Tag Archives: Sexual Assault

Brock Turner And The Culture Of Alcohol Field Rape

Culture of Alcohol Field Rape

Brock Turner and his parents have shown their cards. Their level of entitlement is staggering. They are the embodiment of modern parenting that treats children not as developing adults but as deified exotic pets whose main role and purpose is to provide fodder for bragging to peers.

Rehabs are full of these kids, inept and unable to function in a world that doesn’t treat them like their parents do. The “my kid can do no wrong” standard is harmful to human development. Reading the letters Brock Turner’s parents wrote to the judge it’s clear where he got the idea that the world is his to act on any impulse with impunity. My guess is these parents were holy terrors to faculty.

What if Brock got a “B”? My guess is the parents would demand the teacher be fired, after all, apparently his parents believe Brock can rape and he is the victim deserving of a standard they have set. Sadly, the judge agreed with this rank stupidity.

Brock Turner And College Rape Culture

One of the things that was blamed in this incident was the culture of binge drinking on college campuses. In a general sense, alcohol use does contribute to the issue of sexual assault. The literature is clear on this, less alcohol, less sexual assault, but that doesn’t address the entire problem. So what is the problem? Where does it start and what can be done?

With the Brock Turners of the world, the problem seems to start with the mini-van, juice box culture where children begin to internalize a belief that they are not beings among billions but that they are special, deserving of perfection and a pain free existence. The truth is, human development is like an immune system, without pain, we can not function and don’t build tolerance for what comes down the Jersey turnpike of life. Life is rife with a range of emotion, disappointment, sadness, frustration, grief and yes, happiness. Addicts believe they have the right to correct any feeling of which they do not approve. Whenever I get a young man as a client I ask them a very simple question “what do you want for your recovery?” Almost invariably they say “I want to be happy”. My reply “well, you’ll be happy some of the time but not always”, baffles them. They have no ability to even entertain the idea that that they are not entitled to unwavering happiness.

The binge drinking campus culture fuels all kinds of problems. We try to mitigate the whole issue by saying “don’t drink and drive”, sound advice to be sure but hardly addressing the range of what can go wrong when young people drink to the point of stupidity. Late adolescent behavior is risky in and of itself. Does it need help from demon alcohol to nurture risk?

Brock Turner upped the ante into something way beyond the typical campus sexual assault but is there more to it? I have heard many, many, tearful confessions from young men facing sexual assault charges. Are they pathological sexual predators? Maybe. Maybe they are young, dumb, drunk, filled with pressure to get laid and fit in with a lord of the flies fraternity house. Certainly this excuses nothing but it may explain some of the problem and understanding the problem is a step toward improving the problem.

Reframing Parenthood

Why are we shocked at the Brock Turners of the world? They are raised to believe they are chosen, special, and above consequence. Add alcohol and youth and you have a situation that produces low hanging fruit for all kinds of problems. The first step is reframing parenthood. Making ‘not having children’ an acceptable choice (most people shouldn’t be parents) would be a great start. Holding children accountable for their actions would also a great step. Educating young people about their sexuality as more than a chapter of the mechanics in a health text book. Teaching young men their dick is not a sword of imperialistic entitlement. Starting at a much, much, younger age, would help. I’m sure young women need a different approach to their sexuality but I have no capacity to advise that. All I would know to say is “honey, head up, skirt down, boys are filthy, find a nerd”.

The apple pie faced Brock Turner offers an opportunity to have a national dialogue about sexual assault on college campuses. Over simplifying the problem with “rape is bad” rhetoric is incomplete and will do little to reduce the number of these incidence. As always, the monopoly that alcohol enjoys on legal intoxication is a problem. Diversifying choice in the matter would help. While sexual assault spikes with alcohol, it declines with weed. We all like the idea of the young people in our lives using no intoxication but we also like the idea of all children having food.

As with most things in America we treat problems with Christian ethics and tell people not to do things. Sorry America, we need to be more honest and start looking at managed risk and harm reduction. Brock Turner got off far to easily for this egregious assault. In my view, his parents should serve time. Their crime? Complicit in their sons world view that would allow him to commit this act.

Originally published on EpicTimes.Com

Drinko de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Alcohol Use
If we are to believe Jimmy Kimmel’s man on the street interviews, it’s always astonishing what everyday Americans don’t know about America. Stranger yet, is what Americans don’t know about other countries. Most Americans don’t hold a passport and believe that all parts of the world aspire to be us and can’t believe that much of Europe thinks we’re are badly dressed fat people with excessive TV channels, a total lack of culture, and notoriously racist and violent. Of the 1/3 of Americans who hold a passport, most of those won’t ever use them. We are happy right here near a Walmart, with the safety of guns at our fingertips. So why is Cinco de Mayo so wildly popular? In a word: booze.

