Did You Hear the One About the Drunk Lesbian and the Naked Man?

chasing-amy

this is what this story is supposed to remind us of, but it doesn't

HEADLINERS: Drunk lesbian admits romp with naked man in police station car park: I SERIOUSLY CANNOT BELIEVE IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR ARTICLES LIKE THIS TO BE PUBLISHED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD and here’s why:

1) Firstly, the headline. Is “naked” the  most revelatory adjective possible for this headline? That being said, the image of a man in socks, a t-shirt and no pants doing a lady in the backseat of his car is somehow worse.

2) the way this article is written we want to ask, “Romp” or “rape”? (ETA:To clarify, we all see no-one was raped here,we are commenting on the way the story is told by The DR, not the story itself.It’s off-putting to read the details the Daily Record chose to include contextualized as a “drunken romp” when said details could also be contextualized as a less playful incident — for the man or the woman involved.) Take away the Daily Record’s chosen context and headline and there’s no indication in the story’s basic facts that Richardson that she WANTED this.

Onlookers had to “pull” Bruce away from her. Her “legs were in the air” and “eyes were closed.” She didn’t pull on her clothes ’til she “noticed police.” This statement, contextualized in a section explaining why Richardson’s partner forgave her, is defined in the article by context rather than by meaning, and it’s confusing:

“It is no secret I am gay. After my ex-partner died I said I would never be with another guy again, then I met Josephine. Josephine is my partner, she is a pretty woman and I would never do anything to hurt her.”

3) The article ought to acknowledge or acknowledge not acknowledging the situation they described sounds sketchy but isn’t, rather than contextualizing sketchy details as a “romp.” According to the comment threads on FARK, the point is that she was so drunk she did it with a dude. There’s also some choice remarks about ugly lesbians. At the Record, commenters are most concerned with why this case made the news.anorexia

NEWS FLASH: Most teenage girls think they are fat, even when they are not. And when a headline reads, “most teenage girls are living on one meal a day” — a statement generally reserved for developing nations and poor areas where children go hungry due to lack of food resources — you know the world has some serious serious issues.

THE NERVE DEBATE: Brazilian waxing — do or don’t? One half of the argument is held down by Our Lady of Prozac & Ritalin & Writing paragraphs we relate to intensely even though it’s highly uncool to say so in public, Elizabeth Wurtzel. HOWEVER: “I think we women don’t feel entirely female unless we’re slaves to beauty”? It gets worse from there, with Elizabeth arguing for Evil and the Dude arguing for Good — he seems more enlightened than she does, without a doubt.

GENDER: “Experimenting with my body and self inside masculinity has definitely been a part of my gender and sexuality coming of age, in which I had to answer the age-old question of attraction/fascination: do I want be this or fuck this? My answer, mostly, is that I want to fuck people who wear masculinities: Thoughtful Masculinity.” (@waking vixen)

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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6 Comments

  1. I don’t see how the story in question is rape. From the article:

    “Welsh met Richardson while on a four-day bender to celebrate his birthday.”

    Richardson had recently started drinking heavily as well. It seems like they were both stupid-drunk. That she was just lying there doesn’t indicate anything related to consent. Her depression and drinking could have equally led her to accept any attention that made her feel desired. We have sex for a lot of reasons and not always with the people we’re attracted to at a 10 level. It’s also a little interesting that he wasn’t fucking her, but was performing oral on her.

    To raise one objection, I find the common feminist assumption “If SHE’s drunk, it’s rape!” suspect, especially if both partners have been drinking. To me, it seems sexist, suggesting a woman who is drunk has no agency whatsoever and is incapable of making decisions. I’ve never heard a feminist utter these concerns if the guy is drunk and gets laid, or if two guys/two women have sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which we all know happens a lot. I know there is a lot of concern about rape and it should never, ever be trivialized, which is why I have concerns about the frequent feminist hypervigilance on what can be termed “date rape”. To me much of this discussion has a tone that is both anti-sex, reminding me of the feminist sex wars of the 80s, and anti-men, and especially anti-men-fucking-women. And it shares a lot with social conservative ideas about how women are always violated by the penis and can’t make their own decisions. When it comes to alcohol and drugs and consent, there are gray areas, for both men and women. I know I’ve slept with men and women when I was two shakes from wasted, and I wasn’t raped, and neither were they. Do I regret some of those experiences? Sure, because I’ve made some errors in judgment and done things I wouldn’t have sober, but they were my consensual decisions.

    As for Fark’s thread… yeesh. That’s why I don’t read the comments there.

    • Hi first comment but I have to say with all due respect Li, this post doesn’t say that richardson was raped!!!!

      I mean I guess it’s confusing but I took this post to be meaning that the way the article was written in the uk paper described a situation where a woman with a girlfriend had closed eyes and was underneath the man who had to be pulled off of her with a very “casual sex with men is fun for lesbians too! Lol drunk lesbians like penis! Haha she was depressed and drunk!!”Voice. And like “the team” I would have liked the uk paper to make it sound less … Fun! It is interesting that they include details that describe a non-consensual scene (even though it WAS conseual) and ask the reader to fill details in. I know, you know, I think autostraddle knows, that any drunk person can have sex that isn’t rape, and that richardson clearly didn’t say she was raped so we can assume we’re all aware that she was not, but the uk paper doesn’t give us that context or say, like you do, that richardson made a drunken mistake for complicated reasons. It provides sad details in a really fun tone, and that’s creepy!!!!

      Also I love autostraddle!!

    • Li — yes, you’re right, this wasn’t “rape,” and we don’t say that it is! We say the Daily Reader chose really weird details as evidence that the act was a funny romp and the tone of the article was SKETCHY!
      +
      To take what we said in this post about the way the Daily Reader contextualized a drunken sex act involving a homosexual woman who was found, eyes closed, underneath a man who had to be pulled off her as a hilarious little romp and interpret it as an anti-sex conservative position is a HUGE leap! Nor do we suggest that we wouldn’t feel the same way if it was a gay man being fucked by a woman rather than a gay woman being fucked by a man.
      +
      We do not suggest that a woman who is drunk has no agency whatsoever and is incapable of making decisions. That is a sexist assumption and furthermore, if drunk women can’t make decisions, than about 50% of my life decisions and 75% of my sexual decisions have been out of my hands, which isn’t very empowering.

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