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Philadelphia Daily News | Booze and Sex and the Sexes

(04/25/2013) It's a conversation that former Philly prosecutor Christopher Mallios has every day as an attorney with AEquitas, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that provides resources, globally, to those who prosecute violence against women.

"What fascinates me in these cases is how society holds women more responsible for what happens to them while they're drinking but holds men less responsible for what they do while they're drinking," says Mallios.

"Women are treated much more harshly. People say, 'She got drunk at a party - what did she expect?' But with men, they say, 'He's not a rapist - he's just a guy who did something he wouldn't ordinarily do sober.'" [ . . . ]

"Communities that talk about getting tough on crime rarely include the crime of rape or sexual assault that's committed when alcohol is involved," Mallios says.

Worse, society's "he's otherwise a good guy" defense only emboldens men who are bad guys whether they're sober or not. Like the kind of guys who, when they can't get a woman to consent to sex, use alcohol to help them get sex anyway.

That's because we still think that the rapist is the stranger in the woods, when more often than not he's the funny guy at the party, the charming classmate in the dorm dining hall. Alcohol is his most-used weapon, Mallios points out; the second most-used weapon is his niceness. He uses it to gain a woman's trust, and then he betrays it.

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