Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sec. DeVos, Wake up.

There was a wealthy man named Steve. Steve was quite generous.  He would give a $5 bill to pan handlers, even when he knew they were probably not really homeless.  His list of charitable contributions was long and he would post them in his social media platforms.  His picture was in the paper the other holding a large check symbolizing his contribution to a new arts center.  So it was no surprise the Steve was popular.  When the invitation came to a party at an acquaintance's house he went.  At the party drinks flowed freely and it didn't take long until Steve was intoxicated.  He felt free and open and it was a good time.  The group at the party wanted pizza and so they ordered delivery, when it came Steve insisted that he pay for it, opening his wallet he had about $500 in small bills and paid for the pizza with a generous tip.  An hour later Steve felt too tipsy and decided to lie down in a bedroom and passed out.  In the morning when he awoke he discovered his wallet was empty and he didn't remember where his money went.  John, the host of the party thanked him for the money as Steve walked through the living room to leave and hoped they could get together again.

Steve called the police and explained what happened.  The police asked him:
1.  Did you willing go to his house?
2.  You know that you are well known for giving money, do you think you were sending mixed signals when you displayed what you had?
3.  You were drinking, how can you be sure you didn't agree to giving him the money?
4.  This will be a He said, He said thing, he may look into times that you gave money and to whom.  we know there are times you funded programs with problems, do you want to have all that dragged out in court.
5.  Maybe you should use this as an experience to learn not to carry so much cash and not drink so much.  Do you want to ruin his future with this incident that really didn't cause too much damage?
6.  Are you sure you just don't regret giving him the money?

Steve's story sounds far fetched, and the question nonsensical.  But it happens all the time.  Women, especially young women, who are raped while drinking at a party are seen as not true victims and often are blamed for the situation they were in.  While the story of someone stealing $500 from a drunk man at a party is not seen the same way.  Could you imagine a cop asking those questions?  I cannot. Yet this is not uncommon in the world of rape and is starting to reach the highest levels of our government that are looking to excuse the behavior of men who rape women when they cannot consent.

Recently Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, met with some so-called Men's Rights Advocates who often are rape apologists, especially on college campuses.  At one point Candice Jackson, who heads the office of civil rights at DeVos' department of education said,.  “Rather, the accusations — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,"  Think about that.  Current statistics suggest that 1 in 5 women will be sexually harassed or assaulted in their 4 years of college and government official are suggesting the 90% of acquaintance rape accusation are the result of two drunk people.  That should be considered being an accessory after the fact.  I think the Department of Education should spend less time trying to tell women how to protect themselves and more time trying to teach men about consent.  But that is hard for some people to do in a world where a judge basically apologized to a rapist who came across an unconscious woman and raped her in public only to be stopped by two heroes.

Woman own their sexuality just as men do.  They can chose how to express it and choosing to do one thing does not mean she should be forced, coerced or expected to do it again.  If there is no explicit consent then it is rape.  If the consent is withdrawn, then it is rape.  Drinking is not an excuse for rape, as it wouldn't be for other crimes, even if it mitigates the severity of the charges.  Rape is rape.

Secretary DeVos, listening to those who find was to justify assault on women to get away with it is not only a failure of your oath to our countries laws it is a moral failing that should follow you the rest of your life.  You see women's dignity is worth more than $500.

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