For those of you who don’t know, California recently passed into law a bill known as “Yes Means Yes”, which requires college campuses to pass stricter rules and regulations against rape and other forms of sexual assault.
This bill has good intentions, but as the old saying goes, good intentions pave the road to hell. The major problem with this bill is that it redefines sexual consent in such vague terms that even perfectly consensual sex could be considered rape.
Reason Magazine has a succinct article addressing the problematic aspects of the bill and other anti-college rape measures, and I’m currently working on a satirical Daily Bungle article lampooning the topic, but for now, let’s focus our attention on a supporter of the “Yes Means Yes” bill, Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein.
In his op-ed, Klein outright admits that the bill “is a terrible law.” He admits that it will end up unnecessarily policing the intimate sex lives of college students. He admits that it will end up doing far more harm than good. And yet, despite all of that, he still supports the bill because it helps “to create a world where men are afraid.”
It tries to change, through brute legislative force, the most private and intimate of adult acts. It is sweeping in its redefinition of acceptable consent; two college seniors who've been in a loving relationship since they met during the first week of their freshman years, and who, with the ease of the committed, slip naturally from cuddling to sex, could fail its test.Sweet. Motherbucking. Celestia
Defenders of the bill argue that the lovers have nothing to worry about; the assault will never be punished, because no complaint will ever be brought. Technically, that's true. But this is as much indictment as defense: if the best that can be said about the law is that its definition of consent will rarely be enforced, then the definition should be rethought. It is dangerous for the government to set rules it doesn't expect will be followed.
...The Yes Means Yes law is a necessarily extreme solution to an extreme problem. Its overreach is precisely its value.
...If the Yes Means Yes law is taken even remotely seriously it will settle like a cold winter on college campuses, throwing everyday sexual practice into doubt and creating a haze of fear and confusion over what counts as consent. This is the case against it, and also the case for it. Because for one in five women to report an attempted or completed sexual assault means that everyday sexual practices on college campuses need to be upended, and 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.
For that reason, the law is only worth the paper it's written on if some of the critics' fears come true. Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that's necessary for the law's success. It's those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty Damn Sure.
I don’t know how you define a “decent human being,” but in my opinion, none of that could have been written by one.
Yeah. Who cares if the law does nothing to prevent rape and everything to have innocent young men falsely accused and convicted? All that matters is that men are afraid to rape. Why should you be afraid? You’re not a rapist, right?!
Who cares if the War on Drugs has a proven track record of failure and has only resulted in filling prison with non-violent “criminals”—most of whom are disproportionately black? All that matters is that it makes people afraid to do drugs. Why should you be afraid? You’re not a druggie, right?!
Who cares if the War on Terror has done nothing to curtail actual terrorism? Who cares if every single anti-terror measure since 9/11, from invasive airport security measures all the way to the National Defense Authorization Act, has only succeeded in stripping away the very freedoms that the terrorists supposedly hate us for? All that matters is that people are afraid to side with the terrorists. Why should you be afraid? You’re not a terrorist, right?!
Who cares if the McCarthy trials of the 1950s never outted a single secret communist and only managed to ruin the lives of innocent Americans who were blacklisted? All that matters is that people were afraid to side with the Commies. Why should the Red Scare have scared them? They weren’t Communists, right?
I’m tempted to say that the attitude of feminist SJWs toward sex has become as regressive as that of the Catholic Church, but that would be way out of line. At least the Catholic Church permits sex for the expressed purpose of procreation. Feminist SJWs seem to believe that sex is merely a tool of the patriarchy to subjugate women—so clearly, the answer is to subjugate those evil men creatures through the fear of the law.
Statism is upheld by authoritarianism, and authoritarianism is upheld by fear. If you truly believe it is in the best interests of your fellow human beings to manipulate them through fear, you are most certainly not a “decent human being.” Not in my book. Not in anyone’s book.