Kathleen Parker: Hold Men to a Higher Standard

Kathleen Parker had a good op-ed in Saturday’s Washington Post titled, “Sex after drinking and the war on men,” where she enters the recent NOW–James Taranto donnybrook over sexual assault on college campuses. Parker sums up the issue of sex-under-the-influence with. . .

[. . .] the problem of campus sexual assault (or misunderstanding, as the case may be) is often, if not always, related to alcohol. Drunks misbehaving, in other words. But when two drunks have sex, who, ultimately, is responsible should one decide that she didn’t really mean it? Without current data at my fingertips, I feel safe in presuming that few males charge females with rape following a party.

If the female decides at any point, including the next day, that she didn’t really want to engage in sex — no matter her own behavior at the time or the fogginess of her recollection, never mind the male’s own degree of inebriation — is the male entirely to blame?

. . . and then comes to this conclusion, which I think is 100 percent accurate:

In any case, these are tough questions for all fair-minded people. My own view will be repugnant to everyone. Feminists won’t like it because it runs counter to the very arguments they have advanced in their impossible pursuit of absolute equality. Men won’t like my answer because it will feel unfair, even though it is born of respect for men’s unique gifts and because it contradicts what feminism has insisted for the past several decades.

Obviously, men and women (boys and girls, really) are equally to blame for getting silly-faced, but — you’d better grab a seat — men should be held to a higher standard. This is not because they’re worse people, far from it, but owing to their superior physical strength and, let’s be honest, the obvious biological and anatomical differences, including, relative to females, copious quantities of testosterone, which fuels both libido and aggression.

Parker doesn’t mention this in her op-ed, but it’s not sexist to point out that men and women metabolize alcohol differently. See here, here, here, here, etc. And new research suggests that it’s not just alcohol, but many drugs, that affect women and men differently. It’s not misogynistic to see that men and women are different, it’s, shall we say, settled science.

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