09/05/2013 Jonathan Taylor

Gender studies professor Jonathan Allan dislikes the concept of equal responsibility

For the past thirty to forty years the discourse on sexual assault in academia has been dominated by a due-process-be-damned fringe of Feminism which holds men and women to unequal standards regarding consent. One person among them is gender studies professor Jonathan Allan, who among other things makes a career out of teaches courses on (and writes books about teaching) books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

In my last post about Everfi’s mandatory sexual assault orientation program (now required for hundreds of thousands of students), I talked about alcohol and consent, and argued that the standard should be equal for both sexes. Here’s the relevant part of the post in context:

If someone is so incapacitated (not “impaired”) to the point that (s)he cannot consent to someone pressuring them to have sex (“wasted”), then yes, that is rape. But does being drunk while having sex in and of itself constitute rape? Not any more than being drunk means you aren’t a criminal for getting drunk and beating your kids, or going out and raping someone. In other words, no.

It’s really quite simple, and a matter of equal treatment: if simply being drunk means a female student cannot consent or be held responsible for what she does, then the same rule applies to male students as well – unless you’re a sexist (read: Feminist), of course.

I thought the above statement was rather balanced. Notice that the first paragraph was framed in a gender-neutral fashion, and adopted the same standard regarding consent for both sexes. It acknowledged that one can be intoxicated to the point of nonconsent, while still asserting that intoxication is not in itself the presence of nonconsent. It was almost…oh, what is that non-feminist word…nuanced.

And you know, I actually debated with myself whether I would include the snarky “unless you’re a sexist (read: Feminist)” comment. Now I know I made the right decision. Feminist and gender studies professor Jonathan Allan says on his Twitter page “Voice for Male Students asks: “does being drunk in and of itself constitute rape?” The answer: “In other words, no.”

Jonathan Allan twitter

Oh no, that doesn’t seem doctored or taken out of context at all, Dr. Allan. It almost seems as though you had cut out something between the phrase “the answer” and “in other words.” What were those other words, Dr. Allan? Don’t be shy now :).

After sharing the evil nasty half-quote tweet with a friend (whose only response was “Wow, I found that really offensive”), Allan continues by saying “Unbelievable. Right? That is what I’m researching. Most of the time I want to cry.” Notice the lack of any kind of counterargument. Where is the counterargument? In fact, I remember John Hembling at A Voice for Men writing a piece with a subtitle asking that exact question. In that article he says:

Whenever I or any other MRA fields an argument in defense of mens rights, or critical of feminism, it is never met with a counter argument. The arguments of MRAs are met with accusations, shaming language, insults, threats, blackmail, violence, censure, censorship, cooked up criminal charges, vandalism, imprisonment and other calumny.

So I ask again: where is the counterargument? The answer: there isn’t one. Feminism is a dogmatic and totalitarian ideology premised upon female supremacy. As such, it is highly intolerant toward dissent. You can see this in Dr. Allan’s response when I directly asked him for a counterargument. This was all he could say – not to me, but broadcast generally (the “view conversation” part is between me and SonomaLass, which you may view later in this post):

Jonathan Allan twitter 2

Hegemonic masculinity! An interesting concept. Oh hey – totally irrelevant to the conversation – here’s a picture of me:

Phantom Flute

That’s me playing the flute while dressed up as a character from the musical Phantom of the Opera (incidentally, I was also playing music from the musical, which is my second favorite only to Les Miserables, which I also referenced at the very beginning of the very post Allan is attacking). Not exactly the embodiment of “hegemonic masculinity,” is it?

Dear me, Dr. Allan, it almost seems as though you don’t know what you’re talking about. I do hope you do better research when you teach Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

On a side note, here are some of Dr. Allan’s other papers and presentations:

How much is a Ph.D. worth, again? They say college is the new high school. If so, why does it seem like graduate school is the new middle school? Does it go backwards like that – where, after graduating high school, any new education doesn’t progress you, it actually regresses you? For example, if I earn a Ph.D., will I then be qualified to teach elementary school?

