Drink, sex and rape

By Legal Eagle

[Image take from MMM radio website]

I’m somewhat late on this one, I know. Collingwood’s Grand Final win was overshadowed by the news of sexual assault allegations by a woman against two Collingwood players after the post-Grand Final celebrations. Immediately there was a media furore. Various commentators weighed in. Neil Mitchell, a 3AW radio host, named the two players involved. Mitchell was immediately criticised by a furious Collingwood president Eddie McGuire. Legally speaking, there was nothing to stop Mitchell from naming the players against whom the allegations were made. Defence lawyers have suggested that, just as the complainant cannot be named, the law should be amended so that the players cannot be named.

Meanwhile, former AFL footballer Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt sparked a storm by “tweeting” the comments reproduced in the graphic above. The comment I particularly want to explore is this one: “Girls!! When will you learn! At 3am when you are blind drunk & you decide to go home with a guy ITS NOT FOR A CUP OF MILO! Allegedly…….” Now, you might think, “What kind of an idiot girl gets drunk and seriously thinks she’s going for a milo with a guy when he takes her home?” I’ll be honest: I have been that girl, when I was a young naive university student. I was at a workplace function where the alcohol was flowing freely. I had quite a lot to drink, as did all the other people there. A guy I knew from uni invited me home “for coffee”. Surprise, surprise, the invite wasn’t actually for coffee. When the real intention of the invite became evident, I said that I did not want that, and asked to go home. He called me a taxi immediately and I went home. I was lucky that he was a decent fellow.

The politics of these kinds of interactions are complex. Campbell Mathieson has written a very interesting piece in The Age today, and I commend him for his candour. It outlines how, when he was about 20, he was approached by a woman who was very drunk, and considered going home with her, but then realised that she wasn’t in a position to give proper consent. Have a read of the piece. The comments to Mathieson’s article are revealing. There are many comments which are supportive of the piece.  But then there are also some others which show another attitude. For example, “M.” at 8:12 am says:

So now we have a society where men have to be held responsible for the actions of women, women will get preference for jobs based on “evening up ratios” and school curricula are slanted towards girls.

If you get drunk and out of control you are entirely responsible for what happens to you if you are a willing participant.

It is time that society gets over the myth that alcohol is responsible. People are irresponsible.
I know who is really getting raped here.

Or “Figgy” at 8:15am:

Im getting sick and tired of hearing “stories” of women who are being supposedly “raped”. If a man places himself in a situation where he drink drives and is caught its not the fault of the alcohol, its the fault of the man for consuming the alcohol and then being stupid enough to drive. If a woman places herself in a situation where she consumes too much alcohol, then instigates romantic contact, or “throws herself” at someone wanting to get into bed, this is NOT rape the following morning. If she didn’t drink to get so wasted she wouldnt have been in the situation to start with, so the responsibility still lies with her at the start, as it does a drunk driver.

Various people ask whether, if the man regrets it the day after, is that rape on the woman’s part? There is a lot of confusion about what is and what is not appropriate conduct, and what makes something assault or rape.

Regret the day after sexual intercourse does not make it rape. The definition of rape is sexual intercourse without consent. It is rape if one partner says no as things proceed, and does things to indicate that they do not consent to what is happening. Presuming a heterosexual sexual encounter, if a man simply regrets his actions the day after, he cannot say that he has been raped. However, if the man told his partner he did not want to proceed and she proceeded anyway, this would be rape.

Still, I can’t help thinking that some of the people in the comments thread overlook the physical differences between men and women. If the man is really, really drunk such as to negate his consent, then (to put it delicately) he’s unlikely to be able to physically consummate the relationship. The same is the case if the man does not desire sexual intercourse any longer. By contrast, if the woman is really, really drunk, and the man is less drunk, the relationship may still be consummated. The same applies if the woman no longer desires sexual intercourse. I wonder if this is a reason why the vast preponderance of these sorts of cases involve men raping very drunk women, not women raping very drunk men? It’s simply physically more difficult for the latter to occur.

