Does hooking up drunk equal ‘legitimate rape’?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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I keep trying to figure out why Todd Akin said the things he said (I know this makes me a monster.) Ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. Isn’t it possible that his crazy right-wing ideas were spawned by crazy left-wing ideas?

As Akin learned, attempting to distinguish between “legitimate rape” and anything else, is fraught with danger. But maybe — just maybe — the distinction is necessary precisely because some on the left have attempted to change the definition of what constitutes rape.

Here’s a classic example of what I’m talking about. Earlier this year, Slate’s Emily Yoffe became embroiled in a controversy over her answer to a reader’s question in her “Dear Prudence” column. Here’s the question:

A friend recently called me and said she had a one-night stand after drinking too much. She was beating herself up over drinking too much and going home with a guy she met at a bar. I reassured her that everyone makes mistakes and didn’t think much more of the account. However, since then, she has told many people that she was a victim of date-rape—that the guy must have put something into her drink . She spoke to a rape crisis line, and they said even if she was drunk, she couldn’t have given consent so she was a victim of rape. She now wants to press charges—she has the guy’s business card. I have seen her very intoxicated on previous occasions, to the point she doesn’t remember anything the next day. I’m not sure on what my response should be at this point. Pretend she never told me the original story? (Emphasis mine.)

Yoffe, I think correctly, advised against ruining this man’s life — adding that these sorts of accusations, “makes it that much harder for women who are assaulted to bring charges.” (Note: We don’t know if the man was drunk, too. Is it rape if a sober woman has sex with a drunken man?)

My purely anecdotal guess is that about 98 percent of sex takes place when one or both parties are buzzed, meaning that, by that definition, most of us were the product of rape (the rules apply with drunken married sex, too). Most of us probably owe our very existence to alcohol.

In any event, for not toeing the liberal line, Yoffe was accused of various offenses, including “slut shaming [and] victim blaming.” I can only imagine what would have happened to Yoffe if she were a male Republican, rather than a female writer at Slate. (I anxiously await your emails and comments.)

Matt K. Lewis