Young women are often the targets of aggression when they’re out in bars, but the problem isn’t that guys are too drunk to know better.
Instead, men are preying on women who have had too much to drink.
When researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington observed young people’s behaviors in bars, they found that the man’s aggressiveness didn’t match his level of intoxication. There was no relationship.
Instead, men targeted women who were intoxicated.
The researchers hired and trained 140 young adults to go into bars in the Toronto area and note every incident of aggression that they saw. They found that 25 percent of all incidents involved sexual aggression. And 90 percent of the victims of sexual aggression were women being harassed by men.
Almost all of the aggression was physical, with about two-thirds of the aggressors physically touching women without consent. About 17 percent threatened contact. And 9 percent verbally harassed their targets.
Men may perceive intoxicated women either as more amenable to advances or as easier targets who are less able to rebuff them because they don’t have their wits about them, the researchers say.
Very important study. Let me be clear: “easier targets” means that you have a predator here, a man who is looking for someone who is easy to go after against their consent. “Easy” here does not mean a woman who wants them, but rather a woman who is too intoxicated to understand what she wants or to fight back. Too intoxicated to say no, or to intoxicated to defend her no. These are predators going after these women.
The prevalence (25%) is scary but not surprising. I wonder if this is a minority of men striking over and over again, or if this is more common among men generally. Regardless, I think that the culture we live in 1) encourages men to “take what they can get”, disregarding consent and leading to rape 2) normalizes this form of violence, causing no one to step in and women to feel as though this is just “part of being a woman”, thus creating an environment of silence and violence, and keeping the entire thing going 3) because of the normalization, completely regular men may end up being violent scumbags (no one ever taught them any different, this is what they see all around them, this is what they consider “getting lucky” and are rewarded for by their friends).