In Mathieson’s article, the drunken woman approached him and kissed him suddenly. Many commenters made comments to the effect that a guy who did this would commit sexual assault. It’s only sexual assault if you do not consent. If the woman had kissed Mathieson and he’d pulled away and said, “ugh!” that would have been sexual assault. If a man did that to a woman, and she consented, then it’s not sexual assault. The law applies to such conduct equally, regardless of gender.

But we do have to consider the good old ‘double standard’. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that somehow we regard an older male school teacher seducing a female student as different to an older female teacher seducing a male student. Logically, it shouldn’t make any difference whatsoever, but somehow it seems different to me. It’s a massive generalisation, but I suspect a male student is more likely to emerge from such an encounter with his self-esteem intact. According to society in general, the male student is a “stud”, whereas the female student is a “slut”. Thus, instinctively, the female student seems to have been violated more, because her reputation has likely been affected adversely.

Also, men are often more physically powerful than women. For women, there’s always this underlying sense that men are generally stronger than you, and that you might have difficulty resisting if they try to physically force the issue. A woman may wish to resist, but not be physically strong enough to do so.

The main thing that seems to worry commenters to Mathieson’s piece is the possibility that a woman may apparently consent to sexual intercourse while very drunk, but once she sobers up the next day, she may then decide that she didn’t want sexual intercourse and she did not consent. Then it’s her word against the man’s word. To be perfectly clear: if a woman is so drunk that she is incapable of communicating her consent, then that is rape. Still, in cases of “date rape”, the law has to work out consent (or lack thereof) ex post facto which is always very difficult, particularly when there isn’t anyone else there to give evidence about what occurred. If a man is in any doubt as to a woman’s consent, he should not continue for his own sake. Mathieson made the right call. Who wants to be the subject of rape allegations?

There’s a suggestion in some of the excerpted comments that if a woman gets really drunk, then she’s fair game, and she can’t complain if she wakes up with some guy she can’t even remember. There are also cultural issues at play. SL tells me that Roman law enshrined the idea that a man who couldn’t control himself and had to force himself on women sexually was no true man. Men were thus responsible for female sexuality. Of course this is still patriarchal; women were assumed to be gagging for it. By contrast, in many cultures, the idea is that it’s the woman’s responsibility to make sure the man controls himself. If she reneges on that responsibility, then it’s her fault. The comments on Mathieson’s post reflect that some in our culture embrace that notion.

I think we should be realistic and acknowledge that it is dangerous for a woman to get really drunk in a situation where she doesn’t have friends around her and to go home with someone she doesn’t know. But that does not mean that if you then get raped then it is your fault, or that you are asking for it. If the man is less drunk, and more capable of judging the consent or lack of consent, then it is his responsibility to make a judgment call as to how far he should proceed. Guys who think, “She deserves it” should think how they would feel if it was their sister, niece or daughter who was in that situation.

Here I also want to reference an excellent post by SL on the legal issues raised in situations like this:

If the State advises young women not to wear revealing clothing because it increases the chance of rape, but then prosecutes any rapists to the full extent of the law and does not allow the woman’s dress to mitigate the seriousness of the charge at trial (or any subsequant sentence), it is difficult to consider the advice sexist. The issue thus becomes an empirical one: is there any link between clothing worn and later sexual violence? The same argument applies, for example, to those men who claim, say, that they are sex addicts and unable to control themselves, and so on. The problem of sex addiction may well be genuine, but it cannot be allowed to mitigate or vitiate either the intent or the harm. Larger issues of protection (the State’s core role) are at stake.

