Serena Williams, The Assailants, Their Victim, and Her Drinking

Ms. Williams got herself in hot water with the media this week when she suggested that getting drunk at a party might not be the best idea. She was commenting on a US court case that ended with two football players being sentenced to detention for raping a teenage girl at a house party. After a predictable media dust-up, Ms. Williams apologized for her remarks.

Online today in the National Post, columnist Barbara Kay wrote that Ms. Williams was right the first time and shouldn’t have apologized for her remarks.

The whole situation is heartbreaking, and it’s one I’m thinking a lot about because I’m writing a YA novel,  and one of the novel’s major themes is sex. The novel will feature a twist on the type of rape cases we’ve been hearing about in the media, and making the plot work means relying on the devastating effects of substance abuse. Those LCBO commercials about drinking and driving are true for plain old drinking to excess in general: it’s the “elephant in the room.” Can’t we all agree that getting drunk is unhealthy and dangerous and can lead to all kinds of heartbreak? That’s true for everyone of every gender and age.

I for one would like to see a culture where fun isn’t defined as endless consumption: of alcohol, of food, and of one another’s dignity.

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Filed under women and sex, young adult novels

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