Rape is ugly in a way that leaves a woman being a victim even while feeling as if she were somehow made unclean by the ordeal. Maybe the hardest task for someone who has been raped is to move beyond that unclean feeling.
Perhaps that is why in our culture we are trying to hard to make sure we do not blame the victim. Sometimes, though, we try a bit too hard and end up twisting things a bit. This story in USA Today Online gives an example. He was asked about how he would as president help ease women’s worries about sexual harassment on college campuses.
“Ohio Gov. John Kasich was poised to give a reasoned, responsible answer about sexual violence on campus, and then he let this one slip: ‘I’d also give you one bit of advice, don’t go to parties where there is a lot of alcohol.”
That is perfectly ordinary common sense, akin to suggesting one not swim with hungry alligators. Only in our day is common sense treated as if it were some sort of moral disparagement of women who are raped. The USA article, which is quite garbled in disorder, instantly jumped to pure nonsense.
“So, alcohol can lead to sexual assault? A 2007 study for the National Institute of Justice on drug-facilitated, incapacitated and forcible rape did show that 89% reported drinking alcohol and 82% reported being drunk before their victimization. But the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism pointed out that one doesn’t necessarily cause the other.”
Okay, so one doesn’t cause the other. So what? If 80 to 90 per cent of the cases (I can’t tell which is intended because the sentence is so badly written) involve alcohol, that is more than enough cause to say that wisdom decrees, Stay away from such highly dangerous situations. That is not an accusation against women, just good advice.
In my experience in pastoral counseling in a church near a university campus, the percentage was 100%. Every young woman who talked with me said that both she and the man had been drinking so much that they couldn’t think straight.
The online story goes on to say: “Kasich’s comment drew ire from the Ohio Democratic Party, whose spokeswoman called Kasich’s response ‘outrageous.’ ‘Let me say this simply, so that the governor can understand — rape victims are not responsible for rape. It’s on all of us — men and women — to address campus sexual assault,’ ODP [presumably Ohio Democratic Party] spokewoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said.”
Let me suggest a simple question that I think jolts us back to common sense. If you were the parents of a young woman, would you tell her that she can risk rape as much as she wants, since it won’t be her fault?
Any loving parent. . .Let me emphasize that, ANY loving parent would advise a child, male or female, to avoid highly and needlessly dangerous situations. It is sheer foolishness ( I wish there were a stronger term) to hear that as some sort of moral condemnation of women who are raped.