How Not to Have the Rape Conversation

I believe the rape conversation is a necessary conversation to have right now in America. The Stanford rape victims letter, and all the other cases of rape in this country, are a gigantic indicator of this. But that does not mean that anyone gets to just go up and treat every guy like an inherent sexual predator.

So to the lady from last nights show. You giving my two, heavily intoxicated, female friends giant pretzels was great and you are a great person for that. But you lost all of my respect when at the end of the show you interrupt me enjoying one of my all-time favorite bands last song, which is one of my greatest offenses in itself, to remind me something along the lines of, “remember if they are intoxicated/unconscious it’s not consensual,” and just walk away. And while I’m left trying to process what was just said to me I turn around and see you getting a congratulatory hug for being so brave for stepping up to me, while I’m enjoying my show, to remind me not to rape my friends. That is absolutely insulting.

You have no idea the gravity your statement has. Because my first instinctive response, and the words that came out of my mouth were, “Of course.” To which you turned away and the question of, “why did she tell me that?” started to sink in. There I was thinking I was having a great time enjoying my show and now during the final minutes, of all times, I have to take the time to question if I had acted in any way that warranted the necessity of that statement. Because, to me, that sort of unsolicited advice comes for a reason. And the reasons I’m left with are that they were both drunk, I was drunk, they were female and I was a male. Because you definitely saw us all show up together and you saw us converse in ways that showed we know, and to an extent trust, each other; and you also know I was kind and appreciative to you for helping my friends earlier.

You interrupted my show, you treated me like a criminal, and you are lucky I did not think fast enough because you would have been wearing the last of my beer.

So if your idea of having the rape conversation is to single out random men and remind them not to rape, you are wrong. In no other situation can you make such a generalization and get away with it. That’s the kind of thing you tell someone when you expect them to do wrong. By all means I am on that woman’s side on this issue but I won’t stand with you if your language treats all men as inherent sexual predators who are not capable of caring about others; even when intoxicated. We can have this conversation and be respectful.

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