No still means no

April 21, 2010

Susan Reimer's column featured in The Baltimore Sun was irresponsible, and unfortunately, a far too common response to a complex form of violence ("Old rules no longer apply in Roethlisberger case," April 19). What disgusts me is that Susan Reimer is a woman, and her callous remarks perpetuate a cycle of victim blaming.

Why does she have such a vested interest in shifting blame onto the victim and off of a man who has been accused of assault 3 times? Ms. Reimer wrote, "If you get that drunk you bear some responsibility for what happens next, whether you get your purse stolen or you get roughed up in a dingy bar bathroom." That makes total sense. So if you consent to having a drink, you consent to sex if you are a woman. Wow, that explains so much! Maybe you should go speak at some high schools Ms. Reimer, so you can teach students that drinking alcohol negates their of free will! And if you wear pins, sorority pins no less, that means you are a willing participant for sex. So enlightening!

So if you are a woman you cannot: have a drink, go out by yourself, walk alone by yourself, walk at night, drive a car, walk alone during the day, run on a trail by yourself, walk in a parking lot by yourself, open the door to your home by yourself, go on a date. All of these scenarios have been circumstances where women have been sexually assaulted. Do these scenarios mean that the victim of assault bears responsibility for the rape?

Sex without consent is not blurry, Ms. Reimer, and the rules have not changed. If a participant indicates verbally or physically that they do not want to have sex, it is rape. This is the law. The Baltimore Sun should fire Susan Reimer for being a rape apologist.

Shannon Wilson

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