Even posing this question will get you banished from the kingdom in today’s confusing sexual arena. The National Organization for Women has called for Taranto’s firing. His error, hardly a firing offense, wasn’t in posing the question about equal drunkenness, but in comparing a sexual assault to a car wreck in which both drivers are equally drunk and the male gets blamed. The failure of this analogy should be self-evident.
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.
In any arena involving physicality, the stronger of two has the moral responsibility to protect the weaker. In heterosexual sex, barring exceptions that merely prove the rule, this will always be the male. It is for men to not take advantage of women who are bereft of their faculties no matter the state of their own.
Although we can argue that women shouldn’t get drunk and convey mixed signals (try dissecting that the next day), they are functionally less able to resist the advances of a determined male.
This presumes that men should be chivalrous toward women, a concept not much in vogue these days. But worse than an old-fashioned idea is a modern state that believes it should review with whom and how you conduct your sex life.
Kathleen Parker is a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at email@example.com.