What We Missed

A call for feminist response to drinking culture.

One of the jurors from NYC “rape cop” case is questioning the way the evidence was handled.

An advocacy group is trying to highlight trans and gender non-conforming detainees are frequently mistreated and their medicines are withheld.

Storm’s parents, who got wide attention because they chose not to disclose Storm’s sex, respond to all the attention.

Colorline’s Drop the I-Word campaign, trying to get people to stop using the term “illegal” to refer to immigrants, now has a toolkit. Check it out here.

New York’s Governor Cuomo released a statement today saying he’s suspending NY’s participation in the “Secure Communities” program, which immigration advocates say is dangerous and violates the rights of immigrants.

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    One would not want to look at something like drug-use in order to blame victims, but using drugs (including alcohol) to the point one loses judgment and causes undue harm to one’s body is the sort of mistake that society should discourage (rather than be indifferent or encourage). So much of the effort against drugs is about prohibiting use entirely (rather than drawing the line at where further use would be particularly dangerous) that people tend to have little idea of the significance of limits.

    The treatment of immigrants (as dealt with by all the articles) is appalling. If anything, with the sort of deficit we have, we need to integrate as many willing individuals into our workforce as possible so the government can actually collect tax revenue. Unless we have jobs (and the right people to fill them), we can’t solve our deficit problems. Besides, it’s probably the more humane thing to find ways to say “yes” and not just say “no” to everyone (including capable and hard-working individuals).

  • http://feministing.com/members/steveo/ Steven Olson

    I strongly disagree with the article on binge drinking being a feminist issue, and even feel that it is still victim blaming. I understand the point the author is trying to make and she comes off sounding very reasonable, that there is some action you can take to make you less likely to be a victim. Though, this line of thinking can be taken to an extreme. Don’t drive, because you could be the victim of a car accident, etc… And there are all sorts of risks of bad things that could happen to someone while binge drinking that I would not feel any sympathy over. If they lost their keys/wallet, fell down and hurt themselves, were hung over, etc… All of those are things they should be thinking about risking when they drink. But the actions of another person? Sorry, not your responsibility, or in your control, whether you are drinking or not.

    If I were drunk and I picked a fight and got beaten up, that would be my fault. If I was falling over drunk and an ‘easy target’ and somebody just kicked my ass randomly, that would not be my fault. Their isn’t a sexual equivalent to picking a fight. And if the argument is that being drunk makes you an easy target, what are the implications of this? Its that it doesn’t do anything towards making the problem better, it just shifts the rapist from one target to another, meaning it doesn’t prevent rape, just changes who is raped. A real solution works towards making less rapes. Since the stats the author quotes has 47% of all rapes where both victim and rapist are drinking, and only 7% of rapes where only the victim is drinking, it seems to me that a more effective solution involves teaching and education about consent. And this teaching should mostly involve teaching men about getting a yes, though since we do have a culture with fucked up views about consent, encouraging people to speak up with a ‘no’ when they are not wanting to proceed would also be good.

    The attitude that when a girl is drunk is a good time to get some is a pretty prevalent attitude. The answer is not to tell women not to drink and leave this attitude intact. Its to confront this attitude to make for a safer environment for people who choose to drink. And I think the way to do this first teaching about consent. And another big step is to find a way to convict more rapists.

  • http://feministing.com/members/vanessasarah/ vanessa

    I’m confused. Is the point of “What we missed” to point to massive victim blaming articles? Because that was a really horrid article.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ruthi1729/ Ruthi
  • davenj

    Kate Torgovnick’s article is an important one, I think. It does a very good job of not engaging in victim-blaming, but at the same time recognizing the real challenges that alcohol abuse creates. Alcohol’s a pretty serious drug that’s capable of incapacitating or killing someone in doses that are easily available. That means we need to take it more seriously than many people do.

    The problem is that we haven’t really found a middle ground in the way we treat alcohol, and as a result there are a lot of problems. Some groups try to shame people, particularly women, for consuming alcohol, and these groups are justifiably villified by feminists. However, knocking down those bad arguments isn’t enough. We have to present a viable alternative to the shame and blame groups that seeks to change not just responses to instances of alcohol use or abuse, but also the actual problem of alcohol abuse.

    Denouncing victim-blaming is important, and it can’t stop, but it’s also important to recognize that in cases where someone’s incapacitated by alcohol there’s already a problem, even if no crime is committed. Torgovnick’s “best case scenario” in her article struck a chord with the idea that nothing good would happen that night. Getting very, very drunk isn’t a good thing. It’s dangerous even under the best of circumstances, and we need to treat it like we treat other kinds of drug abuse and ask why it happened, and how we can change things to help make it happen less.

    The other thing I think needs to be touched on is how people abuse alcohol, i.e. intentional vs. unintentional incapacitation. In the case of someone intentionally abusing alcohol there are problems at play that need to be addressed, but they tend to vary so greatly as to require much more information.

    Unintentional drunkenness, though, is something I think everyone who wants to enjoy alcohol needs to learn about, and the earlier the better, because the risks of “getting it wrong” are so high. It’s particularly important because women are more likely to feel the effects of alcohol, and the traditional rule guidelines tend to be male-centric. This, along with the ongoing influence of the diet industry, make women more susceptible to accidental incapacitation, and make this a major feminist issue.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cassius/ Brüno

    How did they explain returning to the building 3 more times?

    • davenj

      They didn’t, hence the professional misconduct charges. However, that’s circumstantial evidence that doesn’t prove the crime of rape beyond a reasonable doubt.