Dr Phil Asks His Twitter Followers if Date Rape is OK?

Dr Phil

Dr. Phil McGraw on Tuesday tweeted “If a girl is drunk, is it okay to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused .” This has led to a huge backlash against the man, with people denouncing him as everything from drunk tweeting to being a date rape apologist; but do those accusations really hold water?

Let us examine the evidence. The message includes a hashtag at the end #teensaccused. That means that obviously the psychologist, and married father of two was not asking whether he should have sex with a drunk girl, but was probably trying to start a conversation about a specific case. The show that according to the official statement he released he was trying to gather public opinion on has already been taped, although it has not been broadcast.

Also, any person with full posession of their mental faculties would realize within a second that Dr. Phil does not post anything on his Twitter account. He has people that do that for him.

According to CTV News Atlantic, that particular show concerned the case of Rhetaeh Parsons, a Canadian teen who committed suicide after being drugged, gang raped, and cyberbullied after her rapists published footage of the crime the inflicted upon her. Other educated guesses would be the Steubenville gang rape of an underage girl by several football stars in that town, or the more recent gang rape of a girl at Vanderbilt Universtiy just a few days ago. All of those cases involved girls that were unconscious.

This brings up another point. Was Dr. Phil perhaps trying to bring up a conversation about how drunk a person has to be before they can give consent? This is an important conversation, and one that maybe we all should have as a society, and especially with our children, so they do not date rape somebody and post it on Twitter, or social media, as if it were something to brag about. Date rape is no laughing matter, and a celebrity like Dr. Phil surely knows it is not OK to do it, much less to post on Twitter. One has to give the man at least that much credit.

Dr. Phil has been hounded by his followers; some of who have reposted screencaps of the original tweet, after it was taken down. In a way, this is admirable, because it demonstrates a societal capacity for outrage much improved over the old method that preceded our modern gadgets allowing us to do it globally, and simply relied on people being able to scream “murder, bloody murder!” at the top of their lungs; but such a reaction should be reserved for actual criminals, not for somebody that is ultimately pointing out the failures of the system in prosecuting the actual offenders.

Admittedly, Twitter is not the best means for gathering accurate statistics on any topic, and Dr. Phil should have known better than to do that. But if he is guilty of anything at all, it is of overestimating the intelligence of his Twitter followers while trying to elevate the discourse on rape, and definitely not of trying to say that date rape is OK.

An Op/Ed by Milton Ruiz

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2 Responses to "Dr Phil Asks His Twitter Followers if Date Rape is OK?"

  1. s singh   August 23, 2013 at 7:31 am

    offering company to drink with a person of opposite sex itself sugests possibility of sexual activity in the instant future and it should be taken to be a prior consent for such activity.As intoxicant furthers the desire to fulfill it and this is known to all it implies prior consent,in my view.Lust cant extend to committing any other bodily or mental harm

    Reply
    • Milton Ruiz   August 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      I disagree with you. I have a friend that went to Turkey and had a man hit on her on the street. She immediately told him that she was not interested in a romantic relationship; but she does like to have conversations with people, and they talked, and she thought they had become friends. They went over to his house a couple of days later, under a ruse that he had. I don’t know if they had been drinking; but they danced, and then he tried to force himself on her. She had to fight him off and jump out of a window to avoid being raped. I don’t believe in the argument of implied consent. And the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, in particular is disturbing, as she was underage at the time, and minors cannot give consent, and people that are unconscious can certainly not give consent.

      Reply

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