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Getting drunk.

(84 Posts)
NanKate Thu 28-Aug-14 10:21:38

I read in the paper this week criticism of a retiring judge Mary Jane Mowat who said that women who get drunk are making themselves vulnerable to rape.

She has been pilloried for this very sensible statement IMO.

As a teenager my mother always warned me that I needed to keep my wits about me, especially where alcohol was involved. This advice stood me in good stead.

I am not saying that women need to dress very conservatively or not drink, just that we need to take responsibility for our own safety.

What do you think ?

KatyK Thu 28-Aug-14 10:30:45

Sorry I can't agree. Most young women will get drunk at some point in their lives. What does this say about what she thinks of men? That they are waiting to pounce on drunken women? There is no excuse for rape under any circumstances. If a woman is raped while she was drunk, would the case be thrown out of court then?

NanKate Thu 28-Aug-14 10:51:56

I agree KatyK that there is never any excuse for rape, but isn't it just sensible to be responsible for your own safety ?

I wouldn't go an sit alone at night in our local town centre, because I would be opening myself up to assault, robbery etc.

I realise that youngsters get drunk, it's part of growing up.

I suspect we won't agree on this one, but at least it is good that we can have an open discussion.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 10:58:48

The judge said that rape conviction rates won't improve unless young women stop getting drunk .Well, here's a novel idea

if men didn't rape a drunken woman in the first place, there would be no need to worry about a conviction would there?

And we wonder why Rotherham went unchecked for so long -oh I know, the slags girls asked for it

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 11:00:33

Let's hear a male judge criticise men who rape drunken women shall we - oh thought not!

mollie65 Thu 28-Aug-14 11:04:41

* Mary Jane Mowat who said that women who get drunk are making themselves vulnerable to rape.*

she did not condone rape or suggest that the women are 'asking for it'
if you read that quote as I do.
anything that removes your correct ' risk assessment' of a situation or incapacitates your reflexes (for flight or fight) is obviously to be avoided.
and she was referring to adult women not vulnerable children (different case altogether)

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 11:06:25

We simply shouldn't accept members of the judiciary and especially a woman saying things like that without also making comments about the men who take advantage - as ever, we shift the focus away from men controlling their behaviour to woman having to take responsibility for causing it.

Riverwalk Thu 28-Aug-14 11:08:20

As I understand, the judge said that it was difficult to get convictions in cases where it was one person's word against the other as to whether consensual sex had taken place, and the woman was too drunk to remember anything.

That's far from blaming the woman.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 11:08:59

It's not different at all - it's still focussing on the woman and not the man. She should have said as well that it was wrong of the men to take advantage and she didn't.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 11:11:38

She said women had to stop getting so drunk - why didn't she add that men should stop raping drunken women? She knew how it would play in the media

KatyK Thu 28-Aug-14 11:11:38

Kate - yes I do agree you should be responsible for your own safety and at my age I hope I am. However, we have all been young and sometimes have had that extra drink that was maybe the one that gets us drunk. I used to drum it into my daughter, be careful, get a taxi, if you run out of money we will pay, stay together. Unfortunately when she had one too many some of this advice went out of the window. Thankfully she never came to any harm.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 11:17:18

"I will also say, and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk."

And for a judge she seems woefully ignorant of a legal fact the if you are so drunk then you can't possibly give consent anyway so the problem seems to lie with judges being unable to direct juries properly with regard to this and with juries coming from what is frankly a mysoginist society at its core and there not accepting this fact

Riverwalk Thu 28-Aug-14 11:18:11

I think she was saying that when the jury is deciding whom to believe they are siding with the man because the woman can't remember anything.

Also, if the woman can't remember a thing maybe the CPS will be reluctant to prosecute.

baubles Thu 28-Aug-14 11:21:28

Of course we all have to take sensible precautions to stay safe but men have a responsibility to accept that a woman who is drunk is not always capable of giving consent.

I don't accept that drunkeness is an invitation to rape.

sunseeker Thu 28-Aug-14 11:31:13

In a perfect world it would be possible for a woman to get drunk and not have a man take advantage and the majority of men wouldn't, but there are a small number who would take advantage of a woman's condition, that doesn't mean they are "asking for it", just that the man is a reprehensible human being.

