?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Alcohol, Rape, and Bristol Palin

Last week, Ta-Nehisi Coates blogged about the following excerpts from Bristol Palin’s memoir:

Bristol proceeds to down wine cooler after wine cooler, as she “slowly surrendered to their woozy charms.” (Pg. 3) Levi keeps replacing her finished wine coolers with new ones, and soon Bristol hits “that awful wall” that takes her from a “happy buzz” into “the dark abyss of drunkenness.” (Pg. 3) The last thing she remembers is sitting by the fire and laughing with friends, and doesn’t remember waking up in her tent the next morning “with something obviously askew.”

Bristol awakens in her tent, with no recollection of the night before. She looks over and sees Levi’s empty sleeping bag right beside hers, and hears Levi and his friends “outside the tent laughing.” (Pg. 3) Bristol quickly texts her friend to get over to the tent, and she immediately pops over and tells her, “You definitely had sex with Levi.” (Pg. 4)

Coates asks the question, “Isn’t that rape?” In a follow-up post, Coates adds that the implication of nonconsent comes from another quote:

“Suddenly, I wondered why it was called ‘losing your virginity,’” Bristol writes. “Because it felt more like it had been stolen.”

Um … from my reading, the “implication” of nonconsent comes from the fact that she describes being intoxicated to the point where she couldn’t even remember the events of the previous night.

Naturally, the very first comment to Coates’ article accuses Palin of lying. So damn predictable.

I don’t know what happened between Palin and Johnston. But I do know the scenario described here is a common one. Using alcohol to lower a woman’s inhibitions is a frequently-used tactic. It was a freaking punchline in Friends. “Hey, let’s get you another cocktail!”

Let me put this as clearly as I can. If consent is not given freely, then it’s not consent. If you need to get her drunk, it’s not consent. If you need to threaten her, it’s not consent. If you need to slip something into her drink, it’s not consent.

If the other person doesn’t consent? That’s rape.

The situation Bristol Palin describes? That is not consent. And unfortunately, it’s very common.

So if you’re planning to get someone drunk in the hopes of “getting lucky,” you’re not planning to get laid. You’re planning to commit rape.

Any questions?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Tags:

Comments

( 264 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
mastadge
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
But being drunk doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do! It just lowers your inhibitions against doing the things you really do want to do! Like hypnosis!
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Hard to tell online, so just to be sure, this is sarcasm, yes?
(no subject) - mastadge - Jun. 30th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Jun. 30th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - con_girl - Jun. 30th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mastadge - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eclectic_writer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Jun. 30th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 1st, 2011 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
It's one of the things we ran into a lot with clients who could describe what happened but talked around the word. Often we had people who would describe something like this but just didn't identify or understand how it could be rape. (In part, I suspect, because the "Get her drunk!" strategy is so pervasive and common...)
(no subject) - ginmar - Jul. 1st, 2011 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
peachtess
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
Wow. I don't know much about the Palin's due to ignoring all the stuff about the family, specifically the kids, because I don't agree with dragging them out into the public spotlight (even in situations when the parent is doing the dragging).
This information about Bristol does put the whole "scandal" of her being pregnant into an entirely different light. Bristol having to apologize for her "mistake" and stand in front of everyone with her rapist by her side during the election. Honestly my heart goes out to her. This does not cast her Mom in a good light if she knew.

People will claim on that she is lying and doing this to sell a book. I'm really sick of the responsibility of proof that it happened falling on the victim and not proof that it didn't on the accused in situations of rape.
pretzelcoatl
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
I've been so annoyed at people on both sides of the political spectrum trying to blame her for this happening. NEWS FLASH: Just because you don't like someone (or rather, their mom), that doesn't undo what happened and doesn't make it okay.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Reactions to stories of rape are ugly enough. Through in the "Palin" name, and it gets even worse...
celli
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
My heart just hurts for her.
cissa
Jul. 4th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Well, yeah- but my heart would hurt more if she were not cashing on on it, which she is.
(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you want to go there? Your first question after reading a description of what to me appears a clear-cut rape is not about the rapist, but about what the victim did wrong.

Possible answers? Peer pressure. Not being familiar enough with alcohol to recognize how much she's had. And maybe she did ask him to stop, I don't know.

I've never been drunk myself. Don't like alcohol. And that doesn't matter in the slightest. If someone gets drunk, that doesn't in any way justify or excuse another person choosing to rape them.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - radiumhead - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_jackalope - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pantryslut - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - pantryslut - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pantryslut - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pantryslut - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jennygadget - Jul. 1st, 2011 08:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rowyn - Jul. 3rd, 2011 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serialbabbler - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neva_butterfly - Jun. 30th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - nancylebov - Jul. 1st, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rowyn - Jul. 3rd, 2011 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swords_and_pens - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eclectic_writer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cereta - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - cereta - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pantryslut - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Jun. 30th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - akiko - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jadedissola - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Jun. 30th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sodzilla - Jul. 1st, 2011 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - natf - Jul. 7th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eclectic_writer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dichroic - Jun. 30th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - samhenderson - Jul. 1st, 2011 03:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dulcinbradbury - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jennygadget - Jul. 1st, 2011 08:12 am (UTC) - Expand
swords_and_pens
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Let me put this as clearly as I can. If consent is not given freely, then it’s not consent. If you need to get her drunk, it’s not consent. If you need to threaten her, it’s not consent. If you need to slip something into her drink, it’s not consent.

If the other person doesn’t consent? That’s rape.

