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Opening Arguments

Drunken double standard

Somebody else is writing about an issue that has bugged me for years:

Winerip notes that between 2005 and 2010, “more than 60 percent of claims involving sexual violence handled by United Educators”–an insurance company owned by member schools–”involved young women who were so drunk they had no clear memory of the assault.” We know from Sgt. Cournoyer that the accused young men typically are drinking to excess, too. What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike. (Based on our reporting, the same is true in the military, at least in the enlisted and company-grade officer ranks.)

Which points to a limitation of the drunk-driving analogy. 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.

As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes, at some campuses the accuser’s having had one drink is sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt. . . . In theory that means, as FIRE notes, that “if both parties are intoxicated during sex, they are both technically guilty of sexually assaulting each other.” In practice it means that women, but not men, are absolved of responsibility by virtue of having consumed alcohol.

That is self-evidently unjust, yet it turns out to be a matter of high principle for many feminists. Last fall Slate’s Emily Yoffe, the mother of a college-age daughter, was the target of a Two Minutes Hate for a post titled “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk,” even though she offered the same advice to college men: “If I had a son, I would tell him that it’s in his self-interest not to be the drunken frat boy who finds himself accused of raping a drunken classmate.”

The double standard is glaringly obvious. Both are drunk, yet only the woman is forgiven her drunken behavior. We're not talking here about the old-fashioned "guy tries to get her drunk so he can get in her pants" ploy from days gone by, but college kids who overindulge by mutual consent and then engage in uninhibited behavior. The girl is excused for her behavior, the boy punished for his.

I think (or at least I hope) it's "high principle for many feminists" only of the extreme "What are men good for?" variety personified by Hanna Rosin:

At the end of the classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day off, after the credits role and the music stops, actor Matthew Broderick shatters the fourth wall and tells the audience, “It’s over. Go home.”

Hanna Rosin has essentially the same message for human males. It’s over. For you.

Rosin is making a career out of writing that the traits that have made men successful throughout time are out of phase in modern society.

She insists she’s writing more in sorrow than in anger with her book The End of Men, her lengthy article on the end of men in The Atlantic magazine, and her latest essay on the topic in TIME magazine. “Toronto’s mayor, a shining example of modern manhood, is what I would call the canary in the coal mine, only he’s not quite as delicate as the canary,” Rosin begins.

Well, using Ford to represent manhood would be akin to using Miley Cyrus to represent womanhood.

Not quite ready to call it quits yet. Don't see any Valentines in her mailbox this Friday.