Dr. Phil tweeted about consent & alcohol, everyone freaked out: fair or unfair?

You know I hate Dr. Phil, right? I really don’t care for him, but I think I probably hate Dr. Drew Pinsky even more than Dr. Phil. But that’s another story entirely – this story is about Dr. Phil and whether or not he was blithely tweeting about rape. And I have to admit something… I think Dr. Phil’s critics sort of jumped the gun slightly.

Here’s the story – Dr. Phil is on Twitter. He uses the Twitter feed to promote his talk show, give advice to fans and to “raise questions” on hot-button topics. So on Tuesday night, he tweeted: “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teenaccused.” Here’s a screencap of the original tweet:

So, of course the answer is “if the girl is drunk, it’s not sex, it’s rape.” And after that tweet, the outrage poured out on Twitter, with people saying that Dr. Phil was condoning rape and how insensitive and gross that tweet was, etc. You can read some of the reactions here. Within a few hours, the tweet was deleted and Dr. Phil’s spokesperson released a statement: “This tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic. It was not intended to be taken lightly. It’s based upon a recent news story, hence the #teensaccused label.”

So, here’s the thing –isn’t that exactly what Dr. Phil wanted in the larger sense? He wanted to have a discussion about whether or not it’s “okay” to “have sex” (rape) with a girl when she’s too drunk to consent. The tweet’s wording was awkward (and yes, offensive), but the end result is still kind of the same – to educate about rape and consent and alcohol. The truth is that there a lot of men (and some women) who don’t think it’s rape if the girl is drunk. And I think Dr. Phil knows that and that’s why he was tweeting about it – to have a larger conversation. Or maybe my first instinct was right and he’s a douchebag? I dunno.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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167 Responses to “Dr. Phil tweeted about consent & alcohol, everyone freaked out: fair or unfair?”

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  1. Kcaia says:

    This is a very touchy subject, but I don’t think its fair to call it rape when a man sleeps with a drunk female but not vice versa. Anyways, I know many women who have used alcohol and got themselves inebriated strictly for the purpose of having a more comfortable sexxual experience with a new partner.

    • Alicia says:

      He said girl though, which implies to me that he’s talking about young females who likely can’t handle their alcohol and would not be giving proper consent.

      • Kcaia says:

        I think mostly everyone agrees in the case of an extremely drunk or passed out female. The issue is, how does anyone decipher? Unless men start carrying around breathalizers to bars and such, it can be just a matter of opinion, how drunk someone is. And what if the man himself is too drunk to realize his partners state? I fear young boys (and girls) are going to have to learn this lesson the hard way if we don’t do something quick about these blurred lines.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      You may not “think it’s fair” to call it rape, but it IS rape when there is no consent, and when someone is incapacitated by alcohol, there can be no consent. That’s the law. Your attitude is part of the problem.

      • Kcaia says:

        I don’t think its fair to be considered rape in the case of a drunk female but not a male. Read it again.

      • unmade_bed says:

        Having sex with a drunk man is very difficult, if not nearly impossible, even when he is ready and willing. Most of the time he is not exactly able–if you get my meaning. Therefore, if he were so ready and willing that he was ‘able’, even when drunk, I think it would be very hard (no pun intended) to believe it could have been rape.

      • Kcaia says:

        Unmade, specifically I think of a male friend in my early twenties who was so drunk he blacked out and woke up in bed with a friends very unnattractive, crazy, drug addict mom. He didn’t remember what happened and he was soo embarrassed he got mad when we teased him. At the time, I didn’t think of it this way, but it could have traumatized him as well as a woman. Plus, any woman that’s “surprised” her man knows, you can give a man an erection in his sleep.
        Turtle, thanks for the link.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I read what you said, and stand by my comment. Of course there are are all sorts of scenarios you can name to justify the behavior and confuse the issue. It is rape to have sex with someone who can’t give consent. Period. That’s what we should be teaching young boys.

        I’m sorry, I didn’t really understand your point.

      • unmade_bed says:

        @Kcaia Yeah, I know about sleep erections, but I have never personally seen drunk-sleep erections. Anyway, I don’t think having sex with someone you’re not already in a healthy sexual relationship with, male or female, while they are sleeping, drunk or not, is kosher. I would agree that that would be akin to rape, in any case.

        I’m sorry for being callous, but I was once the victim of drugged rape and imagining a man as a victim of the same (unless male on male) is really difficult, since (in my experience in this world) men have always been on the sexual offense, rather than defense.

      • Elle Kaye says:


        Male or female, if consent is not given, it is rape.

        In many of these cases we are hearing about, the girl is passed out, and boys are videotaping or photographing the rape. If those boys are sober enough to document their crime, then they are sober enough to know what they are doing is wrong.

    • Turtle Dove says:

      This tweet relates to a girl, Rehtaeh Parsons, who was 15, at a party, drunk, and then raped by 4 boys. They took pictures and spread them around. The girl was then ridiculed and bullied about being a slut for over a year. She committed suicide.

      The mother is going to be appearing on the show.

      Dr. Phil is an idiot.

      EDIT: Here’s a link to the dad’s letter, which describes what happened.


    • Kim says:


      Immature women like those shouldnt be a reason for the law/society to excuse my rape. My roommate had a friend sleeping over. Anyway, five of us had some drinks, at some point my roommate drove our other buddies home and I must have passed out at some point on my couch. I woke up to find my roommates friend on top of me.

      His defence was that we had been lightly flirting through the evening. That he took that to imply consent. He also made the whole liquid courage bs argument. Claiming that I was drinking specifically to prime myself for him. I told him and his parents, with a healthy dose of profanity, that I am a grown woman, I have no need to take myself out reality in order to have sex. In the end, he didnt fight the charges but I dont think he truly understood why I felt violated. In his head, he had obtained a greenlight before I got drunk. Douche Canoe!

      I wonder what kind of man would even want sex with someone whos sleeping with you is a result of chemically impaired inhibitions. What next? Rohipnol?

      • Kcaia says:

        I agree, Kim, and Im so sorry you had to go though that. Personally, I think if a woman needs to get drunk to be comfortable enough to sleep with someone, they have no business sleeping with that person, at that time, in the first place.

      • Chordy says:

        Kim, my rape was very similar to yours, and I have several friends who also have a similar story. I can’t find the study right now, but a group decided to study groups of men from their late teens to early 30s and asked them about consent. Their findings suggest a very small number of men are committing a huge amount of rape and that the number one weapon used in rape is intoxicants. I’m glad this is coming to light, because you, me, my friends, the Stubenville victim, and Retah Parsons don’t even begin to scratch the surface of this epidemic.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Kim, I am so sorry you experienced that. I have friends who went through something similar, and it is horrifying to hear about.

      • UsedToBeLulu says:

        Kim and Chordy, I am so sorry for what has happened to you. To think this is an epidemic..!! I am going to have my husband talk to his teenage son ASAP.

    • Marianne says:

      I think its rape no matter what gender it is.

      Unless they both drank themselves into a stupor. Then who’s really at fault, you know?

    • icy-out says:

      The law makes no distinction. If a man is too drunk to give consent, then he has been raped. Now, because of other social pressures and gendered/sexual attitudes men are less likely to admit the possibility that they have been raped. Dr Phil was referring to a situation in which a girl had been raped, (and let’s face it, it happens to women in a much more statistically significant way), but the law is gender neutral on consent issues to define rape.

    • SouperKay says:

      Rapists are using the ignorance that you are spouting to continue to rape and make the survivors of their terrible crimes doubt themselves.
      Most people do not rape. That includes men no matter how drunk they are. Rapists use cons or blitz attacks on victims. People who sexually assault or rape someone who is incapable of consent are rapists. They think about and want to rape people. Victim blaming and shaming are the tools they use to continue to rape and sexually assault.
      But you already know this is true. Infamous sadistic rapists prove it all the time. Dennis Rader, BTK killer or Ted Bundy were both people that were able to use their lies to continue rape and murdering. Rapists who chose to use alcohol as their method of subduing victims are just on a smaller scale, they may not be sadistic and want their victims to die but they certainly want them to suffer. They are still rapists who think about raping whose goal in these situations is to rape and get away with it. They know what they are doing is wrong.
      Don’t believe their lies.
      Below is a link to the types of rapists and what you can do if you encounter them. All rapists are accomplished liars who tend to led two lives, their fake society approved one and the true rape based rape endgame one. You have to realize that you will probably never know that someone has a rape based life until they rape you. If someone says they have been raped, believe them. False accusations are unicorns, extremely rare and extremely valuable to rapists.

      • RosettaStoned says:

        Fantastic comment, thank you, love that you don’t sugarcoat it with BS!

