There’s a surprisingly reactionary article over at the New York Times. Any time an article starts off with “THIS is a strange moment for sex in America. We’ve detached it from pregnancy, matrimony and, in some circles, romance.” you know that something has gone awry in the order of the universe. What, O Progressive, is “strange” about detaching sex from the entire context in which Christian and Orthodox Jewish society have held it for so long?
Is a person guilty of sexual misconduct if he fails to get a clear “yes” through every step of seduction and consummation?… According to the doctrine of affirmative consent — the “yes means yes” rule — the answer is, well, yes, he is. And though most people think of “yes means yes” as strictly for college students, it is actually poised to become the law of the land.
Uh-oh. Like Woodrow Wilson, Political Correctness, the Antioch College Rape Rules, and Microagressions, a new plague has been brewing in Academe, ready to sicken the world. Perhaps it’s time to pay attention.
Thankfully, there are those ready to use humor and absurdity to fight this before it becomes law. An example in the article follows:
In a memo that has now been signed by about 70 institute members and advisers, including Judge Gertner, readers have been asked to consider the following scenario: “Person A and Person B are on a date and walking down the street. Person A, feeling romantically and sexually attracted, timidly reaches out to hold B’s hand and feels a thrill as their hands touch. Person B does nothing, but six months later files a criminal complaint. Person A is guilty of ‘Criminal Sexual Contact’ under proposed Section 213.6(3)(a).”
Well, some things are too far, even for the far-gone Progressives at the New York Times. Some excellent sample comments. From Jonathan Katz:
If only 1–5% percent of actual violent rapes are prosecuted, these people should devote their attention to increasing that to a more appropriate fraction, something approaching 100%, and not criminalize ordinary and harmless behavior like reaching out to touch someone’s hand.
Think of the possibilities for extortion: “You didn’t ask permission to kiss me on the cheek. Pay $XXX,XXX or I’ll file a criminal complaint and you will go to jail, lose your job even if acquitted, etc.”
From AJ, demonstrating WHY Christians should keep their kids out of most colleges:
My daughter who is 18 agrees with you. Her sweet boyfriend had the necessity for affirmative consent drilled into him by his parents who are college professors. Although I as a parent am all for it, she reported to me that she finally told him ” look this is too weird. I’ll tell you when something isn’t ok.”
From Siobhan, whose anti-Boomer-hypocrisy comment was highlighted by the Times:
Boomer women were the first generation of young women to be able to have sex without fear of pregnancy (the pill). But the young men they had sex with were largely controlled by the old rules.
Hook up culture changed all that. And it was boomer women who largely encouraged this culture–by encouraging their college-going daughters to not get involved in relationships, but instead have “free sex” while focusing on their studies. And claiming that women could and should have “meaningless sex” as easily as men.
This has left young women vulnerable to sex without rules, often longing for relationships that don’t exist, using “meaningless sex” as a way to get close to a young man. And it has left young men with a seemingly endless supply of young women encouraged to have meaningless sex while hoping for more.
So we come to this–these insane laws. Where, on the one hand, sex means nothing, and on the other, someone could potentially be jailed and labeled a sex offender for holding hands without permission.
We need some kinds of rules again–but rules determined by the young men and women who are being affected. Not by boomers with agendas.
(Honorary Patriactionary is Siobhan, methinks)
Kate sounds like a feminist with sons:
Having high school and college age students, I now hear of many situations where young men’s lives are being destroyed because the girl’s word is taken as fact, when there were two parties involved and maybe things went a bit too far, but it was not rape. Rape is fearing for one’s life. Rape is a crime of meditated violence and forcing of one’s will over another. Rape is feeling so hopeless that this other person might kill you if you do not allow them to overtake you.
Lizzie8484 notices that greater “freedom” for homosexuals is tied up with a police state for the rest of us:
Finally, gay people can get married and everyone else (the unmarried, I mean) gets to become a monk or a nun (before becoming a full-fledged criminal on the sex assaulter list), whether we want to or not. This is sickening. I had hoped the brainwashed young college women who are turned off of sex by the anti-rape brigade (who have turned a hand hold into an assault) would get out of college and grow up. Does not seem likely.
Josh Hill notices that the laws represent anarcho-tyranny:
I think these laws will have little effect on the actual perpetrators of these crimes, who, after all, use drugs, threats, or force to get their way and so are guilty of rape under the current definitions.
Juries will rightly reject most cases brought under these criteria but an unscrupulous prosecutor could nevertheless use the possibility of conviction as a bludgeon to force a guilty plea, with terrible consequences for the defendant.
These laws target the innocent while leaving the actual rapists as free as they ever were to continue their abuse.
Richard notes that the analogy used by an advocate for the law is wrong:
‘As long as “people know what the rules of the road are,” he says, “the overwhelming majority will comply with them.”’
What country has Prof. Schulhofer been living in? People well know the traffic law (we can imagine, at least), few comply.
(I would add: the overwhelming majority do NOT comply with speed limit laws. They’re not there to protect, but to mulct.)
Greg Shenaut poses the reductio ad masturbam:
I wonder if it’s necessary under affirmative consent to say “Yes, I consent” out loud before masturbating.
My favorite comment comes from “lavn” of Bulgaria. When Bulgarians make more sense than Americans, it’s game over for the Progressive Great-Satan World-Bestriding Colossus:
Thanks god I don’t live in the US. You people are on fast track to becoming the laughing stocks of humanity. Apparently your law cast is under the impression that you are all at the mental level of third grader that needs clear instructions for even going to the toilet. Here is my suggestion, there should be a highly trained lawyer embedded next to every American citizen 24/7 to help him navigate modern life’s many challenges like kissing a girl or going shopping.
What is going on here is simple to see: Progressivism is fine when it targets the “bad” people, like ones who don’t like to bake cakes for gay weddings (or, in that case, not). When it starts to target either the children of the Progressive elite (see concerns in comments above, and in story), or retroactively convict lascivious Progressive Boomer men of rape (which they would frankly all be guilty of under the proposed law), or threaten to end the I-Am-Charlotte-Simmons despoliation of young men and women, then that law has no chance of passing.
Antioch College was SO Progressive that they spent their endowment to nothing and went out of business. The same would happen to any country that tried to implement its rules, so perfectly spoofed on Saturday Night Live. You can stop worrying about “yes means yes” on a national level. The Devil cannot abide mocking, and the hand-holding sexual assault has mocked him something fierce.
Addendum: Two more comments worthy of inclusion. BlixKrogg says:
Sociologists and gender studies academics have been filling the heads of students with misconstrued data and easily falsifiable arguments for decades and they’ve brought their insufferable propaganda into schools, teaching kids in elementary school – before their hormones kick in – about sex and gender. It’s no wonder undergraduates are going to be rewriting laws in ways that completely go counter to Hammurabi’s Code of Laws, a code of laws which has been the foundation of laws for millennia.
As a Democrat, I always laughed at conservatives when they freaked out about what is being taught in schools. After witnessing radical feminists make their arguments, I totally understand it all now.
(emphasis added, and welcome to the Dark Enlightenment, BlixKrogg)
And, lastly, note who is now a Manosphere ally in fighting ridiculous feminist laws: Spinsters. As Liz writes: Seriously? As if I don’t have enough problems trying to find a partner in my forties. Affirmative consent sounds like the ultimate wet blanket.