WIBU when i thought i was looking out for this friend?

(48 Posts)
doodah246 Tue 10-Sep-13 11:11:01

Have name changed in case I get flamed for this. In AIBU for traffic.

I had a conversation with a friend recently that has played on my mind a bit and i wanted to know of i am the one out of line.

friend and i are both at uni. Friend was telling me about a house party recently. She did not know anyone at the party and got'black out drunk' to the extent where she can't remember what took place and subsequently passed out on the floor in this house.

i felt that this is a ridiculously stupid thing to do and in a friendly sort of way just implied that by getting as drunk as she did she was leaving herself very vulnerable to having things stolen and worse.

she went completely mental, said i was victim blaming and didn't speak to me for a short while.

to me it was never any sort of feminist debate over what shed done and just me looking out for her as a friend - she's from a tiny village and is at uni in a big city and i do worry about her.

so was i being unreasonable by what i said? I wouldn't like to think i was as i think its a pretty horrible thing to accuse someone of being and i was just trying to look out for her.

apologies for any spelling mistakes, im on my phone.

GrendelsMum Tue 10-Sep-13 20:50:33

I'd agree with the people who said that there are sadly plenty of ways that being very drunk can harm or kill you, without needing to bring rapists into it. A friend of mine would have been one of them when we were students, if it hadn't been for a pensioner seeing her collapsed in the street.

NeedaWee Tue 10-Sep-13 20:40:19

victim blaming my arse

if she wants to act like an idiot with no regard for personal safety, let her get on with it and feel smug when she comes crying to you that something awful has happened

OP,it depends whether you went on and on about the risk of her being attacked because she was drunk, or if you said that people who pass out when drunk sometimes choke on their own vomit. If what you said was mainly about the risk of rape, then you were peddling rape myths and victim-blaming. If you were concerned about her health and the risk of choking, then you were not (though actually, choking on your own vomit doesn't happen that often or a lot more students wouldn't live to graduate.)

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 19:08:12

Ok, one last go. Potentially triggering.

I don't believe my actions add to my risk of being raped because I absolutely 100% cannot control the actions of any potential rapist. If I am in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person, I will be raped. Whether I'm drunk or sober, in the street, in the office, in a friend's house, asleep or awake, if I meet someone who has decided to rape me then the chances are, I will be raped.

That is horrifying. I understand it is horrifying. I understand that's something we don't want to face, we don't want to talk about. But it is my belief. Maybe if I was sober I could talk someone round - but that still doesn't add or diminish the risk of encountering a man who wants to rape me. That is absolutely my position and to my mind, anything else is both victim-blaming and minimising the rapist's culpability. With more than a dash of magical thinking thrown in.

If you were at that party and you saw ops friend passed out, would you steal her phone? Look through her purse for the taxi fare home? Of course you wouldn't. That's not what decent people do.

As I said, my belief, my position. Make of it what you will, of course you are free to disagree. But it doesn't sound like the op's friend does.

Floggingmolly Tue 10-Sep-13 18:43:28

I don't actually get why assuming a certain onus is on you to take steps to keep yourself safe is perceived as victim blaming?
The blame always lies with the rapist, certainly, but you don't put yourself in the firing line just because it'll "never be your fault". What comfort is that, after the event?

CharityFunDay Tue 10-Sep-13 18:32:18

YWNBU to remind your friend of the dangers inherent in losing consciousness in a strange place full of strangers IMHO. Doesn't sound like victim-blaming to me (and she wasn't even a 'victim', so WTF?).

We all bear responsibility not to make ourselves vulnerable, even though the onus should be on others to behave properly regardless -- but 'others' are beyond our control, especially if we're pissed senseless.

shockers Tue 10-Sep-13 18:28:02

Getting so drunk that you pass out is stupid wherever you are... but even more stupid if you're not with friends who will check on you. I know I'd want people like you around my children when they fly the nest - one has already been through uni and I am grateful for the good friends he made because they all acted like family for each other.

kali110 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:25:40

I dont think you were being unreasonable at all op.

lisylisylou Tue 10-Sep-13 18:25:28

Sometimes when someone knows they've done something wrong and it's been pointed out they use attacking someone verbally as they're best form of defence. If my husband has done something stupid and I point it out he'll start shouting at me to defend himself! Don't worry about it, she's very stupid to get to that point of being drunk but also it's quite scary. She probably knows what you've said is right and hopefully when he calms down she'll understand you only had the best intentions for her.

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 18:17:40

Its a myth is it? Right......so just because you are more likely to be raped in your own home by someone you know, no one has ever been dragged off the street by a stranger? Better tell my friend then and get the man who is in prison for attacking her and several other women out of prison hmm

I dont see what is so hard for you to understand that while yes, it is unlikely, it is not impossible and it is foolish to add to any risk by being out of control. Some one that drunk may not even remember being assaulted. And as mentioned above, this isnt just about assault, but theft, car accidents etc.

Tryharder Tue 10-Sep-13 17:24:30

Yes, your friend is an idiot.

But I suspect that most university students do similarly idiotic things on more than one occasion. I have a 'fond' recollection of waking up in a strange bed somewhere in Newcastle- I wasn't even studying in Newcastle at the time. Or the time that I went to Hamburg on a coach and ended up....well, never mind. We've all been there, done that and got the T shirt.

