Oh Right, Victim Blaming Is Back, Thanks To James Taranto And His "Double Standards" Vitriol

12 February 2014 by

James Taranto says that intoxicated rape victims are equally guilty as their rapists

This guy says that intoxicated rape victims are as guilty as their rapists. Right.

James Taranto, Wall Street Journal columnist and apparent misogynist, is currently under siege by the internet - and thank God. Because his latest bout of victim-blaming and cries of rape 'double–standards' really need to be called out.

In an infuriatingly familiar statement yesterday, James Taranto purported that society, rather than rightly standing by victims of sexual crime, held “double standards” for men and women who have consumed alcohol prior to a sexual assault occurring. That’s men, who, incidentally make up 98 per cent of the perpetrators and women, who make up 90 per cent of rape victims - there are almost 100,000 in the UK each year. “Women, but not men,” he said, “are absolved of responsibility by virtue of having consumed alcohol.” He calls his cause a 'war on men'.

He stated that when rape occurred between two parties who had been drinking, it is essentially a 'victimless crime'; the parties were equally guilty. Which works - if you conveniently forget that small matter of consent, of course. 

Astoundingly, he went on to explain his “theory” on rape in a bafflingly flawed road traffic accident analogy, complaining, “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. 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.”

There is too much wrong with his statement to articulate here - but more worrying  is that it’s just one of a long line of victim blaming incidents to occur in the last few months. This year there was, Cosmo’s former agony aunt, in October last year Emily Yoffe wrote a damning piece telling women to “stop getting drunk” to avoid rape.

It’s very simple: making women the ones responsible for preventing rape, teaches women that they are a target. It does not teach men that it is wrong to harm them . By  encouraging a damaging, dangerous and tired argument people like James Taranto - who has previously stated that outcries over sexual assault in the military were “efforts to criminalise male sexuality” - are harming women who are already victims of sexual crimes. We say victim-blaming needs to stop. Now. What do you say?

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