      • Kcaia says:

        Thank you for telling me the hidden message behind my question, again, read above. Im not talking about an unconscious person, bc duh, that’s rape.
        I have two boys, two girls, and I love the male gender as well as the female. Im talking here, about these blurred lines, not in reference to RP, but to there being no clear meaning to what makes a conscious, drunk person too innebriated to consent. Bc since alcohol was discovered, ppl have used it as a means to hook up. And I know, there are awful men AND females in this world, along with the good. I have met girls that accused rape as a means of attention or revenge, I’ve met women that go get drunk in the hopes of finding a one night stand. I read a story about a woman doing just that in the current Cosmo magazine. What scares me about this is this, imagine two drunk ppl, meet at a bar or club, they go home, hook up, pass out. But lets say the next morning, the woman isn’t happy with the person they wake up beside, maybe that person disgusts them, or they’re just disgusted with the thought of a one night stand. Now, lets say the woman can’t remember the night before. These types of things can turn really ugly really quick unless we make some better guidelines, bc I have personally seen men and women all over the opposite sex while drunk and not remember a thing the next morning. Yes, we should all teach our sons not to hook up with drunk women, but I don’t blame the man in that situation for being drunk and having consenting sex with an equally drunk woman anymore than id blame a young girl who is raped when passed out, for being drunk in the first place. Bc I know that men are usually the aggressors, but not all men are aggressive. Anyways, my answer to this is, ban alcohol, legalize marijuana, or make sex with a drunk person illegal, or only sex with an unconscious person or person who clearly cannot function properly-with guidelines.

        Ok, I know some men can’t function, finish or maintain when drunk, but I also know some that can easily.

      • SouperKay says:

        There are clear lines. If a person initiates sexual contact and consent, you are having sex. If a person initiates sexual contact and does not seek consent, overrides or pleads against revoked consent or ignores your wishes altogether then you are being raped. Level of drunkenness is not a factor. The type of rapist you are with is the factor. Some will physically attack you. Some will pressure and plead. All of them don’t want to have sex with you even if that is the word they use, they only want to rape you.

        Rape is not sex. They are similar but the experience and motivations are completely different.

        False accusations are a unicorn. Currently the false reporting rate for rape is between 2-8% of all reported crimes. Believing in the unicorn of false accusations only helps rapists.

      • Kcaia says:

        Souperkay, not always.
        Myth: If the assailant, victim, or both are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the victim is free to consent to sex and the assailant therefore cannot be charged with rape.Fact: When intoxicated, an individual cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Forcing sex on someone who is too drunk to give consent is still Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree. Rape is a serious offense, and people who commit crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not considered free from guilt.
        Link- http://www.stsm.org/myths-and-facts-about-sexual-assault-and-consent

      • Kcaia says:

        I know that these laws are in place to protect victims that are said to have consented while completely intoxicated, and to catch the predator that uses alcohol and drugs as a tool for rape, but they can also victimize the wrong ppl.
        Remember, sometimes people do things when drunk that they would never do while sober, and sometimes those ppl have an easier time believing they just couldn’t have/wouldn’t have, especially in the case of a blackout. A man that is wrongly convicted of a sexx crime cannot ever overcome that, but a woman can move on and overcome perceived sexual assault. Again, this is for the innocent men, if not legally, but in their conscience.Our society teaches guys that if they want sexx and aren’t getting it, find a drunk woman. Im not saying that’s ok, just that I think something needs to be done that makes the laws clear and educates everybody on this subject.

      • SouperKay says:

        Souperkay, not always.
        “Myth: If the assailant, victim, or both are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the victim is free to consent to sex and the assailant therefore cannot be charged with rape.” Yes, absolutely because there was no rape in this instance. This is the logical understanding. Could the law be misapplied in this instance by a person? Yes absolutely. It is always better to be safe than sorry and err on the side of caution if you are engaging with a sexual partner you do not know well and wait until you are sober to have sex.

        “Fact: When intoxicated, an individual cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Forcing sex Raping on someone who is too drunk to give consent is still Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree. Rape is a serious offense, and people who commit crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not considered free from guilt.
        Link- http://www.stsm.org/myths-and-facts-about-sexual-assault-and-consent” Yes, absolutely this person would be charged with rape. If force of any kind is used, then it is rape for men or women. I don’t care if they were on LSD or sleepwalking and the person they raped looked like the devil, it is still rape to use force or coercion.

        Drunkenness is not an excuse that a rapist may use. The alcohol lowering their inhibitions has only exposed their true nature as a rapist. A rapist may not say “I was drunk I didn’t know what I was doing” that is not an acceptable response when the action that person took violated the sanctity of another person’s body.

    • Ok says:

      Kcaica — not to split hairs, but sometimes a woman cannot sleep with a drunk man because the plumbing is non functional at the time

    • Pandy says:

      This is in reference to an incident in Nova Scotia regarding a high school teenager. She was extremely drunk at a party and she was raped by a few of her fellow classmates. And of course the rape was filmed and passed around on social media. The girl ended up killing herself over it. Apparently, there is phone footage of her vomiting out a window while one of the guys is entering her from behind. I think this goes beyond having a few drinks to make sex more enjoyable. Her mother is on an upcoming Dr Phil episode.

  2. Falula says:

    I think you’re right that he knows the correct answer and ultimately his plan was to talk about how it IS rape, but man, that tweet is just awful.

    Putting that question out there (especially on Twitter) will encourage a LOT of foul, misogynist comments and I don’t think it was the appropriate venue or wording. Whoever posted it (doubt it was Phil himself but probably a handler who tweets for him) should have seen this.

  3. Erinn says:

    This is a huge issue. I’m not sure if any of you have heard of the Rehtaeh Parsons case or not. She committed suicide after being gang raped while drunk, and having it filmed. She was harrassed relentlessly, and thank you Canadian justice system – nothing was going to happen to the people who did this to her.

    Anonymous got ahold of the story and blew it up, showing what a joke the people working the case were in NS, and now two men have been arrested.

    So many young women were commenting on the news articles on CBC and other sites victim shaming this poor girl. It digested me. I actually felt physically ill. There’s a certain sense of judgement where a lot of young girls are simply like “Oh, that wouldn’t happen to me. I’m not going to get drunk at a party. She was stupid and asking for it”. I’m not sure if it’s a case of distancing themselves from the tragedy and convincing themselves that they are safer and smarter, or if it’s simply harsh judgement.


  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think his intentions were to start a conversation, but his method was flawed, as he only tweeted the question and not the answer. It’s a very important topic, and needs to be discussed, so I applaud him for that. I just think his dramatic, attention-seeking personality got in the way.

    • Anna says:

      Exactly. At least now we got a loud, unequivocal, and highly-publicized ‘NO’ to that question.

    • JudyK says:

      I agree with you. This is much to do about nothing, in spite of the fact I think Dr. Phil is totally full of himself.

    • Irishae says:

      Nothing to see here, replied to the wrong comment.

      • Florc says:

        Everyone posting to GoodNamesAllTaken
        There is nothing wrong with posting this. Rape is a hot button topic as it should be. This post was meant as publicity and to provoke conversation. Everyone just decided to go for blood assuming because he posed the question they’re make it a statement and attack him for it.

        Without Consent rape is a criminal act and wrong. When you are incapable of sound judgement be it mental disorder or intoxication or whatever you can’t legally give consent. If you get drunk at a party and then sleep with someone because you wanted to that isn’t impaired or are are both impaired those are case by case situations.

        What makes this so difficult now as far as a blurred line of consent is that some people do use the threat of calling rape as a post regret or weapon to hurt someone. That casts doubt for the rest of us.
        I was raped by someone I considered a friend. He only got convicted because he beat me so badly no one believed I wasn’t fighting back and wanted it. You shouldn’t have to be beaten for others to see it’s still rape.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Florc, that breaks my heart. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I hope he was severely punished and that you are strong and well.

    • bluhare says:


      The internet fosters mob mentality and this is what happens when you ask a loaded question. He couldn’t give the answer or else that would skew the results. I don’t like Dr. Phil, and think he’s as sensationalistic as the rest of them, but the uproar over a question is a bit over the top.

      Yes, I was raped. Doesn’t mean I need to live the rest of my life as a victim.

  5. Laura says:

    Kaiser I agree with you, I think he was trying to stir some intelligent debate with an unintelligent tweet. It could have been def. worded better, but he’s a douche nozzle and just ran his mouth, or fingers.

  6. Naye in VA says:

    Unfair. i understand what he is saying but the way he worded it, I could see how the emotional masses would take it and run with it. He clearly didnt take a stance in his tweet, and c’mon it’s Dr.Phil, does anybody really think he would be stupid enough to come in the defense of teen rape? Let’s be serious. He should have stated that he wanted to start a discussion in his tweet, and he shouldn’t have taken the tweet down.

