I didn't drink all the way through my college years, except for the occasional post-work glass of wine over dinner and the Big Lebowski with Tegan, due to watching countless freshmen girls in my dorm go out for their first weekend away from their parents' house and then stumbling home at 3am half dressed and wasted. There were certain weekends where I would walk through downtown late at night past the bars and house parties, subcultural androgynous in a hoodie pulled up, bandanna over my hair and leather jacket that gave my skinny frame some bulk, and see from a distance the combination of girls dressing to impress, male piggery and alcohol and know that this could only end badly for those involved.
I remember being out with some people who lived down the street from me shortly after I moved onto that street in Kent and got locked out of my apartment. He was in my English class the previous semester and we got along well but there was pressure on me that raised the mental red flag, and when we were all sitting around and they started trying to get ahold of their dealer, after he kept pouring me glass after glass of cheap red wine that I kept leaving behind the endtable when he wasn't looking, I slipped out, hoping my landlord left the key under the mat (he did) and figuring that if he didn't I'd find another place to crash because I knew that where I was wasn't safe.
Knowing that date rape or something like it happened to someone you love is even worse, and every time this has happened, it's hit even closer to home. I know that this isn't preventable, that the strong have often taken advantage of the weak, that people make bad decisions every day that lead to things they never thought would happen to them. I wish I could shake the girls I know and scream "what the hell are you doing?" and inflict some serious injury on the male species that somehow feel entitled to take what someone's not willing to give when in sound mind. I know that isn't the answer. I wish I had one.