The problem with this debate is that almost everything exists on a spectrum and trying to reinforce rigid boundaries is difficult to impossible. Take race, for example. Experts believe that race doesn’t truly exist (hang with me that’s not the comparative point) but that it’s a completely fabricated distinction by humans to differentiate ourselves. The reason so is that if you paid attention as you traveled the world you would never be able to pinpoint when people changed. Another way of thinking is that if you lined up each race based on lightest to darkest you couldn’t pick a logical point on that spectrum to call people “white” and “black” — those just left and right of the line will look practically identical and you will question why there needs to be a line.
That said, the ends are very easy to tell apart. We know what the far ends of each spectrum looks like — forcible sex against a person’s will, and they’re identifying that it is against their will, is clearly rape. Two individuals (of right body and mind) consenting to sex is clearly not rape. But what about all that is left in the middle, the other 90% (making that up just trying to paint that picture)?
It’s a case by case basis, there needs to be a ton of context and understanding of the entire situation. Men have a really hard time wrapping their heads around calling a drunken one night stand rape because it somehow forces them into the practically impossible position to make certain judgments while being inebriated themselves. This isn’t a free pass, no no no. What I’m saying though is that, again, even a concept like “being drunk” exists on a spectrum. No man is going to argue that taking advantage of a clearly passed out drunk person is not rape — it is absolutely. But what about a fully aware fully functioning individual who gives consent in their drunken state only to later say they were blacked out and do not remember? I just don’t know.
The one thing I do know is that alcohol often plays too large a role in these gray area cases. My opinion probably isn’t popular in this regard, but I in no way am trying to upset anyone with it, it’s just how I genuinely feel. And here is my struggle — I believe in two opposing ideas and don’t know how to reconcile the two.
On one hand a victim should NEVER be blamed, ever. No one is ultimately responsible for the actions of other people, even if they are to put themselves at higher risk for harm if someone else takes action and harms that other person they are fully responsible no questions asked.
Yet, we are responsible for our actions just as well. We cannot willingly go into the most crime ridden areas and not accept some level of responsibility, albeit it still small, for putting ourselves in such a position. I avoid dark alleys in bad areas at night, don’t we all? It’s not that by walking down one I absolve my humans rights and whatever happens is now my own fault, but it’s that it’s just flat out dumb to put myself in harms way.
It’s a tug of war between idealism and reality for me — ideally we wouldn’t have to avoid bad areas because we could clean those up and make them safe again, but reality is that isn’t true yet and we must act on what is real in the meantime.
I advocate for the banishment of alcohol altogether. I know that is entirely unpopular too, akin to the gun control law debates (but what about the responsible drinkers? type argument). There’s just far too much bad that comes from drinking and not much good to be quite honest.
I’ve derailed this down an alternate path, I apologize. I don’t have better answers or opinions, I don’t know because it’s a sensitive subject. But it is wrong to call people “rape apologists” simply because they are unwilling to publicly condemn the accused. There isn’t enough context in MOST cases for the public to even make a determination of whether something did or did not happen — we just don’t know. But at the same time in a case like Brock Turner’s it is also easy to understand why people are against the “but they weren’t convicted” argument, because the justice system fails women in these instances. But people will almost always differ of where that line in the sand should be drawn, and no one is right or and no one is wrong when a spectrum exists.