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Sexual consent: yes, no, maybe

By Bettina Arndt - posted Friday, 8 September 2017

This argument is insulting to women and unfair to men suggests Canadian men's rights activist and YouTube vlogger, Karen Straughan: "In the feminist narrative regarding drunkenness and sex only men retain agency. Women are reduced to infantilized objects without the capacity for volition. She was drunk. Enough said. She bears no responsibility. Yet the drunken man's identical decision is subject to heightened scrutiny. He instigated the entire thing, and his drunkenness does not absolve him of responsibility, but in effect, makes him more morally culpable."

Isn't it odd that we encourage female responsibility in other aspects of life such as persuading young women not to drink and drive? They know they'll face the consequences if they get plastered, drive and kill a pedestrian. Being drunk isn't an excuse if they stab a homeless man to death, or molest a child. Where's the logic in women not being in any way accountable if they get drunk and make stupid decisions exposing themselves to sexual harm?

This is a hot button issue for our drug and alcohol organisations who readily supply international data showing the clear link between intoxication and risk of sexual assault. "It's well known that both victims and perpetrators of assaults and sexual assault have often been drinking prior to the event but this is largely ignored in the public debate," says Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. Thorn is frustrated that data on drinking by both victims and perpetrators of violence is not being systematically collected or reported and he suggests the issue may well be "being downplayed for ideological reasons."


The issue is critical to properly tackling sexual assault on campuses, according to Peter Miller, professorof Violence Prevention and Addiction Studies at Deakin University: "One of the key issues to address is the high levels of drug and alcohol consumption among university students, both male and female. We need to teach male and female students to stay sober enough to make good decisions around sexual consent."

Advice to young women on how not to get raped? Given the grip the feminists have on our university that's just not going to happen.

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This article was first published in The Australian. Bettina Arndt is now vlogging, and her latest can be watched by clicking here.

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About the Author

Bettina Arndt is a sociologist.

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