by Katherine Fung at The Huffington Post
Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto is under fire after his latest piece about rape on college campuses.
In a column on Monday entitled “Drunkenness and Double Standards,” Taranto suggested the female college students are as guilty as their aggressors if they are sexually assaulted while intoxicated.
“If two drunk drivers are in a collision, one doesn’t determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver’s sex,” Taranto argued. “But when two drunken college students ‘collide,’ the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”
As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes, at some campuses the accuser’s having had one drink is sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt … In theory that means, as FIRE notes, that “if both parties are intoxicated during sex, they are both technically guilty of sexually assaulting each other.” In practice it means that women, but not men, are absolved of responsibility by virtue of having consumed alcohol.
It should be noted that in most states, laws stipulate that someone who is intoxicated cannot legally consent to sex. Taranto’s piece drew outrage from readers on Twitter.