Tea Time with Tagwa: Drugging people is not the way into their pants

Illustration by Karly Andersen

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Tea timers, I’d like to give a trigger warning disclaimer. This story discusses the disgusting reality of date rape culture at parties — and the presence of it on VCU’s campus.

Scrolling through Twitter, I nearly spilled my coffee. An Instagram story from an unofficial account named @vcuparties showed a person pouring an entire bottle of NyQuil into a drink container. The video later shows a room full of people dancing in a party setting.

https://twitter.com/worldwideroger/status/1317701196468129793?s=21

I could not believe my eyes. I could not decipher where my shock came from. Was it the flat out criminal and unethical act in front of my eyes or the mere audacity to record and post such an incriminating video?

Being a junior, I’ve been to my fair share of parties. I’ve seen the culture of men present in the room; their willingness to risk a woman’s life for quick gratification. It has always baffled me that someone could even think of acting without consent.

The conversation of consent has been going on for far too long. Quite frankly, the fact that it is even a conversation is aggravating. There is nothing to talk about. 

If a person is uninterested in being intimate with you, oh well, move on. Life continues after the initial sting of rejection. However, a person’s emotional, mental and physical state will never continue normally after being assaulted or raped.

Furthermore, someone can still be interested, just not in that moment. There is nothing wrong with not being ready to be intimate with someone — it is your choice at the end of the day.

Pressuring and forcing someone into something they are uncomfortable with is one of the most despicable things I’ve ever heard. We are more than just our bodies. There are more ways to be intimate than sexual activities. 

Intimacy can come through conversation, through gifts, through love and affection; sex is not everything. 

This video solidifies the accepted rape culture engrained in the party scene. It feels like anytime a person, especially a woman, attends a party, she is essentially risking her life and sanity for the immediate satisfaction of a predator. 

As a woman, I understand the fears that are associated with parties. I don’t even drink, yet I find myself being extremely mindful of where I am and what I’m doing. I am constantly hovering around my drunk female friends and keeping account of their whereabouts. It is exhausting to be on eggshells in a place that is supposed to radiate excitement and youth.

It’s getting old. The horror stories experienced by countless women due to spiked drinks and sexual assault and rape is ridiculous. 

I truly cannot rationalize the idea of putting drugs into someone’s drink. I think the scariest part about drinking something that is spiked is how unaware one is until it’s too late. Some symptoms can be:

  1. Feeling drunk, woozy or drowsy

  2. Feeling drunker than expected

  3. Mental confusion

  4. Slurring words

  5. Memory loss

These are only a few of the side effects present with a spiked drink. While it is unfair to put the responsibility on those attending parties for fun, I urge everyone to be safe and cognizant of what they put in their bodies.

As a society, how much more are we willing to allow? How many more victims are we going to blame before we realize that the problem does not come from the person most hurt?

Since we’re having the conversation, let’s say this: If someone says no, move on. Drugging and raping them highlights how inherently disturbed you are. And that’s the tea.

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