    For my part,(and my experience) there is a very, very, very thin line between being drunk enough to have fun, and too drunk to make a rational decision. And because that line is so very thin, i think that young boys and men should be taught to just never engage sexually with an intoxicated female unless she was trying to engage before she was intoxicated.

    • swack says:

      “For my part,(and my experience) there is a very, very, very thin line between being drunk enough to have fun, and too drunk to make a rational decision. And because that line is so very thin, i think that young boys and men should be taught to just never engage sexually with an intoxicated female unless she was trying to engage before she was intoxicated. ” Naye, I get your point about drinking but there is also a thin line when it comes down to “engage sexually”. Does engaging sexually mean flirting, a passionate makeout session or does it mean trying to have intercourse? There’s a lot of room between and for different people, engaging sexually means different things. I just find your logic flawed. At anyone time, either party can decide No, I don’t want to do this, no matter what was going on previously.

      I have a fourteen your old grandson who’s mom was 16 when she had him. We both tell him to keep it in his pants no matter what.

      • Naye in VA says:

        That’s also very true, I was addressing when to proceed after drinking has taken place. If at any time afterward there is even the slightest “NO” or hesitation, the other person should back off immediately. Flirting would not count as engaging sexually (although if unwanted is probably harrassment) But anything where you body touches my body should require prior and continuous consent. I dont want “trying” to be misconstrued as “she was acting like she wanted it”
        I meant a discussion had taken place and both parties had agreed to doing whatever they were going to do, before the drinking began. Sorry, that’s the way I talk sometimes.

    • SouperKay says:

      While I understand what you mean by teaching boys not to engage in sexual activities while intoxicated, it is not fair to the male sex. Most people, men included, do not rape or want to rape. Rapists rape. They accomplish this by being incredibly effective liars. Rapists use alcohol as a way to disable victims. People who are not rapists use alcohol to celebrate, relax, party or have fun. People are not to blame and alcohol is not to blame. Rapists are to blame. If someone does something to you while you are intoxicated, they are a rapist. They have thought about raping. Raping is what they want to do. Anything they say afterword is just a pack of lies so they can go on to rape the next person.
      You know this is true because plenty of people have sex while drunk without it being rape. You know this is true because of the actions of serial sadistic rapists that are infamous. They were very good at lying to people.
      Don’t believe rapists’ lies. False accusations are unicorns, extremely rare and extremely valuable to rapists.
      Teach all people that rape by any means of coercion is wrong.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I’m not defending any man for rape here, don’t get me wrong. But because that line is so thin you can bet it can be misinterpreted, especially in today’s drinking culture. Im saying that there may very well be some unintentional cases where a boy proceeds and has no idea that he is doing so incorrectly. If a girl is too intoxicated, how would he know? The only way he would know is if somebody taught him that it’s not okay to have sex with drunk girls. I don’t think it automatically pops into a young drunk boys mind. Surely its evil if a girl is gang-raped and its taped, but a young boy who is inexperienced at drinking, social cues, and sex, may not actually stop to think if what he is doing is wrong. Just like it often doesnt occur to young girls after a night of drinking, that they have been taken advantage of. There needs to be awareness, period.

        Hence the point of Dr Phils tweet

      • SouperKay says:

        @Naye in Va
        To me the line of raping and not raping is cut and dried. Either you care about seeking consent, giving your partner pleasure and listening all of which mean you are having sex or you don’t. If you don’t, guess what, that’s rape and you are a rapist.

        Let me fix this for you: If a girlperson is too intoxicated, how would he know? The only way he would know is if somebody taught him that it’s not okay to have sex with drunk girlspeople. I don’t think it automatically pops into a young drunk boys mind.

        I also think that you are way underestimating men, even if they are teenagers. Serial sexual predators do not come from thin air. There are signs in their childhood/teenage behavior that can indicate future actions. I do not believe that a human being in teenage years would not know better than to touch someone’s genitals or rape someone who did not want to have sexual contact with them. Using that as an excuse, “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to” is very thin even if they were raised in the most conservative of places with the least sexual education. Rape is an action that deep down everybody knows is wrong.

  7. Nicole says:

    It’s not a crime to ask. The guy is a megadouche but opening up that discussion is, as Martha used to say, a good thing.

  8. mzizkrizten says:

    I think its worded poorly.

  9. Keats says:

    Doesn’t the level of drunkenness come into play? Or is everyone assuming that drunk means past the point of being able to consent?

    • juststeph says:

      Yes, imo. I can and have made many decisions while drinking. I’ve also been past the point where decision making is possible. If you can and do say that you want to do something, I think its ok. If you can’t say that you want to of course it is rape.

    • SouperKay says:

      Level of drunkenness has nothing to do with it. Rapists do not always need someone to be blackout drunk.
      People who sexually assault or rape someone who is any level of drunk are rapists. They think about raping and they want to continue to rape. Generally, they lead two lives, a society sanctioned one, and a rape one. They are very effective liars who try to leverage personal safety decisions against their victims. Survivors of sexual assault and rape do not get choices and rapists know that. They use the illusion of choice as one of their great lies. “She got drunk.” “She should have left if she didn’t want it” “Her clothes were turning me on” All of those give the illusion that if a survivor had made a different choice, they would not have been raped. Rape and sexual assault is accomplished through lies, coercion, and force. The use of force negates any kind of choice a survivor could have had. Survivors do not have choices, rapists make that decision for them.
      Level of drunkenness is no measure of whether you will get raped or not. Being near a rapist is the only measure. Unfortunately, you will not know they are rapist unless they attack you.

      • Keats says:

        I definitely see what you’re saying. It all comes back to what we know to be true: rape is about power, not sex.
        What I’m not understanding is that, from this tweet, it sounds like the argument is that women are incapable of consenting if they have been drinking, which i don’t agree with. If they fall victim to a rapist while they’ve been drinking, then I agree that level of drunkenness is definitely not a factor. Sorry, i hope this makes sense.

    • SouperKay says:


      Yes the message that women are incapable of making decisions after drinking is incredibly patronizing and blatantly false. Of course you can have drunken sex! I have enjoyed it. It was not rape. I gave consent, participated, and maybe the other person looked different under the morning sun but I was not violated.

      The blurry message occurs when rape is made equal with sex. Rape is similar to sex but not the same.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “Yes the message that women are incapable of making decisions after drinking is incredibly patronizing and blatantly false. Of course you can have drunken sex! I have enjoyed it. It was not rape. I gave consent, participated, and maybe the other person looked different under the morning sun but I was not violated.”

        EXACTLY and thank you so much for saying this. This thread was really starting to frustrate me.

  10. Lilo says:

    I have had sex when I was drunk, with my fiance. I wanted to. Being drunk does not mean that someone has no free will or sense left. I have no idea what some people mean when they say “drunk”. there’s a difference between being drunk and being out stone cold. Having sex with a drunk girl is not rape. Having sex with a drunk girl who did not consent or is almost unconcious, that’s rape. Dr. Phil never said anything about consent in this tweet, so I really don’t get the “he’s taling about rape” interpretation. Having sex with a drunk woman (or man, for that fact!) is not automatically rape. Of course it’s okay to have sex with a drunk girl/guy, as long as she/he is okay with it. It’s a definition of the word drunk. Man, when I was young I did party a lot and yes, I went home with someone when I was quite intoxicated. I willingly had sex with that man…does that mean I was raped? Sorry, I don’t get all the outrage. Maybe because I don’t know this guy and his show.

    • OriginallyBlue says:

      That’s why all of this is problematic. If someone is drunk how do you know that they are truly willing? There inhibitions may be lowered so they may agree but, we can’t be sure they would say yes if they were sober. I said yes to a lot of things when I was drunk that I really regret now. I think this is a hard subject and there isn’t a simple answer. I think if you need to be drunk to have sex with someone you know, that is something that the two people should discuss. If there is drunken hook ups with a stranger I think both parties need to be aware that things could end every badly and make the decision (if they can) if they want to pursue the option.

      • SouperKay says:

        They say yes. They actively participate in having sex with you. They do not push you you away, stop you from touching them, or try to get up and leave.

        The minute they say “no” “Stop” “Don’t” “let’s not” “I have to got” “Let me up” or any variation on the word or action no, then the person that is persisting is showing their true colors as a sexual predator.

        If you think about a rape that is conducted by a rapist using alcohol to subdue his victim, it is not sexy. The person is black out drunk and resembles a warm corpse, is fighting against you by pushing shoving or vocalizing physically attacking you, or has given hope and is not participating and frozen. None of those scenarios is sexy. Someone who persists in any of those scenarios is a sexual predator.

