Too Hot for the WashPost: Feminist Compares Female Right to Be Drunk at Frat Parties to Segregation

Washington Post Magazine humorist Gene Weingarten is a fairly routine basher of conservatives, but when he brings in his feminist friend Gina Barreca, he can end up looking like some kind of Giuliani moderate. Last year, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash Mitt Romney after the election as a woman-hater, a "terrible, terrible date."

At the start of his "Chatological Humor" webchat last week, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash an article by Emily Yoffe on Slate.com that suggested women should avoid getting drunk at frat parties The jaw drops at how this somehow brought Barreca to declare that frat parties are somehow the segregationist drugstore lunch-counters of the modern age. What? Yes (Emphasis mine):

GENE: Last month, “Dear Prudence” advice-giver Emily Yoffe lamented in Slate that it is considered politically unacceptable to warn college women not to get droolingly drunk at parties, rendering themselves more vulnerable to rapists.  Her thesis was instantly proven true when she got savagely attacked across the Internet for being a rape-denying, rape-enabling, antifeminist rape facilitator and rape apologist and all-around Rapey McRapester person.    

GINA:  She deserved the heat.  This was NOT a good column. Every time a woman is told to act like a lady, it sets feminism back 100 years.  I assure you Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are rolling in their graves, which is no mean feat given the restrictive bustles and pinafores in which they were buried because that was what male-dominated society considered fitting and proper for ladies, just as it is now fitting and proper that ladies act demurely and responsibly at parties.  

The fact is, college woman have the same right as college men to behave as jackasses without being charged with inviting attack.  They have every right to get vomit in their hair and on their shoes.  That is part of the college experience, for men and women alike, in large measure to assure that we purge that impulse from our systems before we have real jobs and real responsibilities and get thrown up on not by ourselves but by our babies.   Not getting drunk is not the best way to prevent rape. The best way to prevent rape is to get men to stop raping.  

GENE:  Agreed.  Agreed one hundred percent. But in the meantime, while we are at long last, belatedly, finally making the world unsafe for rapists, who we both agree are the only culprits here …  isn’t there room for a little commonsense advice?  Would it have been bad to write a column warning men not to walk through seedy neighborhoods at 2 a.m. wearing new Air Jordans and a Rolex?

GINA:  That’s fine, sound advice, and easily heeded.   Men can wear sensible shoes  and a Timex.  But to paraphrase Elayne Boosler, a woman cannot choose, on a given day, at a given party, to leave her vagina in her other pants.

GENE: But she can avoid the bad neighborhood !  

GINA:  It shouldn’t be a bad neighborhood.  It’s a party.  It’s a bad neighborhood because of rapists.

GENE:  We are not talking about what should or should not be.  We are talking about what is.  And a frat party is a bad neighborhood for a drunk young woman.

GINA: But she has every right to visit that neighborhood.   Black people in Birmingham Alabama had every right to visit Woolworth lunch counters in 1962.  Their leaders did not write articles counseling them that the most prudent action was to avoid such places.

GENE:  Are you comparing the right to puke with the right to be treated as equal human beings in places of public accommodation?

GINA:  Actually, I am.  Same principle, if somewhat less monumental stakes.

Weingarten explained that his editor at the Post -- a man he calls "Tom the Butcher" -- nixed this subject from the magazine, which is why he decided to post it during his web chat. (What a rebel.) The liberals know when a topic needs to be censored -- even though they claim they're very "anti-censorship."

"I wrote a column with Gina about rape, a subject recently in the news in various depressing ways; my editor, Tom The Butcher, pronounced it unfit for publication for reasons that basically confirmed the thesis of the column, that it is impossible to discuss this subject except completely reverentially." 

I'd only decline to run this because it makes Barreca makes Bella Abzug look like Sally Field in a nun's habit.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis