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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.

quesadilla Tue 10-Sep-13 11:29:12

YANBU and friend sounds very silly to put it mildly. Also confused by her talking about "victim blaming." How can she be a victim of her own unbridled need to pour booze down her own neck? Either she is being very self pitying or something nasty happened there while she was under the influence. Are you sure it isn't the latter?

If not she sounds rather a lost sheep... I think going to a party where you don't know anyone and drinking yourself into a stupor suggests she is lonely and distressed or perhaps has a drinking problem. Has she done things like this before?

medhandthekiddiesvtheworld Tue 10-Sep-13 11:34:56

Its victim blaming because you are suggesting if something happened it was her fault for being passed out and not the persons who did the something for doing it

that passed, an element of personal safety doesnt go amiss

sadly however rapists rape because thats what they are - a decent man/woman would help her

Seaweedy Tue 10-Sep-13 11:41:42

What Medhand said, really. Someone is raped because they are unfortunate enough to encounter a rapist.

Having said that, your friend sounds naïve and vulnerable. I would never recommend that someone gets drunk enough to have a blackout in a houseful of strangers, taking the chance that she is surrounded by decent human beings.

Tee2072 Tue 10-Sep-13 11:44:43

If something had happened, it wouldn't be her fault. It's not okay to steal or do anything else to someone just because they are passed out drunk.

But there is a level of personal responsibility that she doesn't seem to be achieving.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 10-Sep-13 11:49:33

The way I look at it is that if you put yourself in a dangerous situation, you are not causing the bad thing to happen, but you might be making it be you that it happens to on that particular occasion.

Rapists rape because they want to exert power over someone else, not because they see a short skirt and can't contain themselves.

It does border on victim blaming to say something like "you're so lucky nothing happened" because 99% of the time one can get falling-over drunk and suffer nothing worse than a hangover. Being taken advantage of would be incredibly unlikely and unlucky; being left alone is the expected outcome.

At university I was incredibly angry with a friend who rather patronisingly insisted my then-boyfriend walk me home along a fully lit busy road because of a perceived rape risk. Statistically I was hugely more likely to be raped by him in my house or his than by a complete stranger with dozens of witnesses, but she wouldn't have thought of advising me not to be alone with him.

Fleta Tue 10-Sep-13 11:50:18

I absolutely agree that the victim has no blame whatsoever BUT I think leaving yourself particularly vulnerable as in this case is something I as a friend would be concerned about also

Fleta Tue 10-Sep-13 11:51:52

My other point would be - imagine the worse happens and you DO encounter a rapist.

If I was sober I would think I would have a fighting chance of (a) maybe fighting the bugger off and (b) recognising him so I could give a decent report to the police.

If I was absolutely drunk to the point of blacking out (a) you are unlikely to be able to fight anyone off and (b) possibly unable to recognise. So he gets away with it.

quesadilla Tue 10-Sep-13 11:56:49

Hold on a minute though... The OP hadn't said her friend said anything about being raped. Of course it wouldn't be her fault if she had been taped but I interpreted this "victim blaming" as being a reference to her having got pass out drunk...

Confused. OP can you clarify?

quesadilla Tue 10-Sep-13 11:57:22

Raped, even

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 11:59:43

I am guessing since you're on MN and at university, you're perhaps a bit older than most undergrads, or at least in a different place in your life? Because university students aren't exactly MN's target demographic.

Perhaps she felt a bit patronized. I agree with others that it is victim blaming, because no-one should steal or rape in any situation. And I think you might consider that you scared and upset her when she was looking for reassurance. Not that it's bad to tell a mate getting blind drunk is a stupid thing to do, but there are ways and ways of doing it. I wonder if she is actually now afraid that something did happen?

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:01:48

Its the same as saying that if you don't lock your car it is more likely to be stolen isn't it?
That's not saying that you would deserve it but saying that it makes it easier for thieves to steal it.
If I go out to a place where nobody knows me and pass out drunk I am more likely to be a victim of theft/rape/whatever than if I am sober and in a public place.
Its stating the bleeding obvious surely!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 12:04:29

I don't think it is the same, though.

A car is an inanimate object. Of course you'd be furious if it were stolen, but there's something much scarier and nastier about rape, surely?

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 12:07:14

It's not stating the obvious though Kaluki, at all. You are no more likely to be raped by a stranger if you are drunk. You are much more likely to be raped by someone you know, in your own home.

So it's not obvious, you are wrong. rape myths busted

medhandthekiddiesvtheworld Tue 10-Sep-13 12:12:59

If I was sober I would think I would have a fighting chance of (a) maybe fighting the bugger off and (b) recognising him so I could give a decent report to the police.

This can also be interpreted as victim blaming sadly.

Interestingly - I get my DH to walk female friends home - not in case they are raped, but out of a sense of politeness, in exactly the same way as if I drop someone to their house, I wait until they open the front door and let themselves in before I leave,

I had never thought about it being patronising before.

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:32:04

Surely though if a rapist is at a party and there is a drunk girl there who is at the point of passing out she is more likely to be the victim than the sober girl who is surrounded by her friends. That's the common sense element.
I think it is just common sense to take care of your personal safety and not to put yourself in any danger.
I absolutely would not ever blame the victim, in an ideal world we would all be safe whatever we do but life isn't like that and we should all keep ourselves as safe as we can.

medhandthekiddiesvtheworld Tue 10-Sep-13 12:33:50

Kaluki - if we wanted to keep ourselves as safe as we possibly could, that would be best achieved by remaining single, having no male friends and never going out - as we are far more likely to be raped by a friend/partner than a random stranger.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Tue 10-Sep-13 12:39:37

Op you do realize that such a reaction could indicate she has been a victim at some point.

BOF Tue 10-Sep-13 12:41:22

God, not this again.

OP- if you know mumsnet at all (and as you're here, I guess you do), then you must have seen this discussion a hundred times. Why does it need the "traffic" of AIBU?


WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 12:42:03

But Kaluki, you are victim blaming (although obviously the girl in the OP wasn't raped) by suggesting that she should a) have not gone out b) have not gone out alone c) should not have drunk. You are blaming her because you believe that would make her a more likely target for a rapist. So she would have contributed to her own rape. How is that not victim blaming?

And the statistics don't bear out your hypothesis, by the way. Please read the link I posted.

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 12:42:41

Alright medhandthekiddiesvtheworld I get your point but the OP is about a drunk girl at a party full of strangers and not about risks from someone she knew!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 12:44:28

Good point, BOF.

I'm sure this was unintentional, but I also think this is not a very nice thread given that the situation described is quite similar to the debate going on in another thread today, where a MNer had a nasty experience and is obviously still quite upset, and rightly.

JumpingJackSprat Tue 10-Sep-13 12:45:18

i agree with you op. 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 - she might have easily got robbed/choked on her own vomit. its a bloody stupid thing to do to get so blind drunk you dont know what is going on around you.

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.

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!

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