        Rape and sex are similar. There is penetration. They are not the same thing. They should not be confused for the same thing. Someone who persists in having sex with an incapacitated person is a rapist. Someone who blitz attacks a person to pin them down and rape them is a rapist. Rape requires force. Force does not have to be physical.

        Don’t believe rapists’ lies. False accusations are unicorns, extremely rare and extremely valuable to rapists.

      • Pinky says:

        Some of these comments are really bothering me. You might regret decisions you made while drunk, but you made a decision to act. Because you later regret your actions does not automatically mean you can accuse someone else of harming you without your consent, does it? Where is the line? People can drive while drinking, with up to a .0799999 BAC in the US. .001% more and the person is considered too impaired to drive and in violation of the law. Where is the cut off for consent for sex? If your judgment is impaired in any way, are you unable to consent? That does not make realistic sense. People DO have to take some responsibility for their actions, especially if they consent while they have been drinking but later regret their decision. Why is the onus on someone else to read your future mind?

      • Chordy says:

        @Pinky, I think part of the problem here the implication that women will accuse someone of rape because they regret the sex. That implies two things: 1) that women should be mortally ashamed of having sex, and that 2) women can’t be trusted to understand their own experiences. Plenty of women have drunken sex, and while they might regret it, they’re not going to accuse someone of a violent crime unless they have a host of mental issues. If we believe that would be a common reaction to post-drunk sex regret, then we have a pretty low opinion of women as human beings. Also, rape investigations and trials are almost as humiliating as being raped.

      • SouperKay says:

        Thank you

    • Erinn says:

      The outrage is there because even though you said you wanted to have sex with these people, on a legal standpoint while intoxicated you are unable to consent. While intoxicated you are not making decisions the same way you make decisions when you are sober. While in your case it worked out fine, in many others women are talked into having sex with a man, and their thought processes are not anywhere near as sharp as they would have been sober.

      • Pinky says:

        So no one is ever allowed to have sex while drunk (or after they’ve been drinking), ever? That means men who have been drinking are unable to consent either. Goes both ways and men can make claims for being violated as well, even if they were “into it” during the act. Afterwards they can say the woman took advantage of them. No more wine at dinner, people!

        I guess this is a good enough argument to reinstate Prohibition (to make sure no one’s inhibitions are infringed upon). I’d be all for that, but I’m sure the rest of the people on this board would jump down my throat if I suggested it.

      • SouperKay says:


        Let me fix that for you. in many others women are talked into having sex with a man Some women are coerced into rape by rapists.

        Rape and sex are similar but they are not the same thing. Rape requires force, physical or otherwise, and a lack of consent. Rapists want to hurt survivors through power and control, humiliation, debasement, actual physical blows or death. While penetration may occur, it may or may not be by a penis. Ejaculation is also not a guarantee. All of these things make rape much different than sex.

    • unmade_bed says:

      I agree. I have had sex multiple times when drunk with people I regretted, during and after the fact, but never considered it rape. If I were blacked out and/or passed out that would have been another story. Also, if they were sober and I, drunk, that would seem like rape to me.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      I agree this is a bit unfair for Dr. Phil. I think there are many woman who have had sex while drunk and did not consider it rape, and many men who do not see a problem with a girl that is a little bit drunk and he was just honestly asking peoples opinion to start a discussion, generate interest for the show and have more material for it after he had red what people in general felt about the subject.

  11. aang says:

    I dislike Dr.Phil, but I think his intention here was to start a discussion about a very important topic. Unfair.

  12. Sarah says:

    It’s poorly worded for sure but he said drunk – not too drunk to consent. How many of us have had sex after drinking – more than a little? Doesn’t mean we didn’t consent to it, does it?

  13. Diana says:

    I definitely dislike dr Phil way more than dr drew. I don’t think it’s a black or white issue and I agree that folks were totally jumping the gun.

  14. KinChicago says:

    Isn’t this the loser who is no longer a doctor after he had sex with one of his patients?

    Not the most reliable or responsible to be hosting a discussion on the matter, is he?

  15. Steph says:

    Judging by the length of these comments, this is a complicated issue and shouldn’t be discussed in 140 characters so yes he is a douche.

  16. Feebee says:

    This is the problem with using Twitter for something like this and also the problem with Dr Phil and his show.

    Is it okay to have sex with a drunk girl? It’s not that simple. What are the circumstances? Are you both drunk? Is she/ you both a little tipsy or almost fall down drunk. If she’s incapacitated then the answer is no. If she has a buzz on and wants to get in your pants then well, that’s up to you. And what’s with the “girl”. Is he referring to females under a certain age, like 17 which yes makes her a girl and then we have some alcohol issues to discuss first too or ‘girl’ as in any aged female in which we need to discuss why there is a persistance in calling women girls.

    A big UGH all round.

    What’s the deal with Dr Drew? I’ve seen his show on HNL a few times and it’s not terrible.

    • SouperKay says:

      It is not the level of drunkenness, it is the consent. Either the person you are with wants to have sex which requires consent or they want to rape you. A person that wants to have sex, a two party minimum act where there is generally equal or near equal participation, is better the more people work together. The goal of sex is to achieve orgasm, hopefully for all parties.

      The goal of rape is to harm, humiliate, destroy and violate another person. Ejaculation may or may not occur depending on the type of rapist. Power, control, debasement, damage, and humiliation are the main goals of rape.

      Rape is an act that has no consent. It is similar to sex but it is not the same. Depending on the type of rapist, the removal of consent will be different. Some rapists need to use brutal physical force, some only need to lie. The survivor of the rape cannot undo or change the act of rape. The force that is used makes survivor’s choices very limited. Some of the personal safety messages that are pushed to prevent rape will only enrage a serial sadistic rapist and could result in the victim’s death.

      It is not fair to try to make sex and rape the same.

    • Ok says:

      Feebee — I actually like both Dr Drew and Dr Phil.

      As far as what is wrong with Dr Drew, I would say that in his job, he is forced to discuss people in news type situations. And in his discussions he tends to “diagnose ” what is going on.

      And doing something like that is skimming irresponsibility. Sometimes.

      You just have to take the show at face value and realize that he is making a lot of assumptions based on situations.

      But in Dr Drews defense, it is for entertainment and thought provoking discussion purposes. He has several panel members participating. And Dr Drew really tends to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  17. L says:

    Simply based off the massive amounts of discussion-it should be clear that 140 characters on twitter is NOT the time and the place to start that kind of talk about consent.

    There’s a line between to drunk to consent, and we all should hopefully known that’s what is meant. If you’re out with your boyfriend/girlfriend and you have a rapport and have had sex before, you’ve given consent so that person can read your signs. (although you can still be raped by a partner, but that’s a different story) Not every single drunken hookup is rape, and I hope we’re all smart enough to see that. But if someone isn’t able to give consent then that’s the very definition.

  18. Amanda says:

    I think this is very much a grey area situation, unless one person is passed out drunk and the other person is completely sober, but it’s usually not so clear cut as that.

    • SouperKay says:


      It is not grey. Sex is an act that requires consent. During sex, people do whatever it is that feels good to them. Orgasm for all parties is also generally a goal.

      Rape is an act that requires force, physical or otherwise, and a lack of consent. Depending on the type of rapist, the penetration may be with an object and not a penis. There may or may not be ejaculation. Orgasm is not always the goal. Power, control, humiliation, debasement, physical harm, and death can all be goals of a rapist.

      Rape and sex are not the same. Rapists and sexual partners are not the same. It is not fair to try to make sex and rape the same. They are similar but not the same.

  19. Flora Kitty says:

    Dr. Phil makes my skin crawl.

  20. jen says:

    I loathe Dr. Phil, but I don’t see how he did anything wrong here. He asked a question to incite discussion. He didn’t say what he thought on the matter.

  21. Kiddo says:

    “Dr.” Phil isn’t a doctor. Another blight of snake oil set upon on us by the high priestess Oprah. Maybe there is a discussion to be had about the subject, but for Dr Shill it is merely a method to promote his show and to make money, so I won’t dignify him and the question with an answer.

    • JudyK says:

      Dr. Phil has a Ph.D.–that makes him a “doctor”–just not a medical doctor.

      I hate defending him, because, even though I often watch his show for the guests, it’s obvious he has his own “insecurity” issues, and I am sick and tired of hearing him constantly self promote and celebrity name drop.

      • Kiddo says:

        I was referring specifically to the fact that he no longer has a license to practice psychology and yet that is precisely what he is doing on his show, in spite of legal gymnastics warning the audience otherwise. Yes, I understand that he earned a degree, but it’s slight of hand calling himself “Dr” in the context of his show. It’s deceptive. He could have a *phD in chemistry and he’d still call himself Dr Phil and interview Lohan’s Mom like he is a therapist.

        * My apologies to those with phDs in chemistry.

