'Stolen'

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One last post on Bristol Palin and the rape charge. Whatever our confusion about what was being implied, Levi Johnston is pretty clear and unhappy:


Bristol Palin is not telling the truth when she claims in a new book that her virginity was "stolen'' by boyfriend Levi Johnston, Johnston's attorney said Thursday. 

In the just released book, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far,'' Palin -- the daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin -- claims she drank so many wine coolers on the night in question that she has no recollection of events, and that she woke the next morning with "something obviously askew'' only to be told by a girlfriend that "you definitely had sex with Levi." 

Johnston attorney Rex Butler disagreed with the part of the story that has Bristol so drunk she didn't know what was happening. "That's obviously not true,'' he said...

Butler, one of Alaska's better known criminal attorneys, admitted that if true the story sounds a lot like rape, but he said the story isn't true. And he seemed a little perplexed that Bristol, who had a child with Johnston, would be telling it.

I missed a fairly big detail in my original post. The implication of nonconsent comes from this:

"Suddenly, I wondered why it was called 'losing your virginity,'" Bristol writes. "Because it felt more like it had been stolen."

There was some sense that if called this rape, it would mean all drunken sex was rape. As I said in comments, I don't really buy that. People have drunken sex all the time. Some of them wake up not remembering what happened. But that's very different than feeling like something was "stolen." That doesn't really sound like consensual sex. 

OK, we're done here. No more Palin for a while.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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