Women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not get drunk.Without citing any source for his assertion that women who drink are more likely to be raped, Hitchens continues:
No, this does not excuse rape. Men who take advantage of women by raping them, drunk or sober, should be severely punished for this wicked, treacherous action, however stupid the victim may have been.
But it does mean that a rape victim who was drunk deserves less sympathy.
Of course she is culpable, just as she would be culpable if she crashed a car and injured someone while drunk, or stepped out into the traffic while drunk and was run over.We are certainly not this first blog to notice the story. Melissa at Shakesville writes:
Getting drunk is not something that happens to you. It is something you do.
At this point, as you can see, Hitchens has totally lost the plot. Indeed, "getting drunk" is not something that happens to you—but getting raped is. Comparing getting behind the wheel of a car and getting held down and forcibly penetrated without consent is patently ludicrous, not to mention about as divorced from the actual experience of being raped as I can imagine. Essentially, Hitchens' argument is that women should be responsible for their choices, without ever acknowledging that rape isn't a choice.Hitchens seems to miss the point that intoxicated women don’t rape themselves. A woman could be passed out drunk for several Friday nights in a row and never be sexually assaulted. Another woman might never drink and may still get raped. The difference: the presence of a rapist! It’s time that we stop blaming victims of violence for what they have experienced and instead work to hold those who commit violence against women accountable.
And the only way his tortured argument to hold women responsible for their rape if they've been drinking is by arguing that being intoxicated puts a woman at greater risk of being raped, which isn't even true. But what if it were? Women aged 18-22 in the US who attend university are more likely to be raped than women who don't. Would Hitchens argue that female university students are therefore "partially culpable" in their own rapes?