      • JudyK says:

        I agree with your remarks, Kiddo, and had forgotten that he no longer has a license to practice psychology…you are right.

  22. drea says:

    I can’t stand Phil (doctor, haha) but even I think that it’s just awkward phrasing and 140 characters that got him in trouble here. Because if you take the words on just pure face value, someone like me would say well, yes, I have had sex while drunk, and no, it wasn’t rape. If he wants to start a conversation about something that serious, maybe he should take it off Twitter or at least bother to flesh out the entire thought.

  23. Mandy says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious. He just wanted some publicity. Oh and what do ya know, it worked!

    • L says:

      +1 This is awesome. Everyone should read it.

      (and for the folks that were “well what if it’s a guy that’s drunk?” this article covers how that is a problem as well)

    • irishserra says:

      The most informative aspect of that article is the first response to it from a commenter named Renee. The public’s outrage to Dr. Phil’s tweet is ridiculous. Dr. Phil is obviously trying to reach out to a youthful group who obviously is not clear on the issue (hence recent sad news items); therefore, he’s laid out a very simple question that desperately needs to be addressed. Instead, the focus became Dr. Phil and how “insensitive” he is. Ugh.

      • Kiddo says:

        Dr Phil is a huckster. He ripped many people off and he has no qualms about sensationalizing a serious subject for his own benefit, make no mistake about it.
        Look him up on Wikipedia.

      • irishserra says:

        @Kiddo: Oh, I am sure he is a douchebag. I don’t like the man and he gives me a creepy vibe. But I am trying to convey that the question itself is not insensitive. Would the reaction been the same if someone else had posted the question? I hope so, as it would be ridiculous if this stupid reaction were based solely on who tweeted the question.

  24. trudy221 says:

    I think by virtue of all the diversity of comments here that Dr. Phil has a point. He didn’t say is it ok to have sex with a girl IF YOU KNOW SHE IS DRUNK AND HER JUDGMENT IS IMPAIRED. That to me is the distinction. I know plenty of people who have had blood levels well above the legal limit and I honestly didn’t realize how drunk they were. Is ok to have sex with someone who is legally drunk but still coherent and able to make decisions? Can legally drunk individuals make decisions like the ability to have sex? Should someone else make that decision for them (if they can figure out that they are legally intoxicated?) I had a guy friend drive me home in college. We were in the car together for about 30 minutes. As soon as he dropped me off he was pulled over by the cops and blew a .15. Got a DUI that he still deals with 10 years later in terms of employment etc. I had seen him drunk off his butt many times before but he seemed totally fine or else I never would have let him drive me home. Now let’s say instead of dropping me off at home we’d gone to his place and had sex. Would THAT have been “ok.” Ponder that . . . .

    Interesting important question. It has clearly inspired discussion.

  25. fabgrrl says:

    Very poorly worded, but maybe that was the point? People are bringing their own assumptions about drinking, consent, sex and rape into these situations.

    “Drunk” can cover a lot of things. Last week my husband and I got hammered while the kids were at their grandparents’ house and had wild, loud, crazy monkey sex. Rape? of course not.

  26. Merritt says:

    Rape Culture.

    I’m so tired of hearing that rape is a grey area. It is not.

    If someone is drunk to the point where they are blacking out or clearly in a state where they cannot consent, it is rape.

    If for some reason you can’t tell, then leave the person alone.

    • Cirque28 says:


      I’d also add that if you are not very interested in knowing whether the person you are having sex with: A. wants to be having sex with you and B. is conscious, you have bigger problems even than being a potential rapist.

      Sometimes there are these murmurs of, “Do I need to stop and ask for permission about every move I make in bed??? Am I supposed to test their blood alcohol level in advance??” No. It’s really simple. You are supposed to pay attention to what’s up with the person you’re f*cking. For most of us, this comes naturally.

    • Faye says:

      +1 Rape is rape plain and simple, I do question if wether he asked the question the way he did as away to keep the question open without judgement. I remeber being told about a study that showed 1 in 20 men didnt know the basic rules of consent. Maybe he was looking for more honest answers? After having so many friends go threw rape or sexual assualt it breaks my heart when anybody says “but she was drunk” as if a woman asked to be raped because he had a drink its just absolutely disgusting!

  27. Why says:

    The choice of words is maybe not correct, BUT ITS ABOUT THE SUBJECT.Lets stick to it= the SUBJECT!

  28. irishserra says:

    Someone please explain to me how his tweet was offensive and insensitive?

    I’m not a fan of his, I tend to think he is a douchebag, but I didn’t see a thing wrong with his tweet and don’t understand what all the hullabaloo is about.

  29. Lol says:

    there is more to it than drunken sex = rape. If someone is fallen down drunk/barely concious etc as in the cases with the young girls mentioned above, then yes, it’s rape no question about it.
    But what about drunks that are still coherent. Yes their inhibitons are lowered, but that doesn’t mean that their actions don’t have consequences. We punish them if they get into their cars and get caught driving and we don’t allow men to use the old “but I was drunk” excuse when they fight/abuse/rape (not that men in general do any of these things…) a woman gets drunk and makes the choice to have sex may regret it in the morning but that doesn’t make it rape, it makes it a stupid decision. She goes home with him/takes him home with her and doesn’t put a stop to it at any point? it’s just sex.

    • SouperKay says:

      Level of drunkenness doesn’t have anything to do with whether you will be raped or not. Being near a rapist is the only measure of whether you will get raped or not.

      Rape is not sex. Sex requires consent, is generally supposed to feel good, participants actively participate, and orgasm for all parties is generally a goal.

      Rape requires force and a lack of consent. This force does not have to be physical. Penetration may not even be from a penis and ejaculation may not happen depending on the type of rapist. Power, control, humiliation, debasement, physical harm, and death can all be goals of a rapist.

      Rape and sex are not the same. The issue with any person who you want to have sex with is consent. If they are not giving consent and you continue, then that is rape no matter the level of intoxication.

      • Lol says:

        that is what I said, the keypoint is consent. I was reacting to several commenters before who categorily said being drunk means you can’t consent, which is something I disagree with. It depends on how drunk you are. someone who is fallen down drunk/barely concsious/ or even unconcious can clearly never consent at which point it is always rape (even if consent alla “you’re going to get lucky later” had been given earlier), consent has to be given at the point when the intercourse is about to occur, otherwise it is rape. A person who is just buzzed can consent.

    • SouperKay says:

      I apologize if I came across harsh. I agree with most of what you are saying. I agree drunk sex can and does occur. Drunk sex level of potential harmfulness is much lower than rape, especially with a condom.

      I guess what I want to get across is that sex and rape are different. They are similar but different. I don’t want people after a rape to be thinking it was sex. The rapist wants to impose harm on a person. That is nothing like sex.

  30. Frida_K says:

    Dr. Phil looks just like Heidi the Cross-eyed Possum in that second picture.

    Well, if Heidi wore a tie and had Chicklet-like veneers on her teeth. But looking at his eyes, I cannot help but notice the resemblance.

    Bet she was smarter and more sensitive though, bless her heart and may she Rest in Peace.

  31. HK9 says:

    If you have to ask the question you shouldn’t be doing it. Why the f- are we considering having sex with people who aren’t coherent. How desperate do you have to be~sorry I don’t run that for either sex.

    Let’s stop dehumanizing each other by trying to get away with this illegal shady shit and treat people properly. We need to come up higher.

  32. snappyfish says:

    i think for young people partying it can sometimes be a bit of a blurry line, and things can happen very quickly. so here is my little guide for boys and girls:

    1) if a person is so intoxicated that they are incapable of speaking, walking, controlling bodily functions such as drooling, or undressing themselves that person is too drunk for “sex”, especially if the other person is NOT in that condition. whether you are the drunk person or the not-so-drunk person, STOP before you end up in a bad situation.

    2)if you have to “arrange” someone into a sexual position, coerce them, film them without their consent or knowledge, have your friends help you “have sex” with them or drag them from room to room, you are committing rape. STOP.

    3) if you think you have to ply someone with alcohol and/or drugs, with or without their knowledge, in order to “get laid” you are a sad troll and should not venture out into society.

    oh, and dr. phil AND dr. drew can both suck it.

  33. Irishae says:

    I loathe Dr. Phil. Despise. Which is why it pains me to say that there is nothing wrong with what he tweeted. I’m not sure how one is supposed to “delicately” engage a conversation like this. It was a clear question and a topic everyone should be talking about! Why the nitpicking over how he worded it? /facepalm. Social media is the go-to forum now, it is not Dr. Phil’s fault if random douchebags decide to come out of the woodwork to troll it (which would happen no matter what medium you used) or whether the matter deserves more than 140 characters. You can tweet more than once ya know. I see no reason to hate here.

