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No Sex Please: We’re Californian

September 8, 2014 in Blogs

By Robin Koerner

Rape may represent the greatest possible violation against a human being except, perhaps, for murder.

Any decent person sympathizes with the intent of those who would seek to prevent it by any reasonable means. Moreover, there are plenty of statistics regarding the prevalence of rape in our society – mostly, but not exclusively against women – that indicate a moral and cultural epidemic that must be addressed. I, like far too many people, am close to more than one victim of this evil and so nothing I write here is written lightly.

But I am genuinely concerned about what has recently occurred in California with a view to tackling the crime of rape on college campuses. As is so often the case when the details of behavior are legislated in reaction to the actions of the worst people among us, the results are likely to be much less noble than the intention, because the legislation eliminates the most general rights that should be enjoyed by everyone at all times, to protect a few people some of the time.

Late last week, the first state bill to require colleges to adopt an “affirmative consent” model in their sexual assault policies passed the California senate unanimously.

This bill seeks to change the perfectly moral and behaviorally natural “no means no” standard of consent to sexual activity into “everything except an explicitly verbalized “yes” (along with the acquisition of positive evidence of the same that can be later presented just in case you are ever accused of anything untoward), means “no.”

Let us be absolutely clear what such a rule does and does not do. It does not require that sex always be consensual. That is already the law and the policy of any sane institution. Rather, this bill seeks to make most heretofore consensual sexual activity between adults punishable by requiring a specific form of consent – explicit agreement to a specific request.

Most consensual sexual activity between normal people does not involve the kind of explicit, subsequently provable statement of consent, that this bill demands. Sex usually happens between people who trust each other and – precisely because they know each other well enough to engage in sexual activity – wouldn’t wish to receive or provide such encounter-specific and explicit consent to continue with …read more

Source: ROBIN KOERNER BLOG

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