Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Grown up girls take responsibility

By Jennifer Wilson - posted Friday, 4 March 2011

At the Drum on Monday February 28 there's another piece by Melinda Tankard Reist on the corrupting influences of pop music

This time it's a song by Brian McFadden written for fiancée songstress Delta Goodrem, titled Just The Way You Are (Drunk at the Bar).

One of the offending lines is:I like you just the way you are, drunk and dancing at the bar, I can't wait to take you home so I can do some damage


Not everybody's idea of a love song, but no doubt it has some personal triggers for the couple involved.

MTR and fellow campaigner, journalist Nina Funnell, take the opportunity to unleash a tirade against McFadden for encouraging a culture apparently known as "passed out p*ssies", in which a woman drunk beyond the capacity to consent isn't taken home in a cab, but instead taken to somebody's place and passed around for sex.

A vile practice, and abusing a comatose woman who can't give consent is sexual assault, no question.

But there is a difference between drunk, and passed out, and having sex when drunk isn't the same thing as raping an unconscious woman. I don't think McFadden is singing about the latter.

What is nowhere mentioned in the article is that women are responsible for their drinking behaviours, and a culture in which women believe that getting insensible on drink is a normal part of a good night out is also a vile one.

A woman has a responsibility to take care of herself. Nobody else can do that for her. It is a nasty world at times, particularly if you are of the drink and vomit, vomit and drink culture.


Years of feminist rage against men seems to have achieved very little, as MTR admits, at least in the world of pop culture inhabited by millions of young women. It might be time to consider turning our attention to educating those women instead of wasting our energies blaming men. This is much harder, of course, but it might have a more successful outcome.

The first thing we should be educating girls and young women about is taking responsibility for their own choices and decisions. If you're going to drink yourself senseless, bear in mind that you might get gang raped while you're unconscious.

We apparently can't stop some Neanderthals doing this, but maybe we can do our best to stop young women putting themselves into the situation in the first place. This will involve the whole village, of course, including the pubs and the parents, and not just some hapless male writer of horrible pop music.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

217 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Dr Jennifer Wilson worked with adult survivors of child abuse for 20 years. On leaving clinical practice she returned to academia, where she taught critical theory and creative writing, and pursued her interest in human rights, popular cultural representations of death and dying, and forgiveness. Dr Wilson has presented papers on human rights and other issues at Oxford, Barcelona, and East London Universities, as well as at several international human rights conferences. Her academic work has been published in national and international journals. Her fiction has also appeared in several anthologies. She is currently working on a secular exploration of forgiveness, and a collection of essays. She blogs at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Jennifer Wilson

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 217 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy