Boys will be boys, and other uttered nonsense.
We need to stop perpetuating the harmful idea that men are animals, governed by their baser instincts and incapable of behaving rationally when they are aroused or stopping when they are told No.
It is a lie. It’s a lie we tell ourselves, our friends, and our boys. We may not tell them with words, but we remind them with our actions every day.
We remind them with phrases like Boys will be boys and You know how men are and He was thinking with his d*ck.
I’m sorry, No. No, he was not.
Men do not have tiny brains in their c*cks, and while we may think it a joke, a light-hearted silliness, these words are not a joke, they are utter bullsh*t, pure and simple.
They remove accountability and create an illusion that men are not in control of their actions or their feelings.
Brock Turner, the poor little white boy who didn’t know any better, who was drunk, wants to raise awareness about drinking culture and sexual promiscuity, because it was just a mistake, just 20 minutes of action.
Because in case you weren’t aware, men can’t control themselves when they are horny, when they are drinking, and certainly not when both of those things are combined.
I am a rape survivor.
I still have flashbacks, and I still sometimes need to stop during sex.
When I first met my partner, he would refuse to have sex with me when we had both been drinking, as far as he was concerned, I couldn’t be sure that I wanted it because I was intoxicated.
Even when he had had just as much if not more to drink, he wouldn’t do it.
Of course, now that we are engaged, and we know each other’s individual intricacies and our personal rhythm, we don’t have any no sex whilst intoxicated rules because we know we will communicate to one another when we are not in the mood and will not attempt anything if our other half seems so drunk they aren’t aware of what’s going on.
Most couples are able to come to a place where they can do the same after a while, as things naturally progress and you grow closer and know each other better.
However, we would still absolutely not attempt to have sex if one or the other was catatonic, in a drunken stupor or likely to pass out. We are decent human beings.
You see, drinking doesn’t actually affect our decision-making skills that much.
It may make us more daring, more likely to take risks — the kind of risks we secretly wish we had the guts for when we were sober, like texting our ex, making out with our co-worker or pole dancing around a street lamp in our undies.
These are just a few of the mostly harmless ways most people let loose when they drink.
The only person who will harm someone when they have been drinking is someone who would have done it sober were they able to get away with it, able to live with themselves for it, or brave enough to attempt it.
The biggest mistake most people are likely to make whilst drunk is rocking up to the most run-down tattoo parlor in town and demanding that the artist stamp Mickey Mouse over their left arse cheek.
They do not rape passed out women behind dumpsters.
Sometimes, when my partner and I are having sex, something in the position, or maybe the lighting, maybe a noise or a smell or an act or a sudden memory will throw me back into a flashback.
I will put my hands against his chest and tell him I need to stop, and he will roll over, cuddle me, chat with me, kiss my hair, and that is that. There is no Are you sure? Of course I’m sure, I wouldn’t have asked otherwise!
He simply stops.
He stops after a long day at work and no drinking, he stops after a small glass of wine with dinner, and he stops after five hours of whisky-tasting followed by a spontaneous lets-see-if-we-can-make-that-cocktail-out-of-things-we-find-in-our-kitchen sesh.
He stops when we have only just started, and he has stopped when he was just about to finish.
Most men would stop.
Most men do not rape.
Most men do not assault.
Because most men don’t want to, most men know that alcohol is not a magical elixir that removes responsibility for their own behavior, and most men, no matter how much they drink, wouldn’t ever take advantage of someone who is incapable of giving consent.
Rape is rape, whether (and especially if) the victim has been drinking or not.
Rape is rape, whether the victim has willingly had sex with you in the past or not.
Rape is rape, whether you are in the middle of having sex and the victim then decides they no longer want to continue and asks you to stop or not.
Rape is rape, as soon as consent has been withdrawn, or if consent was never given. Rape is also rape if the victim is incapable of giving consent because they have been drinking or have taken drugs.
And a rapist is still a rapist, whether he has been drinking or not, because while alcohol can put you in enough of a stupor that you find yourself trusting (or unable to fight off) a stranger and being dragged behind a dumpster, it does not get your cock hard and decide for you that a woman lying cut, bleeding and covered in trash is a willing participant in sex.
That’s on you, not on your local bartender, thank you very much!
Suggesting that the Stanford rapist’s actions were a mistake caused by alcohol is to suggest that every man has an inner rapist, and that there is a line — perhaps 5 drinks, or perhaps 10 — that, when crossed, turns men into animals incapable of self-control.
This is the gravest insult to female and male victims everywhere; it is an insult to me, to Brock’s victim, and to all the wonderful men in the world who would never dream of violating someone’s basic human rights in such an abominable way.
Esther De La Ford is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Doula, and qualified at practitioner level in Stress Resilience training, Reiki and Seichem, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). She uses these tools, and others she has gathered along the way, to create writing that introduces the idea that every woman has all the tools they need to begin their healing work already within themselves. Her deepest wish is for every woman to have the strength to step back into their power, to re-learn how to trust in their bodies and the deep-knowing we call intuition, and to know the full extent of everything they deserve and everything they can be. Her core philosophy, and what fuels her writing and her work, is that a woman empowered has the ability to empower others and so a woman standing in her power has the power to change the world. You could contact Esther via Facebook or Instagram.