While uncomfortable to read as a male, the numbers and proof are there. Indisputable. Sorry for the lengthy comment. But, hopefully you’ll appreciate the conversation I am trying to start. But, thank you for opening that conversation.
Brock Turner aside because that was an opportunistic asshole waiting on prey. Thankfully he got caught by witnesses and we can roast him far worse than the justice system could ever provide.
However, my guy friends and I had a drunken but serious conversation one night recently in light of Brock Turners sentencing. I’m speaking as male to female. As that is largely the issue at hand.
We as males agree that sexual assault is wrong. What makes us nervous in offering total concession are some of the definitions of sexual assault. We’re talking about the larger more unreported cases of ‘date rape’ or ‘known / trust’ cases. Largely focused on alcohol or substance used mutually. Which by my understanding is a large but not whole part of unreported cases and I’m excluding cases of violent or physical abuse, in these cases, again, those are cowardly assholes. We understand that sexual assault doesn’t always end or start in violence. Alcohol and substance is a huge manipulator in achieving desire.
All of us agreed that there may have been points in our history with partners that we could have legally been defined as assailants. Our partners didn’t feel that way towards us but, could have easily seen it that way because of the definition of sexual assault. We were honest enough to admit, that alcohol was a contributing factor in how our interactions came about. We as males were also able to define that we fell under the very definition of being assaulted ourselves. We were drunk, our partners were not.
We don’t see ourselves as predatorial males. We’re guys who like to have fun, all of us are never angry when drunk, openly affectionate, admittedly we flirt far more than we would sober.
We, the males, are 100% accountable for our actions while under the influence. My guys and I all agreed with this. We are accountable. Our contract is signed on the first drink we consume. We have no defence. Females are also protected by alcohol is not consent. Rightly so. However, if that same female having just experienced the real definition of having been sexually assaulted were to drive home. She would be arrested and held 100% accountable for driving while under the influence. The legal definition of being impaired and alcohol use and it’s definition within the framework of various criminal activity scares us men, especially with regards to sexual engagement.
What I hope you don’t see as mansplaining, but rather a males perspective in understanding that change is definitely needed, a large part of the male population is more than likely scared to concede because alcohol and substance may have impaired our own judgement in properly assessing our partners ability to understand what is happening. A large portion of the male population have drunken escapade stories whom are also very much in support of women’s rights, advocate against rape, advocate against violent rape. You won’t get their support, because the broad definition of sexual assault especially in relation to drugs and alcohol makes many men guilty. In order to a gain their support. Many of us have to admit guilt.
My question is, do we need to re-design our laws into categories like murder. Sexual assault is a very broad term, do we need to define it based on severity and types of assault. Can we discuss civil as an alternative to criminal means for a victim to find justice. Victims don’t always want to destroy their assailant, nor go through criminal channels to be re-victimized.
Sometimes, they just need acknowledgment and validation for what they experienced. Civil matters could still result in remuneration to cover counselling expenses or force the assailant into counselling rehabilitation himself, a system like this would also allow a victim choices in how she wants to resolve her case. In a sense giving her some power back with a choice she has control over.
Just a thought. A rather long one, this isn’t a simple topic either.