If She Was Drunk, Was It Her Fault?

A few weeks ago, one CollegeCandy writer asked if blackout mistakes should be forgiven. In a similar vain, earlier this week, a Princeton student asked if we are responsible for our choices when blacked out. More specifically, when a girl is raped while drunk, is it her fault?

Iulia Neagu, a freshman at Princeton, recently wrote about a(n ex) friend’s claim that she was raped while drunk.  Neagu said, in response to the question of whether or not the friend was responsible for her drunken actions:

“She knew what would happen if she started drinking. We all know that the more people drink, the less likely they are to make wise decisions. It is common sense. Therefore, the girl willingly got herself into a state in which she could not act rationally. This, in my opinion, is equivalent to agreeing to anything that might happen to her while in this state. In the case of our girl, this happened to be sex with a stranger.”

Of course, this girl has been in the line of fire since the article was published, with uproar occurring on both sides of the debate, but the most vocal chorus has been (understandably) from outraged women who believe that this article’s opinion gives men free reign to take advantage of drunk girls.

As a college student who does drink, this article hits close to home.  Of course drinking to complete blackout status is not only a terrible idea, but can be dangerous. Alcohol decreases our inhibitions and too much of it can get us into situations in which we have no control. But does that mean that we are then responsible for being raped? Of course not.

Drunk or not, being attacked or taken advantage of by a man is not our fault. We are, of course, more vulnerable, but our inebriation should not leave us open to attack.  Despite the fact that rape is always a scary possibility for a woman – especially when alcohol is involved – no one under any circumstances deserves it.

But while some people argue that Neagu’s article basically puts all the blame on women and gives men the perfect argument to do whatever they want to drunk girls, I disagree.  Neagu’s point, while harsh, does not say that women are solely responsible for what happens to them when they are intoxicated. Her point is that drinking to excess isn’t good for anyone and often leads to bad decisions that an otherwise sober person wouldn’t make.  I believe her point is that women need to be aware of their drinking and the decisions that they make when drunk. If they wouldn’t do something sober, they shouldn’t be doing it at all.

And that goes for guys, too.

What do you think? Read Neagu’s article here and leave your comments below.

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