If, however, the State allows the rapist to mitigate the seriousness of the offence by apportioning liability between the woman and her attacker for whatever reason – allowing, in effect, a crime to be treated as a tort — then its reasoning is both logically and morally illegitimate. This is, I suspect, what so angers feminists, although making a distinction between empirical facts and subsequent (not consequent) outcomes is of vital importance. Whether something causes something else is one question; whether that should be reflected in any subsequent sentence is another. Some men are undoubtedly sex addicts who respond criminally to revealing clothing. That’s unfortunate, and I feel sorry for them, but they should still be locked up for as long as those rapists who rape for reasons that can’t be medicalized.

You really can’t apportion responsibility between the parties without destroying the notion of rape as a crime. The whole point is that the conduct is illegal.

I should note that in some of these footballer cases, the issue seems to be that the woman consented to sexual intercourse with one particular footballer, but she did not consent to sexual intercourse with his teammates, and it is this which has occasioned the complaint. Maybe group sex is a football thing?! (The mind boggles). Just because a woman consents to intercourse with one footballer does not mean that she consents to intercourse with his teammates. This should be emphasised over and over to footballers. They may feel like they’re all brothers and they should share everything, but this does not extend to women (unless, of course, the woman indicates that she wants this). Spida’s tweet does not deal with the multiple partners issue. It’s simply unfair to say that a woman who goes home with a man “for a cup of milo” is thereby agreeing to have milo with all his teammates too, to continue Spida’s metaphor.

And what of the publication of the names of the footballers in this particular case? Should Mitchell have publicised the names of the footballers? Mitchell made the point that various names were being including some footballers who were innocent of any wrongdoing, and thus he argued the names of the individuals should be known to clear the innocent footballers. On the other hand, the naming of the players may irrevocably tarnish their reputation, as they have not been found guilty of any offence yet, and may never be found guilty.

This post doesn’t purport to provide any answers. In fact, I don’t think there is any black and white answers to “date rape” scenarios — they are very difficult cases. (No pun about Collingwood colours intended). I simply want to discuss some of the issues involved. What do you think?

40 Comments

  1. TerjeP
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    LE – you have not addressed my question regarding my business relationship with my brother. Was I his agent? It would be good if you could share your thoughts on this.

  2. Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    As a remedy, couples should be allowed to enter into contracts about the division of property after separation and the courts should be required to enforce them (aside from any perverse or unconscionable provisions).

    I’d go one step further; I think marriage should be a contract. A couple of things:

    1. The skewed marriage laws are a hangover from this, which was only partly ameliorated by this and this. It was so egregiously unfair that I suspect modern men are just going to have to wear it until women have got it out of their system. It’s a bit like the biological realities I flagged above. It will take a little while for science and legal changes to work their way through society.

    2. When we’ve all gotten over it, then we can follow the marriage-as-contract advice outlined by Sunstein and Thaler in Nudge. I’ll also point out that quite a bit of their advice is nicked from Jewish and Roman law.

    Terje: depending on the terms of the partnership agreement (which I haven’t seen, of course), partners are generally each other’s agents.

  3. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Mel

    Not for nothing, but these family laws are basically a form of rampaging distribution. I’m a little shocked you’re against this sort of thing.

    So there is light at the end of that very dim tunnel after all 🙂

  4. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ll also point out that quite a bit of their advice is nicked from Jewish and Roman law.

    Is that the Roman law which treated women as perpetual minors 🙂

  5. Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Only until the 2nd century BC, JC, when guardianship was abolished. Like us, their law evolved over time, as you would expect.

    Also, a Roman woman could always override her guardian, something that was not available to a feme covert at common law.

  6. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    TerjeP – did you keep a log? I have one for my vehicle, but it seems the need is now wider. Thank God for the lawyers; wherever would we be?

    As to your question: if both parties entered into contract in good faith, and in equal knowledge, then – no. You are not your brother’s keeper.

  7. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    It was so egregiously unfair that I suspect modern men are just going to have to wear it until women have got it out of their system.

    Vengeance has consequences, SL

    One of the consequences is the falling marriage rate in places like the US where divorce laws and such are acting against men.

    It may mean we’ll eventually get back to the old days..