The situation Bristol Palin describes? That is not consent. And unfortunately, it’s very common.

So if you’re planning to get someone drunk in the hopes of “getting lucky,” you’re not planning to get laid. You’re planning to commit rape.

Let me put this as clearly as I can. If consent is not given freely, then it’s not consent. If you need to get her drunk, it’s not consent. If you need to threaten her, it’s not consent. If you need to slip something into her drink, it’s not consent.

If the other person doesn’t consent? That’s rape.

--snip--

So if you’re planning to get someone drunk in the hopes of “getting lucky,” you’re not planning to get laid. You’re planning to commit rape.


Thank you for putting it this succinctly. I'm going to use this as a reference card when I talk to my son when he gets a wee bit older. Not enough people spell it out as plainly as this, especially when talking about all the other various aspects of sexual interaction, and that's just frustrating.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
So often we just don't talk about it at all, especially to boys and men. I wish more people would have this discussion with their sons (since they're the ones least likely to hear it).
cathshaffer
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Being blacked out is not the same thing as being unconscious. I think it's a valid question whether a person who is seriously intoxicated can consent, but she may well have been a conscious and willing participant, even though she didn't remember it later. I don't know if Levi deliberately plied her with liquor in order to get into her pants, or whether he just thought he was being nice.

This sort of thing, however, seems to have become the default sex life for young people, and it's pretty icky. I regret the loss of love and meaning for people caught up in this subculture, and even if Bristol wasn't raped, al ot of young women ARE being raped in this type of scenario, every weekend.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
"I think it's a valid question whether a person who is seriously intoxicated can consent..."

Why is this a question? Under what circumstances could a seriously intoxicated person give consent?
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theguindo - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theguindo - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theguindo - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jul. 1st, 2011 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sodzilla - Jul. 1st, 2011 04:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dulcinbradbury - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ruthless1 - Jun. 30th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jul. 1st, 2011 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sodzilla - Jul. 1st, 2011 04:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jul. 1st, 2011 11:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sodzilla - Jul. 1st, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - funwithrage - Jul. 1st, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xhollydayx - Jul. 2nd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - madmoisellestar - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
dulcinbradbury
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
“Suddenly, I wondered why it was called ‘losing your virginity,’” Bristol writes. “Because it felt more like it had been stolen.”

I was raised in a Catholic culture. And I remember this feeling in myself & seeing how it affected others?

Yes, Catholics and even most (if not all?) conservative Christians will tell you that rape doesn't count.

But virginity is equated to virtue. To goodness. "Good" Catholics wait until marriage. And virginity is treated as a binary physical thing -- either you're a virgin or you're not.

So... once you've crossed that line? Well... you're already ruined right?

So... I had the friend who had an older man get her drunk and rape her on a cruise when she was maybe fifteen. She painted it as an exciting, daring thing at the time. She had a miscarriage at seventeen that she hid from her mother, due to another drunken, statutory rape. And all along, she covered the truth of the situation with an attachment to 60s "free love" culture. She tried to paint herself as worldly and glamorous, while confessing in whispers that she was afraid that she'd ruin her mother's reputation.

So at eighteen, as I put together the things that happened to me, I had to contend with the feelings of being "ruined". Of having had something taken from me that I could never get back.

I wonder if Bristol kept having sex with him after this. Because well, she'd already lost her virginity, so it was too late right? And if you're not calling it "rape" to yourself, especially if it's someone you've been infatuated with and trusted, well...

At that point, a guy doesn't even have to keep lowering her inhibitions -- he's potentially broken her will to resist.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunately very normal to feel that shame, to blame yourself ... even to punish yourself for what someone else chose to do.

I'm having trouble keeping up with comments, but I did want to say that I hope you've been able to start to move past that ruined feeling and recognize that it wasn't your fault.
(no subject) - dulcinbradbury - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theguindo - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
eclectic_writer
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU!!

Thank you thank you thank you.

You're awesome. If you aren't told that enough, well, that's a crying shame.

Bristol's story is almost exactly like my first time (except I remember how I acted) and her summary of "losing" is so very, very true.

This very thing (and how I respond to alcohol) is why I don't drink any more...

Thank you.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear that. But I think the fact that your story and Palin's are so common is exactly the reason we need to be talking about this more...
barbarienne
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
I hope that someday Bristol uses her celebrity to address this issue. If she finds the strength to use "the r-word" and speak out against date rape from personal experience, she could do a lot of good.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
That could be very powerful indeed...
matociquala
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
Testify.
mme_hardy
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
My God, that's horrible.
the_jackalope
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad this sort of discussion is happening. Even in spite of all the rather infuriating rape apology comments that are also part of the discussion. Because if this can convince just one person that getting someone drunk in order to have sex with them is wrong then I think that's great.
jimhines
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
Same here. (And if you think the comments here are bad, DO NOT GO TO THE MAIN BLOG POST ON MY SITE.)
(no subject) - the_jackalope - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Jul. 1st, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_jackalope - Jul. 1st, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
jadedissola
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of astounded by some victim blaming in some of the comments above.

If a person is drunk, they cannot legally consent. Period. I don't care if you've had sex while drunk and felt okay about it. You went into it probably knowing sex would happen and you were fine with it, but it seems clear to me that if you're talking about something being stolen from you after sex that you weren't planning on having sex.

It doesn't matter what a victim was doing when she was raped. What matters is that she was raped and the fault for that lies with the rapist alone.
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
( 264 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Snoopy
jimhines
Jim C. Hines
Website

Tags

Latest Month

August 2019
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow