Over on Slate, Emily Yoffe — of Dear Prudence fame — has written a single column on rape prevention that somehow managed to invalidate all advice she’s ever given.
Yoffe managed to fritter away any advice columnist credibility she ever had in a stunningly immoral, rape apologist piece that lays the blame for acquaintance rape squarely on the shoulders of… rape victims, for drinking alcohol. That happened.
I will totally cop to being an avid reader of Prudie and her take on moral quandaries, etiquette and interpersonal static — and normally even if I don’t agree I can see where Yoffe is coming from.
But this… this was inexcusable. Awful. And from the implied authority Yoffe has, deplorable.
The piece was titled “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk,” and the secondary header summed up the article in all its victim blaming, rape apologist glory: “It’s closely associated with sexual assault. And yet we’re reluctant to tell women to stop doing it.”
Perhaps because that creates an insane metric by which rape is excusable by analyzing the actions of the victim and not attacker. Yoffe writes:
“A common denominator in these cases is alcohol, often copious amounts, enough to render the young woman incapacitated. But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.”
Like all rape victim blaming, the article ignores the larger uniting factor by which all rapes are unequivocally linked: raping rapists who rape. Even when a victim is sober, rapists are involved. Whether she is acquainted with her victim or not, there is always a rapist associated with the rape.
Yoffe quotes one Christopher Krebs, who chimes in with the rape apologist “but,” saying:
“I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized… But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”
Plenty of outraged responses have popped up in response to Slate’s victim blaming rape piece, and one that was particularly insightful explained:
“Here’s the real objection I have to Yoffe: she belongs to the surrender caucus. Not only implicit, but really explicit in her analysis is that we can’t or won’t do anything to hold the perpetrators accountable… instead of looking for ways to treat the disease — the repeat rapists, and the social constructs that allow them to get away with it, rape culture and more particularly, the Social License to Operate — she argues at length for treating the symptom. She gives up on catching and punishing them, in favor of telling women that they can’t do something men take for granted the right to do.”
Ding ding ding! Yoffe also leans on shaky “biotruths” about men not metabolizing alcohol the same way, as if that somehow makes it okay to take sex not willingly offered to you — and she says she’s “told [her] daughter that it’s her responsibility to take steps to protect herself.”
And it’s been said before Emily Yoffe’s rape apologia and after… but can we please instead focus on telling our sons not to rape people? Just a little?