    Women share a man with others and dudes that can’t quite make the grade miss out and rely on technology. This is not a good outcome.

    I see more than a few examples of this for it not to be an unusual cluster.

    My wife has a few single female friends both here and where we lived previously. They are and were always complaining about there not being any single males around.

    This is/was obvious bullshit. What the gals weren’t saying is that there weren’t any males they liked. In reality they were ignoring all the available less desirable males (in their eyes) and always living in hope they would find the dashing CEO type with lots of homes, boats and hired help. In other words these women would rather lose 3 limbs than say get involved with Herb from the accounts department who has the personality of a pet rock but is also a reliable provider.

  8. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    oops sorry screwed up the cut and paste.

  9. Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Hang on, I’ll go in and fix.

    [FIXED!]

  10. Patrick
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    In short Terje, under current law, I suspect you would have had to have had definite knowledge that he was not so capable, not merely knowledge that he had a tough mortgage.

    This might all have changed if you had tried to use this as leverage over him, for example.

    But banks do exactly that all the time with covenants.

    kvd, ‘equal’ knowledge is the slip, good faith is something different. If I am holding a gun to your head, we have roughly equal knowledge, but you might not think the resulting bargain fair.

    Terje/LE are getting at equal ‘capacity’:

    Terje’s brother is in financial stress due to his mortgage. Terje and his brother are agreeing to take certain business risks which might require Terje’s brother to forfeit his house under the mortgage. Is his brother’s capacity to bargain affected by his greater financial risk that Terje must as a result of his awareness of his brother’s greater risk act in his brother’s interest even at the expense of his own?

    Most people will answer no, here. ‘Yes’ seems unworkable. It would be different for some people if Terje was trying to consciously take his brother by requiring him to agree to something under threat of winding up the business where Terje knows that this would cost his brother his house.

  11. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks SL.

  12. Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]/[email protected] I was thinking about degree of drunkenness, mens rea, consensuality, remembering too that if a male is involved, flaccidity does not preclude large number of acts that would easily amount to sexual assault.

    I did, as [email protected] suggested, try to take gender and orientation out of the equation in most examples. Imagining two males, possibly even the context of a gay bar, might bring clarity to some of the elements involved in deciding between drunken sex and rape/sexual assault.

    I suppose the public lewdness example, in a partially obscured area of say the gardens near parliament, if progressing to genital contact or manipulation of some sort, with both parties blotto (mens rea dubious), and with gender/orientation irrelevant, what is the dividing line as far as an act goes, (seen by a cop but too far away to stop the more significant acts, and when viewed, where consent would be difficult for the cop to guess at a distabce) between both equally drunk being equally responsible, and something where one party is totally responsible for the criminal part? Would administering a breathalyzer on the scene be useful? (remember the case of the stranger kissing mentioned above). That, I hopes illustrates the possibility of some phase shift – a shift that will have significant cultural dependencies.

    Lets take another example at the borderline of sexual assault – which is worse a “mild” groping or flashing (doesn’t matter what your definition of “mild” is) by a drunk guy of (1) a nun who by wearing a habit, is putting out a big NO signal, versus (2) a girl in provocative clothing including a t shirt with a sexually explicit slogan? To my mind, the more obviously you are moving someone from an obvious choice, the greater the offence. One might think of cases of inviting in door-kockers and giving hash cookies – to (1) a long-haired tree-hugging hippy freak with koala costume and bucket for donations (2) guys in white shirts with those black “I’m a mormon missionary” badges. Is introducing psychoactives as much a violation of the victim’s body and morals as sex, especially if one treats sex as just another thing that can be the subject of a contract?

    Again, it’s the reasons for phase shifts in responsibility at a particular point that puzzle me… despite all the variables being continuous and varying between cultures, or within a culture over relatively short timeframes.

  13. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Patrick I bow to your knowledge of the law – which is not to say I agree with you. Your answer reminds me of a Geoffrey Robertson ‘what if’ scenario – pointless entertainment: “If I am holding a gun to your head”?

