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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Sex, drugs, responsibility “

Ladies, you really need to take some personal responsibility for your actions. This is just getting out of hand(job).

There are, to be sure, women who really are victims of legitimate sexual violence. This argument does not belittle or impugn their suffering or their deserving of justice in any way. Those who carry out violence against any person should be given due trial and brought to justice.

There is, however, a distinct margin of incidents of supposed sexual assault that fall into that dark crack between true rape and consensual liasons. The word “”rape”” is thrown around like a sobering slap in situation where the allegations are somewhat ambiguous. Especially for men, charges of rape turns business time into very serious business.

Men (or at least, usually men) have long postured that women who drink beyond the point of clear consent are “”asking for it.”” While a woman should never be forced into anything she does not explicitly want to do, women should start taking at least some degree of personal responsibility in incidents where consent is unclear.

If a woman is engaging in activities that might lead to her being in a situation in which questions regarding consent may be raised, one can’t reasonably waive all responsibility for the situation by saying, “”I was drunk.”” In vino veritas, but in wine is also responsibility. Sex and drinking are both adult activities, with good reason. OK, she wasn’t asking for it. But she must certainly acknowledge that when one drinks, one is aware of the possibility of the situation.

Blaming the victim of sexual assault is wrong, and a person should never be socially vilified for being assaulted. But in the conversation surrounding how to prevent future sexual assaults, women are accomplishing little by trying to make the drunk girl who regrets the night into the pedestal-perched superlative victim.

In preventing sexual assault, women should take all the classic measures to prevent making a decision they will regret: go to parties with reliable friends, know you alcohol limits and don’t lay down on a guy’s bed in your Cuervo-fueled stupor unless you really are asking for it. Be smart, but most importantly: take responsibility for your actions. Don’t ruin a guy’s night (and life) with a rape charge because you got a little too drunk and went a little too far.

The nadir of this entire heaving, sweaty problem is the societal stigma against female sexual self-determination. Why are women tempted to blame the man? Society dictates that women are not allowed to want casual sex, and if they have it, it must be the fault of a man who took advantage of some poor quivering fawn in six-inch stiletto boots. But women need to realize that no matter what society dictates, each woman makes her own individual decisions regarding both drinking and sex. If a woman is sexually active, she should acknowledge that she is pursuing sexual encounters not because of outside factors like peer pressure, or men, or Patron.

The phenomenon of the too-drunk girl claiming she has been drugged and leveling charges of rape against a man because she regrets the night only moves the culture backward in terms of preventing future sexual assaults and in securing sexual equality for women. Granted, changing a culture is more difficult than opening a front-closure bra after half a bottle of Sauza. But to prevent future sexual assaults, promote female sexual self-determination and improve men’s consideration of women, women should take some responsibility for their actions. Women would accomplish more in terms of sexual equality by unapologetically owning accountability for their sexual actions and desires than they will by trying to make the girl who goes too far and regrets it into a symbol of the victimized-female masses. You can want sex, and you don’t have to be a victim.

— Anna Swenson is a creative writing sophomore.

She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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