An enzyme that causes rape

I should have learnt my lesson about reading glossy women’s mags, but every so often I give one a try, and then end up really angry about something stupid.  But this month, Easy Living magazine really managed to exceed even my worst imaginings. In an article about the dangers of alcohol, they include a brilliant paragraph;

“Women produce far fewer of the key enzymes which break down alcohol, thus protecting vital organs, cells and body tissue.  This also leaves them with a heightened vulnerability to assault, rape, unwanted pregnancy, STDs and clinical depression through drink.”

I read that a second time, and yes, this magazine is actually claiming to have discovered an ENZYME that makes us vulnerable to sexual assault and rape.

It seems we need to spell it out even to women’s publications, that surely should be supporting women?  There’s not an enzyme that causes rape.  Rape isn’t a bad decision that women make when they’ve had too much to drink.  Alcohol doesn’t cause rape.  RAPISTS CAUSE RAPE.  Rapists chose to attack women when they spot a vulnerability.  Some rapists may chose a victim who has been drinking.  Or a woman who’s walking alone, or a woman who lives alone.  Whatever the reason why a rapist chose his victim, the rape was caused by his decision to assault, not his victim’s.

One of the things that makes me most angry is the lack of justification.  It’s just dropped in that rape is women’s fault, and then the article moves on.  There was no discussion of whether alcohol can make PEOPLE take risks they wouldn’t otherwise take, or make themselves less aware of their surroundings.  There’s no mention that men out drinking can become victims of violence.  It’s just a casual “oh yes, you might get yourself raped if you drink” and then moving on to the next bad decision you might make if you drink.

We’ve all done or said stupid things after a few drinks that we wouldn’t have done if we’d not been drinking.  But being raped is not one of these things.   If even women’s magazine’s are repeating this dangerous victim blaming – that women need to moderate their behaviour in order to prevent rape – the Slut Walks earlier this year really did achieve nothing.  This victim blaming needs to stop.


One Comment on “An enzyme that causes rape”

  1. fradarimini says:

    Wow. This is truly extraordinary. It’s just one huge sliding scale of assumptions, isn’t it?

    I mean, you’ve got the assumption that if you drink you will get drunk. And that if you get drunk you will behave differently… even that you will develop alcoholism (and thus clinical depression).

    Also, since when can you catch an STD from being drunk. Oh wait, that’s right: if we’re drunk we will have unprotected sex. Yeah, that’s BOUND to happen. It’s direct cause and effect.

    And that’s before we even get to the idea that rape is something that happens when you’re so drunk you forget to say no. FFS.

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