Thursday, 15 August 2013

So Brian Dalton can be an ass

While watching the "begging segment" of the latest Mr Deity, there was a jarring moment in Brian Dalton's thinly veiled criticism of PZ Myers's decision to air allegations against Michael Shermer. Myers was faced with a difficult choice between the possibility of slandering an innocent man and not warning his community of a predator in its midst. While not sure if I agree with Dalton (I can see flaws in that argument), that's not the bit I found really objectionable. No, the thing that doesn't sit well with me is the transparent and glib victim blaming in the wine glass bit.

There is of course the possibility of drink substitution: a double shot instead of a single shot; a full strength beer instead of a low alcohol beer; spiking a strongly flavoured drink with vodka or even straight alcohol. All these tactics have been used by arseholes trying to get women drunk. There is, of course, also the use of other drugs slipped into drinks as well. Dalton seems not to have taken these possibilities into account.

Furthermore, if Brian Dalton doesn't realise that people can be manipulated into doing things they don't want to do or without being aware that they are doing them, perhaps he should have a chat with someone who has spent time studying mentalists, con-artists and "psychics" about how they manipulate people's behaviour. Perhaps he could ask his good friend Michael Shermer, who has studied these things extensively. Dalton's bit of simply declining an offer from a passing waiter is quite disingenuous.

Lastly, even if you don't deliberately ply someone with alcohol in order to have sex with them, there's some point of inebriation after which they are not able to give genuine consent. If you're aware that they are so inebriated that they can't give reasonable consent, you shouldn't be doing anything except trying to sober them up or protecting them from sexual predators rather than being one yourself.

If you're taking advantage of drunk people, you don't have "game". You have a broken moral compass. You are not a "player". You are a rapist.

Update: So Brian Dalton has posted a new video saying he wasn't blaming the victim. Apparently he was just making fun of the idea that someone can be manipulated into consuming more alcohol than they want to or know they have... or something. He's still tone deaf and wrong.


  1. You are ready to believe a second hand story from a man you do not even know, without any evidence. A story that could destroy an innocent man's career? Why? Because you wish to support a flawed ideology? Or are you just not a rational and skeptical person? Or do you just like PZ and therefore believe anything that comes out of his mouth?

  2. I don't know he's guilty. I don't know he's innocent. I have to reserve judgement, and passed none in my comments above. I also don't know if Myers has done the right thing in publicising the claim. I can see valid points on both sides of that argument.

    I have no idea what "flawed ideology" you are referring to. Is simply believing you shouldn't take advantage of drunk people an ideology, flawed or otherwise?

    I have posted many of Dalton's videos on this blog, wanted to post Mr Deity and the Hat, but that also meant posting what seemed a fairly transparent bit of victim blaming. I felt a need to balance that.

  3. If a person consents to sex while drunk, that can't be considered genuine consent.

    She could , of course, sign a will and testament while drunk, and the law would have no problem declaring that she was of sound mind to make that decision. But consenting to sex is an entirely different category of decision to disposing of your entire worldly goods. If you are drunk, we have to , in law, presume you are capable of one doing one , but not the other.

  4. Steven: Actually if you signed a will and testament even when wilfully drunk, a court would consider whether or not you were of sound mind while doing so. If you were absolutely plastered, unable to walk without assistance, etc, the will would be voided very quickly.

    If your state of inebriation was brought about by someone plying you with alcohol or spiking your drink with the intention of getting you to sign something you otherwise wouldn't, it would be thrown out even more quickly.

  5. I never knew that. Thanks for the info.

    'I was drunk at the time' is regarded in law as a reasonable defense against claims that you should have known what you were doing and can be held responsible for the actions you did.