Wine, women and rape: The Vanderbilt case

Why do feminists ignore common sense in the face of reality and a horrible crime? Photo: AP Images

NASHVILLE, December 7, 2013 — As the Christmas season descends upon Nashville, the news media are fascinated with a case that could come from a legal thriller.

Four Vanderbilt football players have been indicted for aggravated rape. Other football players have been named as witnesses. A California lawyer, who is representing one of the players, has been accused by the prosecutor in the case of being “an unindicted co-conspirator.”


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The story began in June, when the victim and one of the accused players, who she had been dating, went out to a bar in Nashville. She became so drunk that she passed out. 

What happened after that is in dispute. The next day, the woman said she believed nothing had happened; she said that she believed the guy she was dating would not let anything happen to her. But now he and three others are charged with rape.

The players have said they are not guilty. As allegations fly around the case, one salient fact is not in dispute. The woman who is the victim in the case was drunk to the point of unconsciousness on the evening in question.

In October of this year, Emily Yoffe on Slate.com wrote a column that contained obvious advice: For college women, binge drinking is a really bad idea.


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She stated the obvious and was immediately pilloried by the radical feminist left. 

Yoffee pointed out that when young women get drunk, they make bad decisions and sexual predators can take advantage of them. That is completely true and makes sense to anyone except the followers of an ideology that divorces reason and common sense from reality.

There is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation. There is a lot wrong with being drunk. Being drunk is at best bad behavior. At worst, it can result in death. It can also result in being the victim of a horrible crime. 

How bad is this? An internet search for naked drunk girls reveals hundreds, if not thousands, of sites with photos of what appear to be intoxicated and unconscious women being photographed nude and in some instances being sexually abused. Under American law, an unconscious woman cannot give consent to sexual activity. It is by definition rape or sexual assault.

In November, a woman passed out and her husband used their new Play Station 4 to broadcast footage as he stripped her naked and fondled her. Does anyone believe this would have happened if she were sober?

It is just further brutalization to blame the victim for being raped. But this is not about a woman who was raped; this is about millions of young women who must know how to protect themselves. No one deserves to be raped, but people should know how to reduce the odds that it will happen to them.

There is no excuse to ignore behavior that puts people in harm’s way and makes them victims. We tell women, don’t walk in dark areas alone. Don’t walk alone at night in dangerous places. Those tidbits are standard in rape prevention classes. Why is it that very strong warnings about binge drinking are not? Why do feminists react with outrage when the obvious is pointed out? The obvious is that if a woman drinks herself into a stupor, her chances of becoming the victim of some type of sexual assault rise dramatically.

In 2014, the Vanderbilt football players will go to trial. Indications are that they will be tried separately. They will be judged by a jury of their peers, and if convicted of the aggravated rape charges, each will face 15 to 25 years in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, without the possibility of parole.

While the legal process must work its way out, there is one thing that can be said with absolute certainty: Had that young woman remained sober on that June evening in Nashville, that night would have ended very differently.


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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips

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