    • SouperKay says:


      It is the wrong question because the answer to what he tweeted can very easily be yes.

      Dr. Phil is in hot water because he is making rape and sex equal.

      Sex requires consent and some form of participation. Orgasm is generally a goal for all parties. This is not the case for rape. Rape requires force that doesn’t have to be physical and a lack of consent. Orgasm is not a primary goal. Power, control, humiliation, debasement, physical harm, and death can all be goals of a rapist.

      He should have asked people to explain what consent to sex is to them. Is it saying yes? Is it participating? Is it both? Determining consent with your sexual partner is a requirement for sex. The more it is clear to all parties what constitutes yes the better the sex can be.

      None of the above is true for rape. Rape and sex are similar but they are not the same. They should not be lumped together and he should not have said sex when what he meant was rape.

      • Irishae says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful and well-said comment. You are correct, the answer to the question he posted for some people will be yes and I believe that is the entire point. That doesn’t make his question “wrong.” That’s where I feel there is some miscommunication here, it is not exactly accurate either to say drunken sex = rape. It is certainly possible to consent to having sex while intoxicated (one could argue the degrees of “drunk” he is referring to). I understand your concern about differentiating and consent, yet I feel his question was encouraging that very line of thought.

  34. Dommy Dearest says:

    Ugh. I’m pretty sure everyone got the point he was making as well as him asking. We get upset about that but so many other clearly meant to offend stunts just roll off our backs. Misplaced importance, this is what we’ve come to. I hate this world mostly.

  35. Jay Elle says:

    If I’m drunk and I consent, then it’s not rape.

    The basis here isn’t whether or not you’re drunk… it’s whether or not you CONSENT. Teenagers have drunk sex all the time and then regret it. It doesn’t constitute rape, to me, at least.

    And I drink. ALOT.

    I love drunk sex.

    • SouperKay says:


      People that want to have sex with you will seek consent.
      People that want to rape you will thwart consent because the act of rape denies consent.


      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @souperkay-Your comments on this thread are amazing.

        Rape is a loaded and emotional topic for so many women (and men) and naturally, I think a lot of commenters on this thread are having an emotional response to the issue at hand.

        Your comments are respectful, thoughtful, and most of all, logical and truthful.

      • SouperKay says:

        I am actually a rape survivor. I was raped four times by three rapists and sexually assaulted five times by five sexual predators while serving on active duty in the army. It took me years to process what happened to me. The self blame and self punishments I did to myself were terrible. Thankfully I found a couple of really good therapists who got me out of the woods. It was really bad for a while.

        I can’t think of a more important subject to try to clarify. I know people don’t want to think about the act of rape or what kind of mindset it takes to rape people but I think it is very important to do so.

        Thank you for your very kind comment. It means a lot to me.

      • Chordy says:

        @SouperKay, seconded. It is so important to say over and over again that rape is not sex. Rape is not sex. It’s not the same motivations, and it’s not the same act. I once heard it described as “calling rape sex is like hitting someone over the head with a frying pan and calling it cooking.” By my age, I’ve had plenty of sex I’ve regretted in my life. I’ve also been raped. There’s a difference. Thank you for your eloquence.

      • Lemony says:

        I know I’m prob too late to the discussion but I wanted to say that I really appreciated reading your comments on this thread. I agree wholeheartedly with your logical statements.
        I’m deeply saddened by the horrible things you’ve experienced but also blown away by your strength & intellect. I’m not sure what you do for a living now, but you express yourself in a way that makes me think you’d be an excellent counselor, advocate, motivational speaker, etc.
        I have a foster sister (well, she’s an adult now so she is technically out of foster care) who would really benefit from this conversation.
        Your words made me think of her, and how I haven’t checked in on her in awhile.
        Gonna call her tonight.

      • SouperKay says:

        Thank you for your kind words. I really like the frying pan thing and it is absolutely true.
        You are doing a wonderful thing for your sister by listening to her and believing her. I know I did not even allow myself to consider that what happened to me was anything but my own fault for a long time. That is one heck of a distorted thought to carry around. My agency was ripped from me again and again by people I worked with and trusted. I didn’t have a choice, I wasn’t seen as a person but as an object, and nothing I did made any of it my fault. Just by checking in, listening to her, and validating her experience as a person you are helping more than you can know.

  36. Erin says:

    I think they jumped the gun also. I don’t really like Dr. Phil at all either but the question was posed to get people’s opinion before a show.
    And yes, it is rape if the girl is that inebriated

  37. Crabcake says:

    Sadly, there are tons of cases these days of young men raping women. Apparently this is something they need to be educated about – how not to rape. Ridiculous but apparently necessary.

  38. GirlyGirl says:

    “Dr” Phil is an opportunistic prat who deserves our scorn and ridicule for everything that comes out of his phoney down-home noisehole (or twitterfeed).

    He and “Dr” Drew represent the rock-bottom of humanity to me. Greedy idiots that prey on the weak and infirm and act as provocateurs only to fatten their wallets.

    The man is pond-scum.

  39. blaize says:

    I don’t think his tweet was offensive. I think he just should have worded it differently so that the answer would have been more clear.

    Instead of, “If a girl is drunk, is it ok to have sex with her? Reply yes or no,” he could have said something like, “If a girl is unconscious, unable to speak coherently, or unable to move or control her body because of the amount of alcohol she has consumed, is it ok to have sex with her?” With that question, there could be no grey area. Of course, that one is more than 140 characters.

    That said, if a person gets drunk but is still conscious, able to speak and move and comprehend, and CHOOSES to have sex, that’s not rape- even if the person regrets it the next day week. A person who is mildly drunk can still make decisions and want sex. And if both parties are drunk but neither is unconscious, and they decide to hook up, that’s not rape either.

    In the Steubenville case and in the case of the girl named Rataeh, that wasn’t the situation. In both cases, the girls were unconscious and the boys were not drunk, although they had had alcohol. They had their victims filmed, and in the Steubenville case one of the guys was even making rape jokes while he participated in the gang rape. There were other kids watching, and they did nothing to stop it. Instead, one of the onlookers just tweeted something about her being a ‘whore’. (This is one of the many reasons why I hate slut-shaming. It’s connected to rape culture). In the case of the other girl, they even wrote things on her body, and the victim was slut-shamed after the gang-rape.

    I followed threads on multiple sites related to these gang-rapes, and it wasn’t always pretty. The fact that so many people BLAMED AND ATTACKED these two girls for being gang-raped and rushed to the defense of those rapists is just sickening and sad to me. The girl whose name is Retaeh? She committed suicide because of the rape, the humiliation, and being slut-shamed after what was done to her. The Steubenville victim is still alive, but she received that same cruel treatment and even a public figure- Serena Williams- blamed her and expressed sympathies toward her rapists. The fact that people can attack and blame a girl for being gang-raped but then express sympathy for those ‘poor little’ rapists makes me mad and says something about our society. Can you imagine how that poor girl from Steubenville must feel about herself? I hope a public figure reaches out to her to undo the harm of what the other public figure said. And we really need to talk to kids about slut-shaming and rape culture. (And lead by our own examples).

  40. trudie says:

    Depends on how you define drunk, you can be under the influence of alcohol and still capable of consent especially since a large portion of sex happens this way. A few drinks is good for getting one in the mood.

    If someone is drunk to the point of being unable to walk or talk, that’s definitely not capable of giving consent.

    Big gray area in between no doubt. When in doubt don’t do it or get a signed waiver

    • SouperKay says:


      It depends on having clear definitions and understandings of the difference between rape and sex. Someone that wants to have sex with you will not rape you, only a rapist will rape you. Sex requires consent and common goals of sexual partners are pleasure and orgasm. That is not the case for rape. Rapists wish to harm their victims using power, control, humiliation, debasement, physical blows, and even death. Rapists may use foreign objects to penetrate their victims and they may avoid ejaculating. While sex and rape are similar, they are not the same.

  41. TherapyCranes says:

    First off let me tell you.. I hate Dr.Phil. Secondly I don’t see how his tweet was condoning rape or was offensive. It was a question to excite conversation and debate. He just didn’t realize how much backlash he was going to get.

  42. KellyInSeattle says:

    Off subject, but I’m taking a poll: Anyone have any opinions of his wife, Robyn/Robin? Sweetheart or Stepford Wife?

  43. Sparkly says:

    I think he was out of line and didn’t have nearly as good intentions as they’re trying to make out. Otherwise, why would he tag it #teenaccused instead of #teenvictimised, #teendead, #rapeculture, #educateyourkids, or #ofcoursenotJFC?

    • SouperKay says:

      Yes exactly. Instead of using the correct term, rape, and hash tagging it teen accused he is lumping sex in with rape. The answer to his question can be yes. The answer to the correct question using the proper term rape is always no.

