Imagine me holding a flashlight under my chin as I whisper the tale to you in the dark, on my honor every word is true, it happened just as I say.
It was a dark, cold night, and a girl- just shy of fifteen- went to a party. There was alcohol, she’d known there would be alcohol, but went anyway. An older, popular boy spotted her. She was alone, a freshman, and looked nervous. He grinned at her, complimented her, and offered her a drink.
She was afraid to say no, and soon he pushed her gently into a chair, and brought her another drink, and another, and another. Before long she felt like she couldn’t walk, sick and confused. The boy helped her to her feet, dragged her into a closet, and raped her.
When he was done, the boy put her into a car that drove her home, and left her in the snow to freeze.
Oh, evil alcohol.
Maybe you heard a different story of the alcohol boogieman. Take the flashlight, hold it under your chin, and pitch your voice low, and tell me YOUR definitely true, 100% true tale.
It was a dark and spooky night. A girl- her sister went to the local college- went to a party. She knew there would be alcohol, but went anyway. She had a few drinks, and soon she was more drunk than she wanted or expected to be.
A boy watched as she slurred and stumbled, his eyes darting around, looking for girls who had fallen prey to evil, evil alcohol. When she left, he followed. In the darkness he pulled her behind a dumpster. Two men saw and pulled him away, but not before the boy had cut and bruised her vagina, leaving it full of pine needles and dumpster dirt.
Oh, bad, bad alcohol.
These stories are true. The second girl was the victim of Brock Turner, a Stanford student turned three month inmate. The first story was mine.
The men who committed these crimes, they didn’t do it because alcohol tricked them. The terrible secret is that they were using alcohol as a pawn. They masterminded their terrible plots, and alcohol was framed. Alcohol was the weapon, and they blamed alcohol for the crime.
The truly scary story isn’t the boogeyman of booze lurking in college campuses. It’s schools like Stanford, eager to accept the lie that liquor is the problem, that well connected young gentlemen are never to blame for their crimes, that boys like the one who raped me on New Year’s of 1999 didn’t fill each cup knowing it was another step towards accomplishing their goal, that Brock Turner wasn’t a predator, that he was as much a victim as the girl he stalked and assaulted.
When a murderer uses a rope to hang somebody, you don’t put the rope on trial.
The scary story is that it’s more comfortable for administrators at Stanford, for our society, to point at raped girls and say, “You did this by drinking!”
The scariest story is that everyone has a version to tell. Everyone can take their turn, hush their voices, put a flashlight below their chin and whisper apocryphal tales of Steubenville, Daisy Coleman, thousands of nameless places and people, playing the same roles in the same dark nights.
They way one friend tells it, it was a military base and the alcohol was laced with roofies. The way another tells it, after a few drinks her boyfriend held a razor to his wrist and threatened to kill himself.
Alcohol isn’t to blame.
Maybe there is a real rape boogeyman, and at a college party at night, alone, after a few drinks, you can summon him. Go to the bathroom, alone. Leave the door unlocked, and stare at your reflection in the mirror. Then whisper in the darkness, “Rapist,” five times, and waits for the door to open behind you.
One in three women on a college campus is sexually assaulted, it’s generous to think the number of rapists is as low as one in ten.
The really scary story is, like Brock Turner, they all think they’re not doing anything wrong.
Read more about rape culture here: Rape Is Like Potty Training, and Other Lies From The Comment Section
Read my latest post here: The SuperMommy End of Summer Digest
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