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NPR: If he's sexually aggressive in bars, it's not because he's drunk

NPR/University researchers/Science slam-dunks on dudes who use alcohol as an excuse for predatory behavior. Turns out there's evidence that there is no relationship between a man's levels of intoxication and aggressive behavior. They also noted that this behavior is deliberate, physical in nature, and predatory towards women who are deemed more vulnerable (in this case, drunk).

I found this on someone's FB wall and one of their friends commented how it was interesting that society forgives male sexual predation when they are under the influence, but condemns women who are victims when they've had anything at all to drink (and even when they haven't). This is particularly relevant to my experience as both bar patron and bartender. I've been verbally harassed, groped, and generally made to feel awful by men when I was drunk and when I was sober. The man who assaulted me was a perfect gentleman on our date until he had a few drinks. Then he literally forced drinks into my hand to get me off guard and unable to go home on my own. And when I eventually confronted him about it he told me "I don't remember that. Come on, you know me. I'm not like that when I'm sober."


In vino veritas, motherfucker.

Sadly, according to the study, bar staff isn't very likely to intervene. I try very hard to keep an eye out for my drunk and or vulnerable and or female patrons and intervene when I see something awry. But I don't know my rights, and I hope studies like this encourage employees to bring these discussions up with their bosses. I hope this increases training about sexual assault prevention in bars. For my part, I showed this article to one of my female managers and she has promised to work on it.

In the meantime, spread this article around. And call those assholes out when you see them. Unfortunately I don't think change is going to come unless we shout loud enough to make some cultural shifts.

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