We don’t check in over at the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page all that often because of the paywall and also, too, because it is the Wall Street Journal, but we really couldn’t resist reading James Taranto’s latest bit of hateful nonsense, because we are gluttons for punishment and also because the Editrix made us. Taranto, if you are not familiar, critically lacks both empathy AND intelligence, so of course he decided to tackle the thorny issue of date rape. Except of course it is not at all a thorny issue for Taranto, because he pretty much cuts right to how there would be no rapes if women would just stop getting raped and also being such drunk sluts.
If two drunk drivers are in a collision, one doesn’t determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver’s sex. But when two drunken college students “collide,” the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.
We’re trying to sort out how dumb this is, but we keep passing out from repeatedly slamming our head against our desk. First, apportioning fault between drunk drivers isn’t really a great analogy unless one of those drivers FORCED THE OTHER TO DRIVE. Also, too, we know that poor menz are always getting hurt by how they just end up drunkenly forcing sex on unwilling women because of how they’re so drunk, but you know what, Taranto? If and when men start coming forward with a goddamn epidemic of sexual assault occurring upon their persons, we will actually address that issue then, rather than just creating a stupid straw man now. Finally (sorry, gonna get lawsplainy up in here) diminished capacity owing to alcohol generally cannot serve as a mitigating factor, you enormous twit. Rape is a general intent crime, which means that pretty much just doing the rape is all the intent you need, and therefore there’s no intoxication defense. Specific intent crimes, like premeditated murder, allow for a discussion of whether the intoxication was so great that intent couldn’t have been formed, but that is not the case here you dumb motherfucker.
If all that wasn’t derp enough, Taranto kicks it up a notch to explain that what would be way better is if you just make bystanders stop women from getting themselves raped, rather than stop dudes from doing the raping. Problem solved!
The main topic of [a piece in the New York Times by Michael Winerip] is a preventive program called “bystander intervention”: “Mostly it is common sense,” he writes: “If a drunk young man at a party is pawing a drunk young woman, then someone nearby (the bystander) needs to step in (intervene) and get one of them out of there. . . . The goal is to stop bad behavior before it crosses the line from drunken partying to sexual assault. . . . The hope is that bystander programs will have the same impact on campus culture that the designated driver campaign has had in reducing drunken driving deaths.”
It sounds quite sensible, not to mention shrewd. Bystanders are encouraged to favor subtlety over confrontation, to employ “diversions” such as “suddenly turning on the lights at a party or turning off the music; accidentally spilling a drink on the guy; forming a conga line and pulling him away from the woman he’s bothering and onto the dance floor. . . . In the best of circumstances, a drunken aggressor won’t realize he’s been had.”
We would love to live in this magical world where the sexual aggression is always in plain sight and can therefore always be diverted by a subtle spilled drink or conga line — wait. Conga line?? Has James Taranto been to a party in the last 25 years? Does he really think that such an activity will be seen as good fun rather than deeply weird? Where were we? Oh, yeah, raging at the dumbness of James Taranto, who does not seem to think it is at all troubling or internally contradictory to basically say that dudes are gonna rape ladies, which just can’t be helped, but if other random people would just step up, all this raping could be avoided and also, too, both sides do it ipso facto ladies are at fault too.
We are literally unable to process this level of dumb any longer. Our brains feel like we’ve been drinking for hours, sloshing around our skulls as we struggle to make sense of why is James Taranto. We’ve gotta go sleep this off. Back never.
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