    LE origionally asked about publicity and blame/responsibility – my words not hers.

    This is nothing to do with either question.

    More of a worry is SL’s ability to edit comments. “Fixed”. What’s that about?

  14. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    More of a worry is SL’s ability to edit comments. “Fixed”. What’s that about?

    I screwed up a comment/ apologized. SL was nice enough to fix it for me.

  15. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    JC I saw that, and was not fussed, and moved on.

    I make enough mistakes without anyone editing “what I said” to be “what I meant”.

    It’s just interesting that this is one place which proclaims the “stop censorship” banner, but apparently allows edit of comment.

  16. Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    kvd: the three admins + Jacques can fix things — both our own comments and other people’s. It comes in handy when someone asks for a comment to be fixed, like JC did. It also means we can fix up broken formatting. Sometimes people accidentally leave blockquotes on, or — to use Tim Blair’s expression — ‘tip over the italics jar’.

  17. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Sl – and admirations btw.

    But I just repeat, carefully, that your ability to edit others’ comments is a very great worry. I’m used to making a fool of myself – and I don’t care – but I worry about your potential ability to project me so.

  18. Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    kvd: I don’t know of any blog where the admins edit commenters to make them look silly. I suppose such blogs do exist (the internet is large), but no blog I frequent — left, right, up, down, purple with polka dots, whatever, does that. To be honest I think it’s a bit like sock-puppetting, and is very bad form.

    A blog like this also depends on its commenters — otherwise we’re just shouting into the void, wasting our time and everyone else’s. Making commenters look silly would chase them away.

    Obviously this is a separate issue from moderating/banning/SOONING people who are trolls or swear-bears or who abuse other people. We’ve always been willing to do that, but we haven’t had to do it very much.

  19. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Learning new knowledge-like things every day – I am. Accepting of your assurances – absolutely.

    Sorry to distract; back to LE’s original questions – which are (as always) quite interesting.

  20. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    #

    I make enough mistakes without anyone editing “what I said” to be “what I meant”.

    It’s just interesting that this is one place which proclaims the “stop censorship” banner, but apparently allows edit of comment.
    #

    Get over yourself. I cut and pasted incorrectly and doubled up on the comment. SL was great to remove it and I thanked her for it. She was courteous.

    There was no altering anything unless you want to read something twice.

  21. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    JC, happy to get over myself. Read my comment – thought I did. happy to get myself Read my comment – thought I JC, happy to get comment – thought my comment – thought get over myself.

    Thanks JC. Very thoughtful and polite comment.

    note to ed: pls no eds

  22. Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    And having enjoyed that little excursus, back on topic, please.

    /meta

  23. desipis
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    LE:

    Logically, it shouldn’t make any difference whatsoever, but somehow it seems different to me.

    Why do otherwise progressive people try so hard to rationalise social prejudices when they benefit women or minorities, even when they’re able to see these prejudices clear as day?

    PC:

    It was an ever so valuable lesson in the way a certain kind of man thinks about women: either she fucks or she doesn’t, and if she does, she’ll fuck anybody. The hatred and contempt for sexually available women that’s implicit here, considering how eagerly sexual availability is sought, tells you exactly how, um, fucked up some men really are. But I think this attitude, whether consciously articulated or not, may be behind the idea that a woman who goes home with one footballer at 3 am is available for any other footballer in the house who fancies her.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much some people will project their own prejudices and misconceptions onto others.

  24. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Hey pav, if you’re still around… you said how much you disliked the actions of that dude in the pub.

    You’d really despise that guy then.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320323/Formula-1-champion-James-Hunt-slept-33-BA-air-stewardesses-race.html

  25. pav
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    “You’d really despise THIS guy then”, you ungrammatical moron.

    [ADMIN: And that’s enough lame attempts at sockpuppeting humour. Stop it or be binned].