I doubt your friend needs you to tell her of the error of the ways though.

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 17:18:22

FFS yourself. The facts are women are at much, much higher risk of rape from people they know. They are at risk in their own homes and offices. The all-pervasive myth of the predator down an alley waiting to pounce on a drunk woman is just that, a myth.

That said though. It is not open season on my vagina should I happen to be drunk, stoned, asleep or otherwise unconscious. Consent must be freely, clearly, given. That's the law. If you can't consent, it's rape. If you won't consent, it's rape. If you don't consent, it's rape.

I really don't see why that is so hard to understand.

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 17:12:12

FFS, it is not victim blaming to tell someone that getting so drunk they pass out is a fucking stupid thing to do.

Personally I prefer to keep myself as safe as possible than risk being the victim of a predator.

No one is saying that it would have been her fault, but they are saying that she would have made it far easier for a potential attacker. Why take the risk?

As long as there are predatory people out there is makes sense to take as few risks as possible. Calling that victim blaming is frankly fucking ridiculous.

Do you say that the advice to not leave drinks unattended is victim blaming? Or is it just minimising risk?

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 17:12:11

FFS, it is not victim blaming to tell someone that getting so drunk they pass out is a fucking stupid thing to do.

Personally I prefer to keep myself as safe as possible than risk being the victim of a predator.

No one is saying that it would have been her fault, but they are saying that she would have made it far easier for a potential attacker. Why take the risk?

As long as there are predatory people out there is makes sense to take as few risks as possible. Calling that victim blaming is frankly fucking ridiculous.

Do you say that the advice to not leave drinks unattended is victim blaming? Or is it just minimising risk?

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 17:12:10

FFS, it is not victim blaming to tell someone that getting so drunk they pass out is a fucking stupid thing to do.

Personally I prefer to keep myself as safe as possible than risk being the victim of a predator.

No one is saying that it would have been her fault, but they are saying that she would have made it far easier for a potential attacker. Why take the risk?

As long as there are predatory people out there is makes sense to take as few risks as possible. Calling that victim blaming is frankly fucking ridiculous.

Do you say that the advice to not leave drinks unattended is victim blaming? Or is it just minimising risk?

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 16:57:36

It's as outdated as 'cover your ankles, you don't want a man to see them and ravish you in the cornfield.' (Thanks for that one, GGM). It is victim blaming, pure and simple. Rapists don't rape because girls get drunk. Rapists rape because they are rapists.

Loa Tue 10-Sep-13 16:14:14

I think most intelligent people know choosing to drink enough alcohol to extent your so incapacitated that you pass out in a strange place surrounded by strangers isn't a great move safety wise without having it pointed out.

Having said that nothing bad should ever happen to you - other than being sick and having a really bad headache next day it just leaves you being an easier target.

Either she was exaggerating for effect - or she knows it was dangerous and probably didn't start out trying to end up in that position but a series of bad choices left her there.

A better phase might have been - I'm glad nothing bad happened to you - rather than pointing out everything that could have.

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 15:36:49

Whats outdated about saying "You need to try and keep yourself safe, getting totally wasted with a bunch of strangers wasnt a great thing to do"?

FFS!

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 14:45:04

You can't possibly know that retro.

While I perhaps wouldn't 'go mental' if the OP had pulled that line with me, I certainly wouldn't have nodded and agreed with her. I would certainly have told her to back off fairly robustly with her outdated opinions if she was around the same age as me, which it seems from the OP they are.

Retroformica Tue 10-Sep-13 14:25:34

I think she went mental as underneath everything she knew you were right. You have a very valid point and was only looking out for her. Total over reaction on her side.

Bogeyface Tue 10-Sep-13 13:13:50

I dont think it is victim blaming either. I wonder if the girl was embarrassed about how drunk she was and went on the attack to save face.

It comes down to basic personal safety, you are much safer when you are not falling down drunk and that includes things like road accidents, falling over and hurting yourself and yes, being assaulted or robbed.

Did I miss a memo? I thought that staying in reasonable control of ones body and mind was common sense?

JRmumma Tue 10-Sep-13 13:02:55

IMO, by accusing you of victim blaming, she is suggesting that anything that happens to her whilst drunk would have happened anyway. This is not true. Sober people do not usually walk out onto busy roads and get run over, or choke on their own vomit etc. Its not just about rape, but all aspects of personal safety that we have to take a measure of responsibility for.

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:55:54

Sorry that last bit was to LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti not BoF

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:54:30

theres a world of difference between saying a drunk girl was asking for it, and that a drunk girl should look after herself when she is an unfamilar place Thank you JumpingJack - exactly what I was trying to say but you put it a lot better than I did!
BoF I haven't seen the other thread but I am leaving this one now as I can see a bun fight coming!

RedHelenB Tue 10-Sep-13 12:52:00

YANBU to point out the folly of being so drunk you pass out - rape doesn't spring to my mind but wandering off & getting run over does, forgetting where you've left your money etc etc does. But students do get drunk, par for the course & you maybe came across as a bit of a fuddy duddy in your response.

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