SmackDown: If Your Drunken, College-Age Daughter Goes Back to a Guy's Room, Does it Indicate That She Wants Sex?
Filed under: Opinions
Stop Saying Women Asked to be Raped.by Amy Hatch
The debate over date rape is raging again, thanks to a provocative column by a student journalist at American University in Washington, D.C.
Author Alex Knepper says co-eds who get drunk and go home with a boy are "indicating that they want to have sex."
Yes, young Knepper says your daughter asked to be raped. She asked to be sexually assaulted. She asked for sexual intercourse simply because she had the poor judgment to drink too much alcohol at a party and pick the wrong boy to go home with.
In an interview with the CBS "Early Show," Knepper defends his viewpoint and declares that more often than not, the young lady in question wakes up the next morning, regrets her inebriated decision to have sex, and then cries date rape.
As the mother of a daughter, I am outraged. As a former college student who drank her share of grain-alcohol punch, I am outraged. As a woman who knows too many women who have suffered through sexual assault and the never-ending emotional aftermath, I am deeply, deeply outraged -- and you should be, too.
The most surprising part of Knepper's attitude is that he is an openly gay man. As someone who is part of a segment of our society that is often derided, devalued and abused, I would expect more compassion from him. And his new expression of the old "she was asking for it" excuse is a slippery slope, indeed.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, there were 248,300 reported sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, the most recent year for which data is available. On top of that, college-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted.
Still think date rape doesn't happen? How about this little fact: Approximately 73 percent of victims know their attacker.
True, women of all ages need to exercise caution. It's my job to teach my daughter that she has personal responsibility and that taking risks can lead to dangerous outcomes. It also is my job to teach my son to respect a woman's body and that no means no. We still live in a culture that encourages men to think of women as sexual objects for the taking. Parents -- and especially mothers -- need to start teaching their sons to see women as whole people, and not just as pleasure objects.
That means talking openly about what they see in the media, modeling respectful behavior for them at home and acting swiftly and surely to stop any signs of that attitude in our young men.
Parents also need to educate their daughters about the sexual culture and their role in it, and encourage them to speak up when their rights are being violated. Stop warning women not to get raped and start telling our sons that no woman has ever asked to be sexually assaulted, no matter what she was wearing, who she was with, where she was or how much alcohol she had to drink.
Susan and I want to know what you think. Join in on the debate in the Comments section below.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.