Stop Telling Women Not to Drink; Tell Men Not to Rape
Emily Yoffe column slammed as victim blaming
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 17, 2013 10:10 AM CDT
Protesters, who did not want to be identified, hold signs outside of the Jefferson County Justice Center and Jail in Steubenville, Ohio, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.    (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lisa DeJong)

(Newser) – Slate columnist Emily Yoffe is taking a lot of heat for yesterday's column imploring women not to get wasted, lest they "end up being raped," with other writers pointing out that it smacks of victim blaming. (You can read our summary of the original here.) Here's what people are saying:

  • "This is the very definition of rape culture. And it is so completely tired," writes Katie McDonough at Salon. "Let's start with this: Our culture is not, and never has been, 'reluctant' to tell women to stop doing things. In fact, people build entire careers around it."

  • "If alcohol plays a role in so many rapes, then ostensibly encouraging men to stop drinking excessively would prevent rapists," points out Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel. "If you locked me in a room with a handle of vodka ... at no point would a rapist materialize from the ether to sexually assault me. Drunk potential victims don't make rapists appear." Yet Yoffe's piece only focuses on the role of alcohol in creating victims.
  • Katarina Gligorijevic took this concept and ran with it, rewriting Yoffe's piece in a post by changing the references to gender. Example: "We are failing to let men know that when they drink to excess, they can end up becoming these very perpetrators. … That's not villainizing men; that's trying to prevent them from becoming rapists."
  • "Rape is a societal problem, not a self-help issue," writes fellow Slate writer Amanda Hess. "Rape has been a popular tool for subjugating women long before they joined in the 'butt-chugging' craze." Yoffe tweeted that she wanted to warn women "that there are rapists who use alcohol, not violence." But that just reinforces "the idea that rape does not constitute a violent crime if alcohol is involved."
  • But Megan McArdle at Bloomberg comes to Yoffe's defense, writing that when people come to visit her, she warns them not to go down streets where people tend to get robbed. "That doesn't mean that I'm saying mugging is OK, much less that I'm somehow in league with mugging culture."

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Showing 3 of 97 comments
Oct 20, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
Maybe some women are drinking because they aren't getting enough of that "hot stuff?"
Oct 18, 2013 5:16 PM CDT
Getting wasted is dumb for anyone. You may wreck your car, shoot someone, get mugged, commit rape, or be raped. Everyone, especially the young, needs to understand that getting wasted can result in very negative consequences, including death. My son was mugged once while he was taking a leak behind a bar after closing. He tried to play the victim. I told him he was lucky to be alive, and that responsible people aren't at bars after closing and peeing outdoors.
James Downie
Oct 18, 2013 2:29 PM CDT
No, its not at all the viticim's fault if they get raped. But getting wasted isn't exactly helping the situation. Rapists are going to target you if you are drunk. So maybe drinking with care around certain company or while out in certain places would be a good way of self-prevention. You are less likely to be raped if you are sober. Just the same as you are less likely to get mugged if you keep in a group and avoid sketchy areas late at night. Rapists are gonna rape and muggers are gonna mug. Is Yoffe distracting from the real issue? Sure. Is she putting too much blame on the victim? Perhaps. Does she make a valid point? Yes, yes she does. Sit all your politically correct asses down.