The Slippery Slope Of Affirmative Consent: Perhaps Coming To Sex Lives Off Campus, Too
Hans Bader writes at Liberty Unyielding that affirmative consent activists seek to expand government meddling in sex from college campuses into your private life:
So it is with fanatical "Only Yes Means Yes" activists. Earlier this year, they succeeded in convincing California's legislature to pass a law requiring an "agreement" showing "affirmative consent" for sex on college campuses -- and not just for sex, but also for a potentially much broader, undefined category of sexual "activity" among college students. (Even though it's hard to imagine anyone in the real world who would actually want their lover to ask them "may I touch your breast" and "may I massage your clitoris" before doing so, especially if their lover already knows from experience that this sort of thing would be welcome.)
Now, they are back, seeking even more power over people's private lives. Activists quoted in the Huffington Post now want to extend this "affirmative consent" ideology, and its pinched, misleading definition of "consent," beyond college into K-12 schools, and beyond sexual activity to non-sexual touching and unwanted remarks, to teach people the sinister evil of things like "unsolicited hugs." (My wife and daughter hug me without asking for permission, and sometimes it's a surprise -- a pleasant surprise, even if I never "agreed" to it.). Once busybodies start meddling in your personal life, it's hard for them to stop.
The meddling won't stop at the schoolhouse gate, and will eventually reach into your private life, too. As lawyer Scott Greenfield notes, progressive law professors have submitted a controversial proposal to the American Law Institute that the Model Penal Code be radically changed to require affirmative "consent" throughout society, for both "sexual intercourse" and a broader range of "sexual contact."
On page 69 of their draft, they explicitly admit that this affirmative "consent" requirement would classify as sexual assault even many "passionately wanted" instances of sex (presumably because of the technicality that such mutually-wanted sexual intercourse is welcomed after -- not affirmatively consented to before -- the sex is initiated.)
Perversely, they justify this massive invasion of people's sex lives as supposedly protecting people's sexual "autonomy" from potentially unwanted sex, even though their proposal goes well beyond banning unwanted sex, to banning sex that was in fact "passionately wanted" although not agreed to in advance. See Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses, Tentative Draft No. 1 at pg. 69 (April 30, 2014).
I've copied that draft from Scott's site:
Someone was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the current draft of the ALI Model Penal Code for sexual assault and rape. Surprise, affirmative consent is in there:4. Criminal liability in the absence of affirmative consent. Section 213.4 addresses the much-debated situation involving neither express protests nor affirmative permission --a situation, for example, in which one party proceeds to commit an act of sexual penetration while the other party remains silent and passive. Section 213.4 endorses the position that an affirmative expression of consent, either by words or conduct, is always an appropriate prerequisite to sexual intercourse, and that the failure to obtain such consent should be punishable under Article 213. As originally presented to the Advisers, to the Members Consultative Group, and to the Council, the draft treated that offense as a felony of the fourth degree. Subsequent reflection, in light of the numerous comments received on this issue, has led to modification of that judgment. The current draft maintains the view that such misconduct should be considered a serious offense, but in light of the existing ambiguity of social norms in this regard and the extremely serious consequences invariably associated with any conviction for a felony sexual offense, the current draft takes the position that the offense is appropriately graded as a misdemeanor.
Boom. Bear in mind, this is a draft.
Keep in mind what this would do. There surely would be the rare woman in a relationship who gets caught up in the "You didn't ask for consent" the morning after. But this will surely be used as a way to get revenge upon men -- revenge that very possibly includes jail time.
And as former Democratic operative Ezra Klein puts it at Vox (and he thinks it's a fab thing that it's passed for college students in California, signed into law by the awful Jerry Brown), it will throw...
...everyday sexual practice into doubt and [create] a haze of fear and confusion over what counts as consent.
Men need to feel a cold spike of fear when they begin a sexual encounter. ... To work, "Yes Means Yes" needs to create a world where men are afraid.
As I've said before, men on campus, who have had their due process removed and, on top of that who have Affirmative Consent stuck on them, should never date college women. They should band together and time-share an escort.
And if this law now in draft form ever passes, that's what all men should do -- all who value their freedom.
Yes, this, on the verge of 2015, is what our country has come to -- wussified by feminists into a place where men who would never come close to being rapists under any reasonable standard will live in fear that they will lose their freedom for engaging in normal sex acts in dating and relationships. Or, very possibly, even for giving a sad friend a hug, should she decide to turn vengeful on them.