I’ve been looking over my old posts over the past few days after the recent Rebecca Watson controversy. I don’t say much on the blog (nor much until recently on my Twitter @Rocko2466), but I thought it would be useful to again step into the fray. My present post is about the Rebecca Watson nonsense and my next post will likely be about the attacks on Richard Dawkins for his comments about child abuse and the teaching of concepts of hell.
First off the bat is Rebecca Watson. Rebecca has been at it again, making broad illogical statements about what she considers to be feminist positions. On this occasion, @rebeccawatson tweeted:
“If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.”
This descended into a series of arguments with various twitterers who argued that it may not necessarily be the case.
This descent can be seen at: http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/. I’m reluctant to have you look (as it earns her click money) but I should point out the silliness of these arguments (and to be honest, I won’t earn her many clicks). Essentially, Rebecca would not answer if someone asked her whether if the ‘sexer’ was drunk, whether that would excuse them from the rape accusation based on the ‘sexee’s’ drunkness (my terms, not hers).
But she did provide this interesting nugget:
“And they’re comparing drunk sex to drunk driving as though drunk driving is something that is done to the drunk driver. Here’s the non-fallacious analogy: insisting on getting in a car and driving while drunk and no one can stop you is equivalent to insisting on having sex while drunk with a person who is unable to stop you. And yes, in both of those cases you, drunky, are liable.”
I am convinced that this was her answer to the drunk male + drunk female equation. Now, I will be making what may be an unjustified inference here: Rebecca is directing her “drunky” comments to the male in the sexual encounter. The point here is that drunk male plus drunk female plus sex equals male rapist. Just like the drunk driver, the male is responsible for his decision to have sex and is a rapist. The female on the other hand (being unable to consent) is not responsible for this decision to have sex and is the innocent victim of this “drunky’s” attack on her sexual integrity.
Now, I agree that when a sober person decides to have sex with someone who is so drunk that they are unable to consent, that the sober person has committed rape. The sober person can be male or female and drunkenness (at least as defined by Rebecca) is not necessarily indicative of an inability to consent. There is a level and the being ‘drunk’ is not necessarily the same thing as that level.
In any event, my primary concern with this is her treatment of the man as always in control of himself and the woman as not in control of herself. This undermines any concept that men and women are equal and both able to make mistakes while drunk. This lowers the woman to the level of a child – with the effective argument being that whatever you do (proposition a girl in a lift or have sex while the both of you are smashed), you shouldn’t have done it, she’s a girl for God’s sake.
This continues to concern me about the atheist movement. We let it be hijacked by those with insane concepts of gender relations in a pseudo-feminist movement where exceptionally strange rights issues grip our attention and cleave the movement in two.
Really, what we should be now aiming for is a clear recognition that those who purport to be our leaders (like Rebecca Watson and her cohorts) are not really our leaders.
It is like a homeopath walking into a hospital, declaring himself a doctor and the rest of us (like foolish interns) following him around and assisting him in dispensing his magical water. We shouldn’t peddle nonsense. It’s the exact opposite of what we are about.