A Kansas City Star contributor is facing criticism for a column suggesting that women should avoid getting drunk so that they won’t get raped, according to Jezebel.
Laura Herrick wrote the piece for the paper’s “Midwestern Voices” section. It was published Friday, but has already been deleted. An outraged reader sent screenshots to Jezebel, however.
Herrick’s column was in response to a post she saw on Facebook that said, “When a woman drinks too much she expects to wake up the next day hung over, not raped.”
While she agreed with the sentiment, Herrick, said if women get too drunk, they are to blame for being rape victims.
“But as women, shouldn’t we take responsibility for our bodies by not becoming so intoxicated that we don’t know what is happening? Every woman should know her drink limit and stop there,” she wrote, according to Jezebel. “No, she’s not asking to be raped by being drunk. But isn’t it her responsibility to reduce the risk by not getting to that point? And if you wake up the morning after doing the ‘walk of shame’ don’t yell rape if you regret your actions of the night before.”
Herrick adds, “Accept your role in what happened, learn from the experience and move on.”
Herrick went on to suggest rapists and victims share responsibility in the crime.
When men drink, their decision-making abilities are also limited. If a woman was too drunk to know what she was doing and should be excused for what happened, then why are men not allowed to be too drunk to make good decisions?
And if a woman is so intoxicated that she can’t remember giving consent for sex, then how can she know that she didn’t give consent?
If she was so drunk she was unable to make good judgments, then how can we be sure that she has any idea what actually happened?
Jezebel writer Lauren Evans responded by pointing out the idea that women bear and undue burden for safety from being crime victims has been left in the past — hopefully.
“Stop drinking, it makes you more susceptible to rape,’ Evans mockingly responded. “Stop wearing revealing clothes. Stop going outside, stop living your life, because the system ain’t gonna change, baby.”
Readers responded angrily as well.
@KCStar Why would you publish something in defense of rape? What is wrong with you?
— Betsy Stover (@BetsyStover) July 9, 2016
“Oh, f*ck off with that victim blaming bullshit already,” a Jezebel reader responded. “Would she say the same the victim of any other crime?”
Another reader responded on Facebook, “Or, and I’m just spit balling here, people could stop raping others or blaming them for getting raped.”