  44. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    This post is especially helpful to me, as I am trying (and am unsuccessful so far) to write a book about my great grandma. She just died this past February at 97, a month shy of her 98th birthday.

    She was raped when she was 14, gave birth to a baby boy (that we didn’t know about until after her funeral), and was forced to give him up for adoption i.e. it was one of those forced Catholic “adoptions”.

    She met with my great uncle a few times in the 90s, and she only told him a few things about it.

    Her parents died when she was very young, and so she was pretty much passed from relative to relative and was basically like their servant/slave. The only thing she told her son was that she was “tricked”, which makes me think the asshole was either a relative, or a family friend. Maybe even a priest–she was catholic, but never went to church except on holidays.

    She was the original cougar i.e. she married my great grandfather at 20, while he was 17, and had eight more kids.

    I just feel so bad that she always felt so ashamed of it. She didn’t tell anyone, not even her husband. And her son found her, not the other way around. And she told him that she didn’t want us to know until she was gone.

    I can’t imagine going your whole life with that in your head.

  45. Jay says:

    I think everyone agrees that lack of consent is rape. There’s no grey area there. The grey area is “what does drunk mean?” Depending on body weight, two drinks in an hour may give you a buzz but you are still considered responsible enough for your actions to drive a car. If your inhibitions are reduced (I’m told I get charming and flirty after a couple drinks, and I may more likely take chances socially) is that drunk? Because I’m slightly altered is that drunk or lack of consent because I might do something I might normally be too shy to do? What if both parties are “drunk” to that extent? If it’s rape even then, who raped whom?

    • SouperKay says:

      Drunkenness is not the issue. Being completely black out drunk does not mean you will get raped or sexually assaulted. A drunken sexual encounter does not magically take a left turn to rape town, if consent is not sought then it is and will always continue to be rape. Sexual encounters and rape are different. If a person pursues sexual contact with a blacked out person or someone who has indicated no, don’t stop, let me go, I am leaving verbally or by physical action then they are a sexual predator that was always planning to rape or assault you.

      Sex and rape are two very different experiences with very different motivations driving them.

  46. ParisPucker says:

    he was being provocative and already has a glorious history of being a world-class assh*le! That being said, I think he took an irresponsible approach to asking a question that has an obvious answer and challenging those who would say otherwise…only argument that is somewhat acceptable. Honestly, I think he knew exactly what he was doing and missed being in the press. Like lemmings, we bit the bait.

    He needs to go away – wasn’t it already proven that he is NOT a Dr?!? If that’s the case, he shouldn’t be referred to as one. Wish someone would take him to court and challenge him on this. Most preferably: Oprah — but that will never happen…

  47. SFRowGuy says:

    You can’t give consent if your judgement is impaired. Alcohol impairs your judgement. Anyone says anything else contrary is BSing you. ‘nuf said.

    • SouperKay says:

      Alcohol impairs judgement but not always 100% of the time in a terrible way. For shy people like myself, it might open them up a bit and get them talking.

      I think it is important to keep in mind whether or not your partner is seeking consent from you, verbally or non-verbally by pausing or letting you take the lead.

      If you are with a person that is seeking sexual contact but not consent, then that is a red flag giant flashing warning. Normal sexual partners do not attempt to override consent, talk you into giving consent when you did not want to, or plain ignoring your actions and words.

  48. yoyo says:

    A lot of these comments bother me because where is the responsibility of looking after YOURSELF?!

    Let me give you an example, you are taking the subway and instead of putting your valuables in a handbag that you carry , you just leave them on the seat next to you trusting that no one will steal them because it’s the right thing to do. Most people indeed won’t steal anything but there is a rather high probability that at some point one person driven either by opportunism or because it is their thing will try and steal your stuff. Now yes it is the thief that stole your stuff but do you not have ANY responsibility in this at all? Did you not put your stuff in harms way? Were you not overly careless? Wouldn’t you tell that person they were being freaking stupid to be so careless? Wouldn’t yout ell them “what did you expect?” You wouldn’t be thinking that this is victim shaming just common sense. Right?

    See where I’m going with this? transpose it to carelessness with your decision making abilities either via alcohol or drugs, you are taking a risk, and one has to acknowledge that and not think it’s ok to put yourself in a situation where you can not look after yourself .
    Of course you can put that responsibility in someone elses hands but it has to be explicit: you can have a sober buddy or trust that you are putting yourself in that situation among trusted friends, but let’s acknowledge here, that one has a responsibility towards oneself. This is not about shaming but about taking responsibility for one’s care.

    Of course there are lots of situations where one might think they are in a safe environment with trusted people and then find out that was not the case , that is not what I’m talking about.

    But if you are going to a party, a bar, a club, a festival, a neighbors house (ie some place with people you do not really know) with no plan and decide to get sh*t faced to the point you can’t look after yourself, then KNOW that you are putting yourself at risk because predators are on the look out for people just like that. That’s the real world.

    • Chordy says:

      Well, gee, yoyo, literally nobody has ever made this argument before, so thank you for enlightening us poor fools who were too dumb to keep ourselves from getting raped. Well, now that I’m done with the sarcasm, let me explain why your argument doesn’t work.

      1. I’m not a valuable on a train. I’m a human being. I can replace my cell phone, but I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to piece back together the dignity and humanity that was stolen from me by my attackers.

      2. Just because I act in a way you find foolish, does not mean that I somehow earned the violent crime perpetrated against me. If I get so wasted I can’t stand, I get a really bad hangover. That’s the consequence one should suffer for drinking too much. Do you think that rape is an appropriate consequence for drinking too much?

      3. While it may be my responsibility to take care of myself, it is other people’s responsibility to not commit heinous crimes. This is why we define certain actions as crimes that come with consequences.

      4. All kinds of activities are risky. Driving a car is one of the riskiest acts one can commit. Does that mean we should do away with traffic laws?

      In conclusion, we’re all fools. We all do things that enhance our risk. That doesn’t mean the onus of responsibility for the crime does not fall squarely on the shoulders of the person who chose to use someone else’s vulnerability for their own satisfaction. Ever. And that is the real world.

      • SouperKay says:

        Also robbery is not the correct analogy in my opinion, arson is. Would you ever deign to ask someone whose house has been burned down whether or not they locked all the doors and windows? Of course not, that is ridiculous. An arsonist has an obsession and will burn whatever it is they feel like burning.

        Why are survivors of sexual crimes always asked what they were doing? Rape is not a choose your own adventure novel, it is a violation against the sanctity of a person’s will and body. There is little that you can do once you find yourself being raped. Rape implies force, coercion, and a lack of consent. All the ideas you may have about what you would do, what other people should do, or what actually happens during a rape are mere fantasies. The only thing a survivor can do is survive. Talking about rape, the act itself and the different types of rapists and their motivations is so important. The boogeyman BTK and Ted Bundy in the alley are the exception. The friend who won’t take no for an answer after a couple of beers is the rule.

      • Chordy says:

        Yes. Yes. Yes. This is so important to reinforce. Rapists usually leave their “Look Out! I’m a rapist!” buttons at home when they go out raping. It’s just easier to convince people to be alone with you that way. Rapists are not poor, sweet boys who are confused about consent (well in some gang rape situations they’re weak willed creeps following their rapist buddies). They are violent criminals who take advantage of a culture that allows them to continue to harm others.

    • Jay says:

      OK, last attempt. My posts don’t seem to be going through on my mobile. On top of what others have said, the subway/alley analogy is also bad because rape tends to be committed by people known to the victim, where a certain degree of trust is reasonable. In terms of expectations of safety, risk and trust, it’s more like going to the washroom at a friend’s house without taking your purse and finding your wallet emptied when you return.

      • SouperKay says:

        This is another good analogy although I prefer arson. Rapists are incredibly deceptive and they want to get you to a place of trust because what better way to damage someone than to pull the trust rug right out from under their feet?

      • yoyo says:

        The issue I was trying to make, quite clumsily it seems is that one can’t lump everything together. I agree with you Jay and I said in my post that certain circumstances would entitle one to an expectation of safety and as I said that is NOT what I was talking about. I was talking about circumstances where there is NO particular reason to have any reasonable expectation of safety unless you are living amongst care bears and unicorns.

        For Chordy above I didn’t say anyone deserved to get raped! What I did say was that in certain circumstances as described in my post when there is no particular reasonable expectation of safety when you are impaired if something happens to you , you should recognize that you had a hand in it. We do all indeed have risky behaviors on a bell curve, if we choose (and I’m talking about when we choose, some people don’t: some people are tricked, manipulated, abused into impairement etc) but if we choose to go to an extreme we take a significant risk due to the world we live in, we can indeed just wake up with a hang over or we can wake up in much dire circumstances. If the latter is the case, these are circumstances where one has to acknowledge that we chose to take that risk. We therefore have to take some responsibility for putting ourselves in that situation. Not for the actions of others who are 100% responsible for their wrong doings but for the choices we made.

