So basically on Friday night I had someone come up to me to talk about my rape culture article, and they disagreed with it which is fair enough because everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. However, unfortunately, the discussion soon descended into a full on row in the middle of the Students’ Union which resulted in me being back home by 1:00 am and spending the majority of Saturday alternating between wanting to hide under my bed and start sticking pins in voodoo dolls. Fortunately, I soon realised that when life gives you lemons you don’t just make lemondae but also a blog post out of it, so lo and behold. How not to have an argument:
1) Never participate in an argument when you are not sober.
One of my friends has a rule that you should never talk about money, class, religion or politics when drinking which is presumably because it will inevitably end up with punches being thrown. Things got heated enough once when my southern friend said that the whole of the midlands should be replaced by the National Forest and that two northerners do not make a southerner, and I genuinely thought he was going to get thrown out. Personally, I think there should be the rule ”Don’t partake in any discussion of any kind after you’ve been drinking” because it will inevitably end up in (probably my) tears. Trying to have a discussion when you’ve been drinking is so difficult and it was so frustrating because I kept losing my train of thought, so I should have just ended the argument with ”There is a comment box at the bottom of Epinal articles for a reason” and got out of there.
2) Do not cry
After having my opponent stomp off after going ”Fucking feminists!” I had two choices. One was storm after him and continue arguing. The other was what I do everytime I have an argument with someone which is cry, and then walked home and went to bed crying. If you’re going to cry after a argument then do it in the safety of your own home because crying just after an argument just feels really weak and you kind of lose your leverage. Although in my defense, I had been drinking, I was frustrated about not being able to argue my point as coherently as I’d have liked, and I find the subject of rape culture an emotive subject as it is without the other two factors.
3) Don’t have a tantrum
When I woke up the next morning, I not only spat my dummy out but threw every single toy I had out of the pram. I sent the editor of The Epinal a melodramatic message saying I didn’t want to be features editor anymore, I spent the day moping and just drowning in a disgusting amount of self pity. However, at some point between defreezing Tesco’s frozen fruit and burning myself with a lighter when attempting to light a candle, I realised that I’d spent a month in Edinburgh having people tear my work apart and if I didn’t stop writing after that then I sure as hell wasn’t going to stop after a drunken row in a night club with someone I’d barely said two words to before.
4) Don’t feel the need to apologise for having your own opinions.
So it did cross my mind to message my opponent and explain my argument more clearly but I just thought ”Why bother?”. I have no problems having a discussion with someone about something I’ve written; I actually welcome them. However, coming up to me on a night out is not the best time to talk to me about things like rape culture which is obviously a sensitive topic. I wrote the Epinal article talking about something which is occurring in society which has Loughborough references to make it relevant to Loughborough students like all articles on The Epinal are written.
I personally believe there is a universal rape culture which is seen in the techniques lawyers use in rape trials to try and disprove a rape victim, the fact many polls show many people believe if a girl is dressed promiscuously or is drunk then she is somehow at fault if she gets raped, and the fact in many countries victims are forced to either drop the case of rape and/or marry their attacker in a bid to prevent shame being brought on their family.
It’s nothing to do with being a “fucking feminist” because males can be victims of rape too. It’s simply about raising awareness that there is a universal rape culture; which is worse in some countries than it is in others.