Saturday, February 09, 2019

Shades of Gray

Alana Horowitz Stalin, Senior Editor of “Breaking News” at HuffPost, tell us Ted Cruz Defends Nominee Who Blamed Women For Sexual Assault. Quite the norm of typical partisan political journalism. No, Cruz did not promote blaming women for sexual assault.[i] The nominee[ii] did not blame women for sexual assault. Someone dug up an op-ed piece that Neomi Rao wrote about parties, drunkenness, and rape while a student at Yale. Rao did not retract or contradict what she wrote, though she said she regretted “any implication of blaming the victim” – because she was not “blaming the victim.” The nominee told a Senate Judiciary Committee that she was trying to make a common sense observation – “perhaps not in the most elegant way” – that excessive drinking can lead to risky and dangerous behaviour.[iii] That is a truism. Regardless of however “inelegantly” one might make that point, it should not be denied. “Any student that drinks to the point of getting drunk and losing control risks being a victim.” Advising the avoidance of risky behaviour that could help avoid problems is not “blaming the victim.” It is good advice that can be applied in any number of circumstances that have nothing to do with sexual assault. The perpetrator of any crime is always the one who is to blame for the crime. Rao clearly stated, “A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted.”

Shades of Gray” is the piece Neomi Rao wrote for The Yale Herald, October 14, 1994. Click on the link; read and judge it for yourself rather than depending on select quotes by folks with an agenda unrelated to what Neomi Rao meant.

[i] Cruz said, “I have two daughters. I certainly intend to give them the advice not to drink to excess. And it is unquestionably true that any student that drinks to the points of getting drunk and losing control risks being a victim, risks being vulnerable.”
[iii] Unfortunately, common sense isn’t all that common. Mix that with partisan politics trying to get one over on the other side, and none are able to mean what they meant.

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