News panel, made up of mostly women, came to a similar conclusion in response to his comments.

Meanwhile, on Labor Day, pop star Cee Lo Green implied in a series of tweets that nonconsensual sex only qualifies as rape if the woman is conscious. Then, Dartmouth graduate Andrew Lohse released a tell-all book about his experiences in a fraternity that accuses fraternity culture of promoting rape.

Lastly, the past week brought the news of the invention of a nail polish that changes colors to indicate date rape drugs are in a drink when a finger is dipped in it. These news pieces spurred talking heads to do what they do best: compete to make the most outrageous comments possible in a farcical debate of the issue. But in the case of rape and its victims, there needn’t be a debate.

Let us be clear: rape is never the victim’s fault. It is the rapist’s fault.

A woman getting drunk should not and does not give predators license to rape. Are men so animalistic that they have no self-restraint when encountering an inebriated woman?

There are predators in our society that people should be wary of. Men and women both have the ability to get themselves into compromising situations when it comes to alcohol and sex. Yes, tools like date rape drug detecting nail polish can help women avoid getting drugged, but the onus shouldn’t be on them.

We need to change the conversation and our culture more broadly so that sex is not treated as conquest. By obscuring the two, not only we not only objectify sex partners but we also essentially turn having sex into a right of someone who has gone through certain steps, like dates. Sex is a privilege, not a right.

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Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:03:40 -0400

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