• Thu, Feb 13 - 10:36 am ET

Whoopi Goldberg’s Anti-Rape Advice: Don’t Get “Poop-Faced” And You’ll Be Fine

whoopi-goldberg

Yesterday, the women on The View discussed James Taranto‘s Wall Street Journal column in which he basically says that women need to take more responsibility for their own sexual assaults. You’d think a table of women might take issue with that kind of thinking, but Whoopi Goldberg apparently thinks it’s laudable. Because women, Whoopi totally agrees that you shouldn’t get “poop-faced.”

She said:

“My opinion is, if you don’t want this kind of attention, don’t get poop-faced. Do not get poop-faced. Do not become so drunk you don’t know what is happening. When you say ‘x, y, z happened,’ you have no way of proving it. So both parties, if you don’t want the agitation, do not become so drunk you can’t figure out what the hell you’re doing.”

Jenny McCarthy (for once a voice of reason!) disagreed, saying:

“I think no means no, period, no matter where you’re at. In college, I went to so many after parties, that does not mean I’m giving an okay to have sex.”

Still, Whoopi got a ton of applause from the audience for her victim-blaming statements. Does this mean that Whoopi thinks if you do get drunk, if you do happen to lose control while you’re drinking, it’s ok for someone to have sex with you without your consent or knowledge? I know that’s not what she said (and I hope to god it’s not what she actually thinks), but that’s the implicit argument in her statement. And that kind of thinking is just flat-out wrong. I am not saying that women shouldn’t be careful about their personal safety when they’re drinking—men should be, as well—but a woman’s drunkenness does not make her responsible for a crime committed against her. Neither her body, not her femaleness, nor her vulnerability, nor her drunkenness causes her to be raped or sexually-assaulted. A rapist does.

As fucked up and plainly warped as it may seem to many of us, this kind of victim-blaming mentality is incredibly common in our culture. Remember Emily Yoffe‘s “teach women to stop binge drinking” column back in October? Remember Serena Williamscomments on the Steubenville victim (“Why was she that drunk?”) Remember Barbara Walters’ disturbing take on Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen?

Dear Emily, dear Serena, dear Barbara, dear Whoopi, dear everyone who has ever said that a women should have worn a longer skirt or had fewer drinks or gotten a ride home or stayed with her friends: Rapists are responsible for rape. Period.

Photo: Getty Images North America

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  • Kayla

    I think that this article is being way too over critical of her statement. While I do not believe that it is ever the victim’s fault, where is the harm in advocating that women take more precautions so that this does not happen? Whoopi isn’t shaming women, she’s simply saying that they need to open there eyes and realize that not every man is going to understand when a woman says “no,” and if the woman is completely “poop-faced” then it is going to be that much harder for her to get herself out of a bad situation (or prevent herself from being in a bad situation to begin with.) We all understand that rape occurs in other circumstances, but women need to be smart about the decisions that they make. Being completely inebriated is, in fact, dangerous. As much as we would like to say “no means no should be enough,” to rapists, it isn’t. Women need to protect themselves even if that means refraining from getting completely wasted. It’s just not a good idea.

    • CMJ

      It’s dangerous for dudes too.

    • Kayla

      I never said women should stop drinking, I only said that it’s a good idea that women be smart about how much they drink. Nor did I ever say that by not drinking a woman would be safer. Being in a right state of mind simply makes a woman less likely to find herself in a bad predicament, whether it be by being able to walk away from a man with bad intentions, or by making the decision not to drive home because she knows that she’s consumed too much alcohol. Refraining from getting drunk doesn’t mean that the threat of rape isn’t still there, but it does make it less likely that a woman (or man) will be taken advantage of. I’m sick of people thinking that women like Whoopi are “victim blaming.” Nobody ever said that a woman deserves to be raped because she was drunk. Simply because you can’t trust everyone you meet you need to take certain precautions to ensure that you are safe, especially when there’s no one who cares if you get home or not, or whether you are safe or not. If no one else is looking out for you, you have to do it for yourself. And if you are completely wasted you can’t do that.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    yeah but I still hate whoopi’s statement. there should still never be a reason that allows rape to happen. whether you’re drunk/sober, wearing a mini skirt and tube top or sweats and a turtle neck, it’s never okay. theres no justification. period. of course we should all be wary of getting “poop faced” (but sometimes you get drunker than you intended) does it make rape more acceptable if the girl is completely wasted?? absolutely not. go jenny mccarthy

  • waffre

    Oh, please. Not getting so drunk you don’t know what’s happening is generally good advice for everyone. And she did say “both parties” which means women AND men in this case. At no point did she say that if you did get drunk and were assaulted by someone who wasn’t drunk, that would be okay; neither did she say no one should drink at all. And, let’s be realistic, we aren’t any closer to eliminating rape, so some advice on how to reduce your chances of being raped isn’t in itself a bad thing. I agree that it’s certainly not the ONLY thing we should be doing, which is a big problem with our national dialogue about the issue, but I don’t take any issue with what she DID say, and what she didn’t say ended up being added to the conversation by Jenny McCarthy, so I find it hard to be upset about this.

    I also don’t think that if both parties were equally intoxicated that one of them should be considered to be at fault, unless that person actually pushed themselves on the other person, which– as Whoopi said– can be difficult to prove if both people’s memory of the event is hazy and there were no witnesses. And regretting something you did with another person when you were both too drunk to consent is not the same as being raped, sorry.

  • Rebecca R

    People are being ridiculous. There should never be a reason for any crime to happen, but guess what? Crimes occur. Maybe the reason people encourage women to protect themselves is not because it’s a woman’s fault if anything happens to her, but because no one wants anything to happen to her in the first place! People tell their kids not to talk to strangers or wander off alone in a crowded mall; not because it’s the child’s fault if they’re kidnapped, but to prevent it.

  • emilykwells2188

    Whoopi’s statement is a valid one. She is, by no means, condoning rape; she’s simply offering advice EVERYONE should abide. Getting blackout drunk means you’re putting yourself in danger and if you want to play a role in protecting yourself you should avoid that type of behavior. In a perfect world women (and men) could pass out anywhere and be completely safe, unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world.

  • andy

    Whoopi goes on conspiracy theory rants about race in every show. She ruins the show. I wish they’d get her the hell out of there