Women however do need to take sensible precautions, stay with friends, never leave with a stranger, keep an eye on your drink in case it gets spiked etc. Unfortunately, there have been a small number of women who have sex then change their mind and cry rape. This makes it harder for genuine victims of rape to be believed and should carry a prison sentence as long as that of a rapist.

janerowena Thu 28-Aug-14 11:40:54

I do get very cross with people who keep trying to make women responsible for the actions of men. It's a very dangerous logic that forces women into burkas. It implies that men simply can't control themselves and that women are at fault for inciting urges that the men can't control. Which is very demeaning to nice men.

I ended up getting drunk a few times when I was young, certainly not on purpose. I was given drinks that I didn't know the strength of and had a few narrow escapes involving predatory males, but my intention was never to go out and get drunk.

I ended up on a radio talk show once defending my daughter's right to go out for a drink at the end of a hard week with her friends, just like the boys do, instead of staying at home and washing her hair, which was what girls of my generation were meant to do on a Friday night. I said that she had worked just as hard and had probably had twice as much stress, so deserved to be able to let her hair down and relax over a few drinks with friends without being scared to walk home afterwards.

Someone out there should be doing what I have done with my own son - teach their sons to be more respectful to women, remind them that they are someone's sister/daughter/wife.

Elegran Thu 28-Aug-14 11:54:04

An analogy is that if you leave your handbag on the floor beside your seat and it is stolen, then you were asking for it by not padlocking it to the table leg and the thief is not to blame for succumbing to his natural impulses.

Or, perhaps, that a man whose car is taken without his permission and damaged should have put it away in the garage and not left it parked at the kerbside to tempt "joy-riders".

She does have a part of a point there, though. As there are men out there who will take advantage of a woman's impaired judgement when she drinks too much, it is sensible for women to keep their wits about them.

janerowena Thu 28-Aug-14 11:59:53

Men have their own problems - for every predatory male out there, there is a whole bunch of them looking for a fight. Two of my very sober young (early 20s) nephews ended up in hospital a few years ago, having been beaten up just for fun. They had met up to go to an evening lecture in Oxford, and were walking home afterwards. Luckily they had witnesses who called the police, who were able to catch a couple of the gang, and it went to court, but one nearly lost an eye and the other still has a limp where they stamped on his knees.

petallus Thu 28-Aug-14 12:04:08

I haven't noticed this principle (having the responsibility of staying sober in order to look after oneself) being applied similarly to other crimes.

Has anyone noticed a judge pontificating in the same way about, say, a man who was mugged or beaten up whilst drunk?

janerowena Thu 28-Aug-14 12:10:42

No. Sickening, isn't it.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 12:47:21

But my ire is not a debate about personal precautions that we should all take ( last year whilst sober I had my bag stolen in Spain and I had been very careless - too relaxed - I have learnt a hard expensive lesson from that and changed my behaviour - but a crime was still committed) no, my point is that an (ex) female ( of which there are few) judges should have thought more carefully about what she said in a post resignation interview about the subject of low conviction rates for this type of crime. And by definition if the woman is too drunk to remember then she could not give consent

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 12:51:00

Also she knew full well that she would be widely reported and so had a greater responsibility to reflect carefully on what she said. I have my suspicions about where we'll see her popping up next

Iam64 Thu 28-Aug-14 13:41:01

Very interesting thread, especially when read immediately after the one on Rotherham.

On the Rotherham thread there is a lot of criticism of police and CPS for the lack of prosecutions. Here, we have a Judge suggesting any female raped when under the influence of drugs or alcohol is in part responsible, because they put themselves in a vulnerable position.

Isn't that what happened in Rotherham? CPS/police reluctant to issue proceedings, because the girls wouldn't be seen as 'reliable witnesses' by the Judge or Jury?

NfkDumpling Thu 28-Aug-14 14:02:19

I can see that a young bloke who's had a few too many may find it difficult to resist a young flirty girl, also rather the worse for wear and dressed in not much more than underwear. It's very easy, in a drunken haze to misread body language - on both sides. He may be too drunk to realise that she's too drunk to make rational decisions and go beyond the point of no return (as they used to tell us when we was young gals)

And that's without throwing drugs into the equation.

I have had cause to drive through our city's night club area and been dismayed at the appalling conduct and state of the youngsters. And that was before midnight!

I'm not a prude, really I'm not, but I don't recall ever being in the mindless, out of control state these kids were in. Never had the money for a start.

TriciaF Thu 28-Aug-14 14:34:58

NfkDumpling - my view too.
I've chatted with several women, and men, who say they woke up one morning in a strange bed next to a strange person without any recollection of the previous evening or night.
Lucky to get away unharmed, but who knows what disease could be passed on if there was no protection (as is likely if both were drunk.)
Or unwanted pregnancy.