Healing sexually induced societal scars
Our blog isn’t usually geared towards curating current events, but when something super unfortunate occurs that we can all learn from, we cannot possibly ignore it in good faith. An alleged rape offense occurred at my Alma mater in 2015, and a guilty verdict was issued to the defendant during the month of June 2016. This unfortunate situation that we refer to here, involved two young people on Stanford University’s campus. One, a promising competitive swimmer enrolled in the pre-medicine program at Stanford, and the other, an industrious young woman working a steady job while living with her parents in Palo Alto. As I type this near the end of June 2016, the lives of both of these young people have been irrevocably altered to a significant extent. The young man’s future has been dealt a significant blow by a rape conviction, and the young woman now has to live into the foreseeable future with the sometimes debilitating emotional distress that many raped women feel. As most well adjusted adults will readily conclude after a few minutes spent thinking through this, such situations are a net negative for everyone involved. We all lose when a rape offense occurs because it usually results in a sexually assaulted woman, a stigmatized man who will probably spend time in prison, and another ugly rape induced scar on our society that will linger for decades. To make matters worse, I wonder how many rape offenses go unreported with their victims silently suffering immense pain. Are we completely and utterly powerless here? Are we doomed to just passively reliving this same horrible situation time and time again? The mere fact that you read in search of wisdom and enlightenment indicates that you don’t believe in powerlessness. Like you, I cannot afford to believe in powerlessness here because I have young nieces that will either soon be, or already are of college going age. I’m not usually the fearful type, but the thought of any of my nieces (or yours) ever being embroiled in something as egregious as date rape sends chills down my spine. It is my hope that through this article, we can crystallize some nuggets of wisdom that will save at least one life if carefully laid out with rigorous logic and a dash of emotional intelligence. The following are some key points that I hope will help someone somewhere to prevent at least one potential rape.
Gentlemen, she has to say yes
Ladies, embrace reality… most men are stronger than you
Ladies, avoid going to parties alone
Ladies and Gentlemen, ask a sober friend to party with you
Ladies, don’t drink anything that wasn’t dispensed by you, a paid professional, or at a factory
There is nothing wrong with sexual intercourse between two consenting adults. As a matter of fact, the perpetuation of the human race actually depends on that (for now at least). There is however something very wrong with sex that isn’t consensual. And yes, that includes sex that occurs when the woman is too intoxicated to say yes or no. Although the natural urge of most sexually active heterosexual men is to work to gain access to the nethers of desirable females, this is one of the exceptions in which that natural urge is NOT OKAY. It’s not like there is a shortage of beautiful women on this planet so no man really needs to force himself on anyone unless his mentality is fundamentally mired in lack rather than abundance. Should any man be tempted to take advantage of a woman who is too intoxicated to stay conscious let alone consent to sex, let him remind himself that there are a lot more women in the world other than the one laying in a drunken stupor in front of him. No one is trying to spoil your fun or over moralize here… it is just that things of this sort never really end well, so please avoid it at all cost. Again if you can’t get her to explicitly say “yes” to your sexual advances, leave her alone and turn your attention to the multitude of other beautiful women around you.
In regard to physical strength, the dynamic between men and women is quite simple… the average adult male is usually physically stronger than the average adult female. This fact of life doesn’t give a rats ass about religious beliefs, feminist beliefs, my feelings, or yours. Like most facts of life and laws of nature, it is much more constructive to accept this and adjust accordingly if we are to survive. It would behoove our women to realize that if the average man really wanted to, he could physically overpower you (right or wrong). Knowing this, it is probably not wise to add to a man’s already formidable physical advantage by drinking yourself into a drunken stupor. A few of us might think it unfair for women to have to limit their hard partying ways for fear of getting violated, but this would be to entirely miss the point. Life (as you’ve probably already noticed by now) has very little to do with fairness, and a lot to do with gathering and using wisdom. It is simply not in your best interest for you to get too drunk (in public at least) because that needlessly puts you squarely in the crosshairs of opportunistic sexual predators. By the way, it is certainly possible to drink just till you have a good buzz and still have a wonderful time.
A good strategy for women to stay safe when out and about for a wild night on town is to go with your boyfriend, or a trusted friend who you know for a fact isn’t sexually interested in you. In the world of sexual predators, it is much easier to get at someone when they are alone than it is to get at them when they are in the company of one or more supportive people. If your friend(s) are naturally protective of you, all the better. This way, even if you do inadvertently go overboard and drink too much, your friends will be able to fend off any scumbags who are looking for a quick and easy score. Just please try not to get sloppy drunk too often. If you do that too many times, you’ll probably end up losing your friends as they’ll eventually tire of constantly propping you up and cleaning up your various messes.
Another strategy here would be to find a friend who agrees to be the designated babysitter/driver for the night out to keep an eye on you and your group. You can easily rotate this responsibility within your group of friends so that everyone chips in to help, and no one feels like they always have to play the role of the responsible “parent” who never has any fun. This is helpful for our ladies because such a friend can ward off sexual predators even when you’re too drunk or high to do it yourself. It can also be helpful for our men because such a friend can stop you from getting with an equally inebriated girl who you may think is interested in sex, only to learn that she cries foul the morning after. I’m not making that last bit up… it has happened in the past, and may very well occur again in the future. Guys, just please make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
Even if a woman has no intention of getting super duper drunk when out for a fun evening, this catatonic state can be forced upon her if someone slick enough can slip a drug into her drink. As many of us know, this is one of the most common methods used to initiate rape. So much so that there are actually drugs that are recognized as “date rape” drugs. It is no secret that many women have reported getting raped in their sleep after consuming a drink given to them by a relative stranger. The best way to avoid this unfortunate pitfall is to trust no one but yourself when you are out. Don’t drink anything that didn’t get passed directly to you from a paid professional bartender, or that didn’t come out from a bottle/can that was opened by you. Following this simple rubric will drastically reduce the chances that someone could slip you a date rape drug and wrongfully violate you.
If we are anything alike, some of the points above might have stirred up some righteous anger within you. Thoughts like, “why should people have to take all these extra precautions when we live in what we generally deem a civilized society?”, or “why can’t we all go out and have a great time without worrying about horrible things like rape?” may have popped into your mind. It is worth emphasizing that if these thoughts crossed your mind, you’re absolutely correct… it shouldn’t be that way. However, the reality is that horrible things do happen in this life because of the fundamental animal instincts that still exist deep within us; and none of us are completely exempt from that bleak reality. What we can and should do though, is strive to shield ourselves and the ones we love from as many of these pitfalls as possible. I think we can all agree that protecting ourselves and each other is a lot more important than moralizing about the fatal flaws that continue to pervade our human race. To be clear, we aren’t proposing that everyone should just accept rape as a fact of life… absolutely NOT. It would behoove us all to protect ourselves and those we love from rape offenses until either we humans evolve past the occurrence of such rubbish, or punishments for this become so severe that no one in their right mind would risk it, or perhaps both. If you’ve found this message helpful and you know someone who can benefit from this, please share it with them. We need to work together to stamp out this brand of evil from our society. Till next time my friends, take care of yourselves and each other.
Oyolu B.C. Ph.D.
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