Sometimes I wonder 🙂

It seems SonomaLass, Dr. Allan’s friend, was willing to engage with me, however briefly:

SonomaLass Twitter

I have yet to receive a response, and she has posted many other tweets since.

Dr. Allan is apparently doing research into men’s human rights – something he has a hard time agreeing with in principle:

Jonathan Allan twitter 3

Horror of horrors! The very concept that men could be ill-treated by society as men. You know, Dr. Allan, in a pluralistic society you aren’t always going to hear opinions you agree with. But if we are all tolerant of diversity, I’m sure things will work out just fine.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (9)

  1. I didn’t answer your follow-up tweet because it didn’t seem to be a response to the point I made. If neither party consents, then in my experience, nothing happens. If one party consents and the other does not, that’s where we get into “nonconsensual” sex — i.e., rape. If a drunk person is still capable of wanting and going after sex with a person too drunk to refuse, then clearly there is consent, albeit impaired consent, on one side and not the other. That’s true regardless of the gender of each individual, as far as I am concerned.

    As for the idea that you’re not responsible for choices that you make while drunk? Ridiculous. If you get behind the wheel of your car and drive, then you can and should be help accountable. If you’re too drunk to drive, then you sit behind the wheel and nothing happens. Impaired judgment can make you do stupid things; you still did them. But impaired ability to defend yourself or to consent to something being done to your body can put you in a position where someone else can do something TO you, and that is NOT the same thing.

    • “If a drunk person is still capable of wanting and going after sex…then clearly there is consent, albeit impaired consent.”

      So you’re acknowledging that it is possible for a drunk person to consent to sex?

    • Trevor

      ” If you’re too drunk to drive, then you sit behind the wheel and nothing happens.”
      The large number of DUII convictions argues otherwise. Most of the time, people who are “too drunk to drive” who have made it as far as sitting behind the wheel proceed to attempt to drive, as judgement is impaired by alcohol but confidence isn’t.

      Son what happens with two blackout drunk people who have sex? They had sex, so you can’t say “nothing happens”. Neither of them is, by common definition, able to consent – they certainly won’t remember whether or not they had consented in the morning, meaning it’s a crapshoot. So if neither party has consented, and they have sex, what happens? Are they both rapists and both victims? Do they get to be bunk buddies in prison?

  2. Murphy Christovson

    This isn’t a complicated issue. If both people are drunk, and both drunken fools are pursuing sex with each other, it isn’t rape. End. Of. Story.

  3. Howard

    Would Mr. Allan then say these women (half of all women -those that prefer having sex after indulging in alcohol) want to have non-consensual sex? Do they want to be raped? They take the first sip knowing ahead of time they want to be drunk when having sex-

    And also, should these women be allowed to claim rape afterwards? If so, then we should outlaw all sex with any woman who has taken any amount of alcohol- and make sure men don’t oblige these women their wish to be drunk for sex. Have a just say no campaign.


  4. S. Misanthrope

    The “if sex occurs, at least one party was capable of consent” really gets my garters in a twist. What kind of logic is that? Capacity to consent CANNOT depend on action. A child cannot consent to certain things because of its state of mental development. An unconscious person cannot consent to anything because of the temporary condition of his or her brain. If a child or a sleep walker signs the deed to a house, it’s not a valid contract. The action of signing the contract does not prove consent.

    The act of having sex does not prove consent. That the man had sex doesn’t prove he was able to consent. That the woman had sex doesn’t prove she was able to consent.

    Honestly no one actually believes this “he did it so he consented.” A man or woman may vigorously perform the act under verbal threat, but it’s not consent because you cannot consent when you’re under threat. Any idiot can see that. What they can’t see is past their “man=rapist, woman=victim” blinders when identical acts are committed under identical circumstances by people who are identical in every way but gender/sex.

  5. ZimbaZumba

    This is not the level of debate one would expect from an academic. It casts serious doubts on his institution but mostly on the academic subculture of which he is a part of. I’d question if prestige within his field is based on scholarship or adherence to dogma. I’d posit the latter.


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