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Aftermath of the Steubenville Rape Case

The trial and verdict are in, concerning the Steubenville Rape case, and the two boys have been found guilty. I have no problem with the verdict, however, one of the facts in this case are a cause for concern. First off, I had no idea before this trial that once a person has any trace of alcohol in their system, they are not entitled to consent to sex. Additionally, I feel like most other people my age following this trial were probably surprised by this fact as well. I knew that past a certain point of drunk, in the case of the Steubenville rape, black-out, was definitely illegal and a woman would be in no position to consent, or even if a woman is moderately drunk I would probably agree that a woman is in no position to consent to sex. However, the alarming fact of this matter is that a woman that has only had a sip of alcohol, a drink, or only a minute trace of alcohol in her system, can say that she was under the influence and in no form to consent to sex. This is the fact that concerns me and I feel that it is a complete mockery of the justice system. I know now after reading the details of the Steubenville case that the victim was indeed raped and actually drunk to the point of being unconscious when the rape took place. However, I feel that in the future their may be other cases where the legal system is actually taken advantage of by women. Anyone that has been to a college party knows what they are like and who attends them. Most of the time it involves young people consuming alcohol and, contrary to what most of you believe, hooking up. The red flag I am throwing up deals with when a woman has had only a drink or two, is not drunk in any way, consents to sex at a party, and then after the fact decides it was a bad move for her reputation or has a problem with the guy and wants to get him in trouble and calls rape. This is not what the law concerning alcohol and consent to sex was made for. The law was made for those people that actually are, in fact, too drunk to consent to sex in order to protect them. However, I feel in the aftermath of this Steubenville case, there may be a lot of these self-image protecting cases in which a woman has a clear concept as to what she is consenting to, and then after the fact, maybe days later, wants to reverse a mistake she thinks she made and so she calls rape. I hope this doesn’t actually take place in this country but I can’t help to think that it could.


  1. pammiano says:

    Based on the fact that it is estimated that at least 50% of rapes are not reported, I question whether the Steubenville case will cause an epidemic of “crying rape” for “self-image protecting cases” to quote you.

    Most of these rapes and sexual assaults have nothing to do with alcohol and yet girls and women are terrified and or shamed by society not to report them. This is a cultural thing – not only is violence against women accepted as an expected consequence of women and men interacting (Invisible War made that clear) there is the double standard that women are highly sexualized in media and society but it’s only men who are allowed, even encouraged, to have sex and but women are not. How does that make sense? Whom, in particular, are men supposed to have sex with?

    Further, the whole culture of women being responsible for the moral compass of America and men doing as they please needs to be thrown out . And by this I do not mean women acting more like men and it being a free for all. I mean real change – respect for ourselves and one another and most importantly getting rid of double-standards.

    As for college parties – here’s an idea – if you are concerned, have a personal policy not to have sex with anyone who has been drinking, or suspected of drinking, problem solved. Many women, especially younger ones, are pressured to think sex is no big deal and that it’s expected of them – that is until they actually have sex – but men can say no too.

    Finally, the idea that women will claim rape to “fix mistakes” is insulting to all women, especially those who have been victimized.

  2. dsielski says:

    Clearly you haven’t been to any college parties lately? You talk about getting rid of double standards, huh? How about the double standard that it is not just drunk guys trying to have sex with drunk girls at these parties. You seem to think that at parties it is only the guys trying to have sex with the girls and that the girls are just sweet and innocent. Most of the time, in fact, it is the opposite way around in that the women are more pushy than the men. This is a new day and age and the idea that men are the only ones chasing the women is an idea of the past. And I’m not claiming that women who are actually raped claim it to fix mistakes? I don’t know where you read that at? I’m talking about women who actually pressure men into sex and then after the fact decide it was a bad move on their part and say they were drunk so it was “rape.”

  3. dsielski says:

    Additionally, if a man is drunk too, he is in no position to consent to sex either so who is to judge whose fault it was that a drunk man and a drunk woman had sex? Couldn’t either of them claim after the fact that they didn’t actually want to do it and they only consented because they were drunk? However, no one would believe that it was the woman who could ever be pushy. Talk about double standards…

  4. pammiano says:

    You said
    “there may be a lot of these self-image protecting cases in which a woman has a clear concept as to what she is consenting to, and then after the fact, maybe days later, wants to reverse a mistake she thinks she made and so she calls rape.”

    Mistake was your word which I repeated.

    I will not dispute what you said about women being pushy as well – I do see that. Ironically they are acting in a traditional male role. My opinion, if I did not express it clearly, it that this sexual free-for-all, expecially among young people, is not good for anyone, but given the real double-standards that judge women’s behavior, they are more likely to deal with the effects of it.

    Further, what I was specifically getting at in my post is that if YOU are concerned personally, you can almost always say no without repercussion. Too often, women are NOT given the option of no. And before you argue that point, yes, I do believe men can be raped, abused, and sexually exploited as well and there is no excuse for that behavior either.

    Perhaps I read your blog wrong, but what I took away was that you thought this ruling would give women an easy out, but that is crazy – in my opinion – when you consider what this girl in particular, and other women in general, go through to claim and prove rape.

  5. dsielski says:

    I said in the case that a woman has a clear-concept as to what she is doing and then says it was a mistake. Therefore, I’m talking about times when a woman doesn’t even have enough alcohol in her system to come close to impairing her judgement, it should be her responsibility to say yes or no, and no, she should not be allowed to reverse that conscious judgement she made after the fact.

  6. mplowden says:

    I can understand where your concern comes from. Many accusations of rape amongst black men by white women have occurred in the past, with many times the accusations were false. The story of the Scottsboro Boys and the film adaptation Heavens Fall is one to note.
    However the situations in which you speak of, as far as being consuming alcohol, regretting it, claiming that it was rape, and the suspect being convicted, have not been significantly noted to date. I think the likelihood of it happening is slim.

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