OPINION: Laws on rape should not blame women

Julia Elbert  

jelbert@uccs.edu 

     Once again, we have come across laws that are trying to take away women’s rights to their own bodies. There has been a new law introduced in the state of Minnesota which says that if you have been raped while drinking, you will be blamed for the rape because you were under the influence. This has occurred because on May 13, 2017 a young woman consumed 5 shots willingly but was then raped by a man. “The woman, the court said in a unanimous decision, was “voluntarily intoxicated” at the time because she had made the decision to drink, and therefore did not meet the threshold for mental incapacitation under state law.” 

     According to the Supreme Court ruling, “The case highlights the “intoxication loophole” in Minnesota law, where someone who commits sexual assault is subject to lesser charges if their victim became intoxicated by their own choice”.  We are seeing the times of Puritanical America starting to creep back in and the stains of our past will soon make our flag blood red through and through.  

     Puritanical America should not be forcing their views of women on laws over our bodies. We are living in the 21st century, but women still face laws to control our choices and even how we are respected. Instead of trying to place blame on the person who committed the crime, we are now saying that women are responsible for being taken advantage of. What world are we living in? 

     Not only are rape cases dismissed without a second thought on a regular basis in the U.S., but once again men are not being held responsible for their actions. “In the US, only four out of 10 rapes get reported—a low but encouraging number, considering that in 2016 less than three out of 10 were reported.” Quartz went into detail about how, “At least two thirds of rapists in the US get away with it”, and with this new law that number will continue to increase. What kind of message does this send to the men in this country; that they can just show up to a bar and decide that they want to have sex with whomever they choose? Women are no longer allowed to drink freely because we are in constant fear of being assaulted or attacked by men.  

     This has got to come to an end. We are living in a First World country, yet there are states producing laws that strip away the freedoms of women. We should be allowed to go out with friends and get drunk or have a good time without having to fear men.  

     We should be able to go out and dress how we would like without fearing being raped or killed. What makes this whole thing worse than ever is if we choose to live freely, we are held responsible.   

     We, as women, are going to be held responsible for men who cannot seem to keep their dick in their pants. Who cannot seem to understand what consent is? Who cannot seem to just get the idea through their thick skulls that women who are drinking do not want to have sex? We want to dance, sing and throw up in the bathroom with our best friends.  

     I am allowed to go out and have fun. I will continue to do so because I have rights of my time and my body as a woman, and if men cannot grasp the idea of consent, then that is where the law should be placed. Not on women.  

     Consent is not a mumbled, jumbled mess of an answer. If she cannot stand up straight, if she cannot speak clearly, or if she is speaking coherently but the word “yes” never comes out, you, sir, have zero consent to touch her body. You, sir, do not have the right to her, and I will not be held accountable for your poor, disgusting choices.