Violence Against Women Isn’t About Alcohol

Content warning for domestic violence and sexual assault, including graphic descriptions in some links.

Early Sunday morning, a 24-year-old man brutally assaulted and murdered his 31-year-old girlfriend. The media is, problematically, labeling the actions as part of a “tequila-fueled rage” triggered by the woman allegedly calling out her ex’s name two times during sex.

But this shifts the blame to alcohol and the woman by implying if only she hadn’t called out her ex’s name and if only she hadn’t been drinking or if only he hadn’t been drinking or if only he hadn’t been drinking tequila. The version of the narrative fails to hold the man accountable for the horrifying assault he perpetrated against the woman — one that resulted in internal body tissues being strewn around the apartment.

We’ll see if a pattern of violence on the man’s part emerges when this goes to trial. We’ll see what sorts of racist narratives emerge as others try to distance themselves from this man, try to pretend that they couldn’t possibly know anyone who looked like them who would do such a thing, although almost surely there have been plenty of cases of people who look like them doing these sorts of things.

My guess is that the defense will try to blame this on the woman’s character and preferences (already the story of “rough sex” is being used to explain part of the violence, because it was part of the man’s original testimony to police). My guess is that some people will try to blame this on sex outside of marriage and the fact that people get divorced.

There’s a Margaret Atwood quote, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” This is, undeniably, that.




One thought on “Violence Against Women Isn’t About Alcohol

  1. I disagree that the blame is being removed from the individual and placed on external factors or the victim. Rather I think the words surrounding “tequila” function as accurate descriptors while still holding the perpetrator accountable. The man is still being charged with homicide and his actions are considered unanimously horrible; hence why the story is so shocking.

    IMO refusing consideration of external factors is just as harmful as solely blaming them, because it denies the implications for treatment and prevention.

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