News & Politics

Joe Biden Says All Drunk Sex Creates a Female Rape Victim

Former Vice President Joe Biden sits during an event to formally launch the Biden Institute, a research and policy center focused on domestic issues at the University of Delaware, in Newark, Del., Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Joe Biden, while vice president, had a key role in changing how allegations of sexual assault on college campuses are handled. That effort resulted in the abuse of Title IX laws that were intended to ensure women had equal access to educational opportunities. Young men are having their lives destroyed over rape and sexual assault charges without receiving due process.

Now, it appears that Biden has made up his own interpretation of what the law says about rape:

Biden is hopelessly confused about the definition of sexual assault — which he claims impacts as many as 1-in-5 female college students. Consider the following startling assertion.

“If a young woman is drunk, SHE CANNOT CONSENT,” said Biden. “She cannot consent, and it’s rape. It’s rape. It’s rape. It’s rape.”

It’s not. (It’s not, it’s not, it’s not.) People who are drunk are generally capable of giving consent, unless they have consumed enough alcohol to render them unconscious. The Department of Justice defines alcohol-induced rape as a situation that arises from a state of incapacitation. If a young woman is drunk to the point where she passes out, then she cannot give consent. But people who consume too many drinks to drive home are nevertheless still able to have sex.

There are situations, of course, where drunk sex is rape. Some people who consume too much alcohol enter a sort of sleep-walking state where they are actually black-out drunk but appear lucid to observers. (For more on the difficulties of ensuring consent at such times, check out this Fusion article.)

But Biden implicitly suggested that all drunk sex is rape. What’s fascinating about this opinion is that practically no one believes it to be true. It doesn’t work, quite obviously, in practice. Drunk couples have sex all the time, and no one believes that these encounters automatically constitute rape. I doubt seriously that most people, or even many people, think cultural norms should be revised so that sex is always off the table the second that alcohol enters the mix. I doubt that even Biden himself thinks this.

How can a man who holds such an extreme position on what is and isn’t rape hold such a key role in re-crafting how Title IX is used to deal with sexual assault allegations?

Welcome to big government, where ignorance and terrible ideas become law all the time. Many lives will be destroyed in part because a know-nothing didn’t bother analyzing his position.