  26. Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I have miserable Google-Fu, so I can’t find it, but there is an excellent post of PC’s on Shane Warne (a similar character to the racing car driver in your Daily Mail piece) that I think you’d enjoy, JC, but as I said, I simply cannot find it. I’m hoping she’ll drop the link in the comments.

  27. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Pav settle down.

    Yes you’re correct. I should have Thised not thatsed. Trust me when I say this, but I do know the difference and it was the devil that made me do it and should have checked what I wrote. Sorry.

    I just thought you’d get a kick out it, “that’s” all.

    [ADMIN: You are aware, JC, that Mel is trolling both you and PC. Please don’t respond].

  28. JC
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Is he now… lol? I thought he wore his tux whenever he dropped in here. I should realized he was wearing Hush Puppies.

    Thanks Admin.

  29. TerjeP
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    LE – In the case where one party is clearly intoxicated and impaired your point may be valid. However I took your comment to be more general regarding the asymmetry of risk between men and women. In fact you offered in the context of a discussion about Pavlov’s stranger and I don’t recall Pavlov saying she was impaired by drink.

    This is what you said:-

    Still, because the potential consequences for one gender are more serious than for the other, I do think the gender for whom the consequences are less serious bears some responsibility to at least think about the potential consequences for the other

    In the case of my brother I did care about the risks he exposed himself to and as a brother I would offer council at times if I thought perhaps he hadn’t fully grasped the implications. Likewise I think a gentleman will look out for a lady. And most of us would be wise to hang out with people that care about us because we are all prone to occassional folly. This is quite different though to the notion that we are responsible for the decisions of sober adults. If you were making such a suggestion then it cuts against the notion of personal responsibility.

    Even if a man sleeps with an intoxicated women and has an implied duty of care and should second guess her decisions if he himself is intoxicated there is every reason to think it likely that he may over look this duty of care or reason it through poorly.

    I probably wouldn’t hang out with Pavlov’s stranger and I wouldn’t raise my sons to talk like that but I can’t condemn the man. On the face of it he was asking a direct and honest question.

  30. TerjeP
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Speaking of fixing spilt italics I have not closed the quote properly in the above comment.

    [FIXED!]

  31. TerjeP
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    LE – thanks for clarifying.

  32. Henry2
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    DB @ 62

    One might think of cases of inviting in door-kockers and giving hash cookies –

    erm… were the cookies to help the pain of the splinters? 😉

  33. desipis
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    That’s one of the things which is annoying about that guy’s approach – for many women, it’s not just a fuck, it’s potentially so much more,

    I don’t think it’s a man vs woman thing, I think it’s a clash of different cultures: romantic vs casual sex. There are many people (both men and women) who enjoy getting together with a stranger purely for sexual reasons and don’t see there being anything further to sex (other than the raw biological risks) than the particular encounter. The ‘problem’ seems to be when those who are part of the casual sex culture engage in a way internally consistent with their culture with those of the romantic culture.

    There seems to be a perception that one should have the right not even momentarily interact with someone who’s explicitly interested in casual sex. To me that seems as bigoted as not wanting to even momentarily interact with someone who explicitly holds particular religious beliefs.

  34. mel
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “But for deep biological, psychological and physical reasons, I think the average responses of each gender diverge somewhat.”

    Yes, and the evidence for that is very strong.

    PS. My apologies for the lame attempt at humour at #77. Too much coffee and not enough sleep is my excuse.

  35. Chris
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Thus, when they are sober, women can make whatever decisions they want about their own bodies. I don’t mind what they do as long as they have given informed consent. They can prostitute themselves, they can have orgies, they can get into S & M, whatever, as long as they give consent. However, if a woman is so impaired that they are unable to make a decision,

    Well perhaps an observation that can be made here is that sometimes men and women voluntarily put themselves into a state where they make decisions which they wouldn’t otherwise do. Its not uncommon for men to get into fights when they get drunk for example. Its like they knowingly give themselves consent to do quite dumb things.

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