September 3, 2014

A Fox News panel on Wednesday agreed that women needed to take "personal responsibility" for avoiding rape by not drinking too much.

During an interview with WAMU's Diane Rehm Show last week, former George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg argued that women should be "trained not to drink in excess" so they could "be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave."

Trachtenberg later insisted that he was not "trying to shift blame" to the victim.

On Thursday's edition of Outnumbered, Fox News host Jedediah Bila asked guest host Lou Dobbs if there was anything controversial about what Trachtenberg had said.

"I don't think so," Dobbs said. "As a father of two sons, two daughters, I will tell you, the last thing you want is any child -- a boy, a girl, it doesn't matter -- to be defenseless. And if you don't teach your kids and pray that they learn to never, ever take on additional vulnerability to everyday life in this society, why should there be anything controversial about it?"

"Losing control of oneself, exposing oneself and creating tremendous vulnerability is, to me, a disastrous choice for anyone to make," he added.

Co-host Harris Faulkner agreed that "personal responsibility" was "very important in all of this."

"No one is blaming the woman," she explained. "It's not like back in the day when they would blame us for what we had on. I don't really see it that way. But I think if you're going to watch out for a predator, you want to be able to do it in a sober eyes-wide-open manner. And you can't do that if you've been drinking."

"To put yourself in a vulnerable position, and to be drinking on top of that, it's the opposite of good sense."

At that point, co-host Liz Claman reminded the panel that the discussion had left out the man's role in preventing rape.

"This professor left out two words: also guys," she noted. "Guys shouldn't be drinking so much that they lose control or their ability to focus... You don't manage your message through gender, that's the stupidest thing in the world. Guys lose control too."

Co-host Andrea Tantaros recalled that her college "put all the guys in some kind of box, already guilty."

"You see a lot of girls getting assaulted and raped when they're drunk," she continued. "But [Trachtenberg] could have also added a number of pointers, which is, don't walk home by yourself. And that goes for guys as well."

(h/t: Media Matters)

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