A female friend of mine lives by the maxim, “Never be the slow gazelle in the herd.” This maxim reflects a few home truths. There are aggressive men out there, and even a mild-mannered guy with a few shots in his belly can get handsy and even worse. My friend also recognizes that men and women are different. Men are bigger, stronger, and faster than women. Women must protect themselves.
In the middle of the night last January 15, Louisiana State University sophomore Madison Brooks allowed herself to be the slow gazelle.
She went out drinking at a place called Reggie’s a few miles from campus, a shady shack in a dreadful neighborhood, consumed something on the order of eight drinks in one hour, and proceeded to get into a car with four men she did not know.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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Sometime later, she exited their car in the rain and, shortly after that, got run down by yet another vehicle. She died of “multiple traumatic injuries.” Her blood alcohol level was .319, over the legal limit.
Two of the four men who took her for a ride are charged with rape, which is an easy call since they clearly took advantage of a woman who was likely in a stupor and probably on the verge of passing out. She was potentially close to death from alcohol poisoning. An undergrad at Bowling Green in Ohio died two years ago with a blood alcohol level only slightly higher than Madison’s. The young men say the sex was consensual, and she “consented” several times. What a sad end to a beautiful girl at 3 a.m. on a rainy night in a crappy neighborhood.
It is hard to write about something so hideous without sounding like you are blaming the victim. Indeed, LSU President William Tate came under immediate fire after he emailed the student body to be careful about underage drinking in bars near the campus. Campus feminists were furious: “The student body finds itself sickened by this attempt to victim blame and further ignore the overwhelming violence, particularly sexual violence, we face as students.” The young feminists believe one can get blotto and drive around with strangers without consequences. And you certainly are free to do that, but the slow gazelle may come across ravening lions.
Several questions occur. Why was Madison out pounding drink after drink close to midnight? Where were her friends? Why didn’t they give her a ride home? What was the bartender thinking, serving her so many shots in such a short amount of time? Reggie’s boasts 50-cent shot nights. That Saturday night, they were offering $6 double Tito’s vodkas. How many did Madison guzzle before she ran across the parking lot after those four strangers?
The scene in and around Reggie’s, indeed in and around LSU, seems to be a fetid swamp of drunkenness and sexual immorality. The bar is in a deserted area of parking lots and sketchy buildings. The area is almost totally abandoned. It is barren and bleak. Why would any woman walk into such a night alone, let alone with utter strangers?
One of the accused rapists is charged with another rape, that of a woman he met in the parking lot of Reggie’s who asked, get this, if she could sleep at his apartment because she was too drunk to get home. It is reported that they proceeded to have sex, but then she called a halt, and he kept going. What fresh hell do these people live in? It is the hell of the sexual revolution that says sex is unimportant and entirely inconsequential.
British feminist Louise Perry is quite good on all of this in her newish book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. She worked in a rape crisis center for years and has come to several conclusions. Rape is not about power; it is about sex. This is why most victims of rape are young women, and most perpetrators are young men. And she says young women must protect themselves from situations where they are vulnerable. She says,
If you wanted to design the perfect environment for the would-be rapist, then you couldn’t do much better than a party or nightclub, filled with young women who are wearing high heels (limiting mobility) and drinking or taking drugs (limiting awareness).
Perry’s advice to young women is:
avoid putting yourself in a situation where you are alone with a man you don’t know or a man who gives you a bad feeling in your gut. He is almost certainly stronger and faster than you, which means that the only thing standing between you and rape is that man’s self-control.
Madison behaved foolishly. She placed herself in a profoundly dangerous situation. She was dead drunk, and she got into a car with men she did not know. This does not take away the guilt of the men. She was too drunk to actually consent, no matter how many times she may have said yes. And yet, she made herself the slow gazelle. Women must understand there are ravaging lions out there just waiting to devour.