While Americans are pretty oblivious to and happy with our ethnocentrism, we also love a good party. Cinco de Mayo has now surpassed St. Patrick’s day in liquor sales. That’s a dubious honor considering the history of the Irish people. Google Cinco de Mayo and the history of it is and what it celebrates is pretty low on the first page, well beneath many recipes for various margaritas. The Americanization of the holiday is just another reason to get drunk, as if a regular old Tuesday wouldn’t do. It looks like we have tequila, tecate, Dos Equis, and Corona to thank for the wildly popular holiday. It’s easy to see what is really important by the sales of items on May, 4. Essentially, avocado and tequila sales spike. Let’s get drunk and have some guacamole to support our neighbors to the south! Well played liquor companies, yet another marketing masterpiece to spike the sales of your damage inducing product. Cinco de Mayo is the Olive Garden of holidays. It’s like a bad taco with ground beef and iceberg lettuce off the .99 menu at any number of Mexican fast food restaurants.

The media is awash with the typical “designate a driver” “use responsibly” and “buzzed driving is drunk driving” rhetoric all of which is a good reminder but is a reminder needed? Is there anyone out there who is defending the act of drinking and driving? What about all the other things that will go wrong tomorrow during the tequila soaked piƱata fiesta? Alcohol use sees a rise in many things, among them, sexual assault and no where is this more true then on a college campus.

According to a Kent State study on college campus alcohol abuse, every year 500,000 students will have unprotected sex, more than 100,000 will be too intoxicated to know whether they consented to sexual intercourse and more then 70,000 students will experience alcohol related sexual assault. The reminders not to drink and drive don’t address this problem in any way. Holidays like Cinco de Mayo see a spike in all of the collateral damage with a rise in alcohol use. As a side note, guess who doesn’t pay a cent for all the wreckage? Alcohol companies.

I am often asked, “when is drinking a problem?” “when should I seek treatment?”. Questions of that nature. Holidays like Cinco de Mayo won’t give you the answer but they may provide some insight. Using things like fabricated holidays to rationalize excessive drinking isn’t diagnostic criteria but it may give pause to be honest about how important alcohol is to your life and what problems arise from it. The truth is, most people are better off without intoxication and the numbers don’t lie, alcohol is very dangerous stuff. I like to use this simple test “would I go if they didn’t have a bar”. My answer was always “no”. I’m going because I can get sloppy drunk and hide among all the other people getting sloppy drunk. I like guacamole and all but it’s not the guacamole that would be enough to get me out midweek. From a cultural level, Cinco de Mayo is a made up reason to get drunk. On an individual level, if one is making up reasons to get drunk, give me a call.

Oklahoma, Where Insanity Comes Sweeping Down the Plains

Oklahoma Court DecisionYesterday in a bizarre ruling, an Oklahoma court found forced oral sex with someone too intoxicated to consent, legal. Huh? Can that be possible? “Yes” is the sad and inexplicable answer. The case that produced the ruling involved a 17 year old boy and 16 year old girl. A later hospitalization showed the girl had a blood alcohol content of .34, which could produce death. She was drunk, bone saturated drunk beyond recognition and certainly beyond any ability to consent to anything. There were no reports regarding the boy’s level of intoxication, if any. Rightfully so, there are numerous public outcries from advocacy groups and just about anyone with a a sense of humanity. Think about the message here: pesky courtship and dating rituals, consensual decisions are way too bothersome, all you need is a 12 pack and a passed out date. There are so many issues with this that should be examined and the media is alive with condemning the court’s decision. Much of the attention is focused on the boy. That he was a calculating sexual predator. He might be but there is a massive oversight when discussing the problem and that is the alcohol. Of course the alcohol doesn’t excuse the behavior and certainly doesn’t let anyone off the hook but it’s playing a big role here and we should take a look at it.

Link Between Alcohol Use and Sexual Assault

For years and years we have said “don’t drink and drive” and “designate a driver”. That’s good policy but doesn’t do anything to address the many other things that go wrong when alcohol is poured freely. One of those things is sexual assault. Research is clear on this very simple point: rise in alcohol use, rise in sexual assault. The vast majority of sexual assaults on campuses are when both parties had been drinking. It’s not that the boy who did this isn’t responsible, he is, but alcohol shares in his culpability.

What if there were no drinking involved. Maybe the two teens would have gone to a movie and he would have nervously tried to kiss her. Maybe it wouldn’t have been that wholesome of a scene, who knows. As Americans, our relationship with alcohol is so woven into our lives that we seem to forget to take a look at the role it plays when things go south.

This is an insane ruling in the state of Oklahoma, my sincere hope is there are efforts in place to change this. The alcohol problem has long reaching tentacles and it’s a problem we all share.