        If you don’t like the subway analogy and want to talk human being well imagine you are responsible for a 3 year old toddler. Would you let him/her go to the store by himself and just count on the generosity of the human spirit around him to help him out? If something happened to him would you not feel somewhat responsible or would you just say that darn it! it’s the pedophile’s responsibility to not be a pedo. I should be able to do whatever I want to do and pedos should just stop existing! Now if you send him off with a trusted friend and the trusted friend turns out to be a pedo, we are NOT talking about the same context right? Then one wouldn’t expect you to feel like you were careless about it. So if you reduce your awareness to that of a 3 year old via impairement and send yourself into the world shouldn’t you then beforehand make sure you could have a reasonable expectation of safety? And if you choose not to do that then I would argue that you hold some responsibility for whatever happens to you. You can be responsible and not guilty. And vice versa. (Note that I use “you” here not as “you-> Chordy” but because it sounds even more confusing if I use “one” over and over again…)

        Once again and this has been an issue all along in all comments above don’t lump everything together. I am NOT talking about circumstances where one is with what we would think to be trusted friends/aquaintances and they turn against you. I am not talking about being roofied etc… Re-read the context I described in my first post, that is the context I am talking about.

        And it is exactly because rapists do not wear “Look out I’m a rapist ” button that I made my initial comment: When one gets impaired IN THE CONTEXTS I DESCRIBED, one basically puts on a “Hey, victim in waiting here, depending on your mood and psycho levels please, help, ignore, laugh, rape, mug, murder, whatever. It’s bingo times folks and I’m the prize!” So if one wants to play russian roulette fine but lets all ackowledge the fact that the person chose to play russian roulette.

        And this is what makes conversations about getting drunk and ending up raped so complicated. Yes it’s wrong, duh! yes the rapist is responsible and guilty for the crime. But also, depending on the context,some victims are responsible for putting themselves in circumstances that had a high chance of danger.

        That’s why the decision to get impaired should be made taking the context into account. It doesn’t protect us 100% of course, but in quite a few circumstances it can help, if nothing else to not feel like we had a hand in our demise.

      • SouperKay says:

        You are still victim blaming and shaming. Intoxication is not an excuse or an invite for a rapist to attack. Intoxication of a robbery victim will not protect the armed robber when they are brought to justice. They still knowingly broke the law, knowing stole and violated a human being. That holds true for rape as well.

        Many people get drunk everyday and they are not raped. Intoxicated people are human beings that do not deserve to be raped and their state of intoxication is not an invitation to be raped.

        I don’t think you are understanding that rapists are generally adults who actively choose to penetrate and violate their victims. Rapists do not create accidents, rape is not an accident, they find opportunities. An intoxicated person may not be the opportunity they desire what with the vomiting, possible immobility, likelihood of forgetting the terrors exposed to them, and lack of fighting back. It all comes back to the type of rapist. Some rapists attack strangers in stealth. Many attack those that trust them. The entire point of the rape is catch the victim by surprise to weaken their defenses and ability to respond. That does not require intoxication.

      • foreveryoung says:


        Um…no. EVERYONE has a reasonable expectation to be free of being raped.

        There is no situation on this planet in which a woman or man deserves to be raped or should expect it and if they don’t. then, welp, they’re dummies who deserved it. That’s exactly what’s wrong with society and rape culture.

        Why should we have to expect to be raped and not drink/have fun/go to a club/walk to the car after dark without fear?

        And if we ignore the societal “no-nos” and are raped, we somehow facilitated our own rape and it somehow makes the actual rapist less culpable.

        WTF! How about rapists learn to not rape! How about they learn to not commit heinous crimes?

        How about society, the law, women shouldn’t have to adjust to tolerate a rapists behavior. As if rape is inevitable and not the CHOICE that the rapist makes and is entirely preventable by the RAPIST not raping in the first place.

        How about society learn that there is no entitlement to women’s bodies and sex with them just by virtue of a man being a man. And this idea that unless she explicitly says no, then they’re free to have as much access to a woman, including raping her, as they want.

        Why is the assumption tolerated that consent is automatic and entitled, unless a “no” is said, instead of consent being something a partner has to ask/receive before engaging in sex?

      • Jay says:

        @yoyo, if you’re focusing on situations involving attacks by anonymous strangers, then at best you’re talking about 1/3 of the cases. That’s still a lot, but the remaining 2/3 are situations where trust SHOULD be expected.

        So even playing devil’s advocate, if you did put the onus fully on the victim to play it extra safe in unfamiliar territory, you’re still not solving the core problem with the majority of situations where there IS a trust to violate.

        At best your proposal is a band-aid. It’d be like trying to stop traffic injuries by banning motorcycles. Yeah, motorcycles are dangerous, but a lot more people get injured in cars because there’s just more of them.

        I suppose you could suggest one should even treat trusted friends (or even your spouse) as potential rapists, but I don’t really like that solution, personally.

        The preferred solution is to educate the attackers, which should reduce the attacks across the board. Not every sociopathic predator can be reached, yes, but the truly horrifying thing is they aren’t the ones, statistically, you need to be afraid of.

      • yoyo says:

        Thank goodness! One person that understood WHAT I was talking about… Thanks for actually reading my whole post even if it was long. Yes I am talking about attacks by stangers and NOT about any other situation.

        I’m not talking about solving anything either other than the lumping together of situations that to me are rather different when it comes to risk taking, and acknowledging that in certain circumstances one did take a risk. That’s all.

        Don’t think that treating friends or acquaintances like potential rapists is very reasonable either but I would pick and chose who I’d make myself that vulnerable for. Will it solve everything, of course not, you can be perfectly sober and still get manipulated into a bad situation or just even brutally attacked.

        I was just talking about ackowledging ones responsiblity when it came to a risky behavior in a certain context.

        I don’t know that education can really help. Call me cynical but even though these rapists might not be outright psychos, they are the same people who just have no respect for your boundaries and this behavior is just another expression of that. I think education would have to start earlier than when they are teenagers and not actually be related to sexual behavior but earlier with teaching respect of others and their boundaries and seeing others as human beings rather than pieces of meat. I think it is also important to teach boys and girls about boundaries and how to communicate them and how to say no. I’ve seen many a folks male and female get pretty much bullied into getting drunk or high way beyond their comfort zone due to peer pressure and then doing really stupid stuff they regret later (incl vehicular manslaughter due to dui)…

        Anyways, thanks for reading.

      • LAK says:

        Yoyo – Rape isn’t one of those crimes that adheres to rules of personal safety or responsibility and that is why no matter the state of the victim, whether they are behaving responsibly or not, there is [or should be] zero tolerance.

        Using your own pedo analogy….that is a crime with zero tolerance, even if the parents were as irresponsible as you’ve described. We expect no harm to be done to children under ANY circumstances. Rape falls [or should fall] in that category.

  49. Jayna says:

    It’s easy. If the girl is drunk and possibly you and you are both into it and mutually want it, then it’s consensual. If you are with a drunk girl and she is comotose/blacked out and not able to engage in sex as a participant and you are having sex with her in that state or if she is trying to say stop and too drunk to stop you and you continue, then it is sexual assault and you are taking advantage of someone who can’t say no or fight back or possibly you even encouraged her getting drunk to the point of being blacked out knowing full well what you wanted.

  50. LaurieH says:

    Dr. Phil is a douchebag, but that’s beside the point. I didn’t find the question/tweet offensive at all. Maybe I am just reading it differently. To me, it seemed like he was trying to gather responses in order to gauge the current attitude about it and open a discussion. In a world of increased binge drinking, legalized pot smoking and casual hook-ups, it seems like a reasonable question to ask. Answers from guys are equally revealing as answers from girls. I think he was just trying to see if attitudes in this subject have changed.

    • SouperKay says:

      drinking binge, buzz or otherwise ≠ rape
      pot smoking legal or otherwise ≠ rape
      casual hookups ≠ rape

      Only rape is rape. If you participate in any of the activities above, it is not an invitation to be raped. Sex is also not rape. Normal sexual partners will not pressure you to release consent for sexual contact.

      Only rapists rape and only rape is rape. Rape implies the use of force, coercion, and the lack of consent. That is nothing like sex. They are similar but different.

      The question is problematic because it is not gender neutral, anyone can be raped. The question is problematic because the word sex is used when rape is meant. They cannot be substituted for each other because they are not the same.

  51. Vera says:

    If a person does not or cannot give consent, how is it not rape? Really sad that anyone would question that.

    Anyway, Dr. Phil got the publicity he wanted by Twitter trolling, so he probably see this as a win.