When women are intoxicated, for what are they responsible? More specifically, are they responsible for their actions when they have a drunken sexual encounter? Many girls and women alike have reported cases of rape after a night of “blacking out.” Perhaps Urban Dictionary can define the phenomena best, in a way that it is known to the population: “when one consumes so much of a substance (typically alcohol) that one cannot remember one’s actions at a later time, be it later in the night or the morning after.” While blacked out, these women have been sexually assaulted or raped, and have little to no recollection of the experience but have proof of sexual assault, whether physical signs or, in some cases, documented proof. The accused male claims that the female gave consent at the time, but she has no memory of that situation. Is drunken consent actually consent? I believe that if a girl can remember her actions, she is responsible for them. If she is foolishly intoxicated to the point where she cannot function properly (i.e. remember her actions), it is easy to believe that someone could advantage of her. Some state laws agree, such as California’s, which says if “intoxication by alcohol or drugs impaired the victim’s ability to consent,” (statelaws.com) the sexual encounter is considered rape. Other states see it differently, saying that a lack of consent only occurs in certain situations, one of which is “mentally incapacitated.” This could only occur if the victim was intoxicated under a substance “administered to [them] without [their] consent, or to any other act committed upon [them] without [their] consent.” So, if a girl in New York got drunk upon her own decision and was raped, she would be less likely to win the case. In this way, the lines of consent are blurred and consent becomes a more disputed topic, with many states variating their definitions of sexual consent under the influence of alcohol. The fact that the qualifications for rape is debated is proof enough that our society is not a society that has the same morals; rather, the society that we live in is one that “condones and celebrates rape.” (hooks, 109).
hooks, b. “Seduced by Violence No More.” Outlaw Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994. Print.;
Username: -___________-. “4. Blacking out.” Urban Dictionary. Urban Dictionary, 10 Jan. 2008. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blacking%20out>.;
“California Rape Laws.” Findlaw. Thomson Reuters, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-rape-laws.html>.;
“New York Laws.” Article 130. YPDCrime.com, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article130.htm>.