Atlantic City ProTip: 1) Don’t Rape 2) consent isn’t complicated 3) don’t prey on drunk people

I Like jumpsuits because they’re harder for someone to be rapey”  — an actual League Fashion Tip

 

(Atlantic City) — A vivid memory from my first trip to the party scene that unjustly mars the League of Municipalities Convention was watching someone, a sitting assemblyman who’s still in office, ply an extremely drunk, much younger woman with a cocktail that she clearly didn’t need. But it wasn’t just any cocktail. Something blue, the color of Windex, and served ‘straight up’ in a martini glass. You could smoke in casinos back then and the smell of cigaretteswas ubiquitous, enough to burn your eyes and send you home smelling like an ashtray.

Society won’t tolerate smoking indoors anymore. When Senator Dick Codey’s indoor smoking ban passed in 2006, the idea of eliminating cigarettes in bars and restaurants seemed radical. But now, in 2018, smoking indoors in public places is no longer acceptable. Our society simply won’t allow it.

Our society, does however, still permit plying very drunk women with more alcohol in the hopes of getting lucky.

In the past year I’ve learned a lot about sexual violence, rape, and sexual coercion. Namely, how rife sexual violence is in NJ politics. Most of my female friends in NJ politics have first-hand accounts of rape and sexual violence.

Last year’s event happened very shortly after the Harvey Weinstein rape chronicles went viral. Since then, we’ve seen a cavalcade of scandals involving catholic priests. So this year’s event takes place after we’ve all had a moment to reflect on the scope and the scale of coercive sex and rape right here in our own front yards.

Concepts like consent aren’t that difficult to grasp. In fact, it can be as simple as saying “are you having fun?” or “are you cool with what we’re doing?” if things drift towards 2nd base and beyond.

Keepin’ it real

One of my friends was raped at an after party happening a few years ago. More recently, another of my friends quite literally banged his way into an elected official’s hotel room to rescue a much younger woman who was too drunk to properly consent to a drunken affair with a married man that’s old enough to be her father.

What do you think was happening inside that hotel room? I’ve contemplated that scene from time to time. I even think of Windex Martini girl once in a while and wonder did she make it home ok.

The League of Municipalities convention is a long-running event that can be fun and rewarding. But the bawdy, boozy reputation of the extra curricular events around it is very richly deserved.

And so…..

If you see someone hitting on someone who’s had too much to drink it’s super easy to de-escalate a potentially bad situation. It’s as simple as saying “Hey (X) had too much to drink, don’t you think?” and let them reflect for one nanosecond on the lifeline you’ve given them.

“Why don’t we help (X) back to his/her hotel” is a good follow up suggestion. And low and behold, just like that, instead of a creep who preys on vulnerable people, you’ve created a hero instead.

Wasn’t that easy?

Jay Lassiter is a longtime NJ political polemicist. 

 

 

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