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Sexual Freedom The Right to Say No.

Sexual Encounters – Just Say No?

So much of what has sustained this is the infamous "double standard," one in which women are held to a higher standard of morality than men, and judged harshly for violations with a long list of names to mark their "transgressions": whore, slut, ho-bag, sleaze-bag, etc. Men, simply by virtue of their biology and freedom from getting pregnant not only get a "free pass" but an expectation to "go forth and multiply." The long history of subjugation of women, their status as second class citizens is another major contributing factor to the notion that it's alright for a man to have sex with many women, or any woman he chooses. Men are called "Romeo's" or "Studs" "Cocksmen", seeming badges of honor for behavior that is far from that.

The male ego, and the male sex drive, largely predatory in nature, is a powerful one. Who lies on top, who forces his way into a woman's vagina thrusting in a sexual "violence" to the point of orgasm and the planting of his seed? He is most often the "active" partner, the woman lying on her back, passive, defenseless under the weight of a significantly heavier partner, her only defense her ability, her right to say, "No." To say, "Please stop, you're hurting me." To apologize and explain; "I'm sorry, but this doesn't feel right, I changed my mind." Whereas it the man's role to be the pursuer, the woman can never be considered "prey" unless she is completely comfortable in that role, and the minute, the instant she experiences doubt and expresses that in no uncertain terms, then "No" will never be construed as "Yes" and anyone who fails to respond to that request, that command to "Stop!" should never feel proud, but ashamed of himself.

By the same token, a man who knowingly takes advantage of a woman with diminished capacity whether by drugs or alcohol also falls short of his role to be the protector of individuals smaller and weaker than himself. Men who remain sober to take advantage of their dates, or those who take the unconscionable step to drug her, deserve nothing short of a charge of rape and corresponding consequences. To allow a young woman to drink in excess and allow her inhibitions to shrink to the point she allows events to move much more quickly than she would in her rational mind is irresponsible.

Unfortunately, there is a history and a culture that has allowed women to use alcohol and their inebriated condition as an excuse to have a sexual encounter. To protect their reputation, "nice girls" would allow themselves to drink in excess, engage in a sexual encounter and then "explain it away," by either feigning a lapse in memory, "Did we do anything last night?" or judgment, "I think I let things go too far, but I was really wasted." There was often an anxious and eager young man patiently waiting, watching for the right moment to make his move on a tender and vulnerable young woman.

This is the more prevalent and perhaps the more difficult scenario to address. How far "gone" does a young woman have to be before her date realizes she is in no condition to make rational decisions? How is a young man with raging hormones and the drive to pro-create say, "No," when his companion hasn't? How is this young man, drinking as well and equally impaired able to make the necessary judgment that puts the brakes on when both parties are inebriated and impaired? Unless the culture changes, and the standards of behavior are clearly outlined, that unless both parties are willing and not impaired, any sexual encounter could be construed as non-consensual and therefore considered to be rape.

The best defense to this culture, this behavior is simple. The herd mentality. If it is a frat house, then the frat must set strict standards, house rules that someone in a responsible position cannot drink. In the same fashion that a group of guys going out bar-hopping has a designated driver, social gatherings must include a "designated observer," one who does not drink, but is responsible for those under his charge. If he sees that a young woman, a guest at the house is getting too intoxicated, then he is expected, is required to join with another "brother" and pull the woman's date aside and ask him to take it easy, "At Delta, you know the rules, man, your lady needs a ride home, why don't you grab her things and take a ride with us." He needs to know he has the backing of the rest of his house in the event one dude gets belligerent .

Equally sensible, young women need to watch over their friends, and travel in groups or pairs at least with one member the "designated" observer, to put the brakes on for their friend or the young man she is with. Only when responsible people are present and taking care of their charges, can unfortunate events take a turn in the right direction. And so it goes.

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