Skip to comments.California Seeks to Redefine Consensual Campus Sex as Rape
Posted on 03/10/2014 5:51:53 AM PDT by servo1969
How does classifying most consensual sex as rape help rape victims?
As a lawyer who has handled rape and sexual harassment cases, I cant imagine how. But this radical result is what some want to happen in California.
In endorsing a bill in the California legislature that would require affirmative consent before sex can occur on campus, the editorial boards of the Sacramento and Fresno Bee and the Daily Californian advocated that sex be treated as sexual assault unless the participants discuss it out loud before sex, and demonstrate they obtained verbal affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity.
Never mind that consent to most sex is non-verbal, and that rape has historically been understood to be an act against someones will, rather than simply a non-violent act that they did not consent to in advance. Perhaps in response to the bill, the University of California, on February 25, adopted a policy requiring affirmative consent not just to sex, but to every form of physical sexual activity engaged in.
The affirmative-consent bill, Senate Bill 967, does not expressly require verbal permission to demonstrate consent, although it warns that relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.
But supporters of the bill are very clear about their desire to require verbal discussion or haggling prior to sex.
The Fresno Bee praised the bill because it adopts in campus disciplinary cases the affirmative consent standard, which means that yes only means yes if it is said out loud. The Daily Californian declared that the proposals requirement that defendants in a sexual assault case demonstrate they obtained verbal affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity makes SB 967 a step in the right direction.
Since most couples have engaged in sex without verbal consent, supporters of the bill are effectively redefining most people, and most happily-married couples, as rapists. By demanding verbal discussion before sex, they are also meddling in peoples sex lives in a prurient fashion. (Whether consent is explicit is often inversely related to whether sex is really welcome, with grudgingly consensual acts often being preceded by more explicit discussion and haggling than acts that are truly welcomed and enjoyed, as I explain here).
Requiring people to have verbal discussions before sex violates their privacy rights, under the logic of Supreme Court decisions such as Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which struck down Texass sodomy law, and federal appeals court decisions like Wilson v. Taylor (1984), which ruled that dating relationships are protected against unwarranted meddling by the Constitutional freedom of intimate association.
It also serves no legitimate purpose, since even supporters of the bill, like Tara Culp-Ressler have on other occasions admitted that sexual violence is not the result of mixed signals: studies show that people who commit sexual violence are almost always aware that what they are doing is against the will of their victims, rather than the assault being the product of blurred communications.
Defining sex as rape merely because there was no verbal discussion in advance trivializes rape and brands innocent people as rapists (including some people who themselves have been sexually victimized in the past).
Disturbingly, its not just sex they want to regulate, but also sexual activity in general. The bill may require affirmative consent before multiple steps in the process of foreplay that leads to sex, even between couples who have engaged in the same pattern of foreplay before on countless occasions.
The bill states:
Affirmative consent is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. . . The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of a past sexual relationship, shall not provide the basis for an assumption of consent.
This disregards common sense, since what people intend or consent to is often illustrated by the history or nature of their relationship, such as when courts determine the intent of the parties to a contract by looking at the past course of dealings between the parties.
In addition to endangering privacy rights, SB 967 also contains provisions that could undermine students due process rights, such as mandating a low standard of proof for discipline, and encouraging anonymous allegations, as I explained in a letter published last month in the Sacramento Bee. The bills requirements apply not just to public colleges, but also to certain private colleges.
On February 25, the University of California system appears to have essentially adopted most of the requirements of SB 967, in a new policy defining sexual assault and sexual violence, to include some conduct that is not violent at all.
What concerns me most is that the policy defines sexual assault to require unambiguous affirmative consent prior not just to penetration (which is not always unreasonable if consent is defined to include non-verbal cues as well as verbal responses), but also physical sexual activity in general.
Effectively, this might ban foreplay as it commonly occurs among married and unmarried couples alike, as I explain in more detail at this link.
Yet, the University of California policy says:
Sexual Assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. . . .Consent is informed. Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. . .Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act . . . Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. . .Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter.
Although this language is vague (at one point, it allows consent to be based on positive cooperation, which might extend beyond consent in advance), it clearly defines some sex and sexual activity as sexual assault on campus, even if it would be perfectly legal off campus (it does so even more clearly than SB 967 does).
It does that even though college students are largely adults who have the right to vote, get married, and serve in the military. For example, students have First Amendment rights that are largely coextensive with their rights in society generally, as the Supreme Court has indicated in decisions such as Papish v. University of Missouri Curators, Healy v. James, and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia. (Disclosure: I used to practice education law for a living.).
The assumption seems to be that Californias general definition of sexual assault, which applies off campus, is too narrow. But this assumption is dubious, and in a few rare situations existing law is already too broad, as I discuss here.
Hans Bader is a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Before joining CEI, Hans was Senior Counsel at the Center for Individual Rights. Hans blogs regularly at the OpenMarket.org and is an occasional contributor to Legal Insurrection and College Insurrection.
"homosexual sex is fabulous, wherever its found. Its fine, virtuous, gives you a good smell, gives you a good taste, makes you speak the truth, and gives you wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Its so good that schools are teaching little kids that the anus is a sexual organ.
On the other hand, all heterosexual sex is rape. Homosexual men are paragons of virtue, unless theyre Catholic priests, of course. Homosexual Boy Scout leaders are the bomb. Heterosexual men? Monsters, I tell you! Monsters!"
The generational backlash will be massive when it happens.
The world is full of looney tunes. I just finished reading a terrifying photo album titled “The Best of Tumblr’s LGBT”.
I thought I knew all of the latest whackjob trends, but damn, learn something new every day.
To define homosexual sex as rape would be homophobic.
In the future, I see a lot of forms for teenagers to fill out.
Pretty well sums up the libtard mindset: they are constantly pushing sex, then reacting when the fruit of their sales pitch blooms.
And people wonder why Putin is flexing his muscles.
As a lawyer who has handled rape and sexual harassment cases, I cant imagine how.
Think civil settlements. Millions of "pre-convicted" men would have much more incentive to agree to making direct wealth transfers to members and acolytes of feminist Left with such a law in place.
A lawyer should understand this game - variants of it have already been routinely played in every sphere of American life for the last four decades.
My thirteen year old granddaughter and I were trying out new words yesterday. She mentioned one and I looked it up in the urban dictionary. I had to tell her absolutely not to use it ever and not to look it up. She has the Urban Dictionary on her phone and I’m sure she did look it up later. I can’t even remember what it was. Mild senility is a good thing.
All sex = rape is about feminist rage at men. They have a biologically programmed desire for sex and procreation. They need a man for that. That drives these women crazy. Literally.
Yes, this is about civil settlements and JOBS. Who do you think will run these rape tribunals they want to set up? The victim industry of course. Like all good leftists they want their agenda financed with government money and implemented by government bureaucrats.
Man holds knife to woman’s neck, turns on iPhone recorder. Demands that the woman states for the record that the sex is consensual. He concurs.
It’s on the record - who’s to say it was not rape?
Whatever happened to taking responsibility for ones actions? I suspect the bad ol' days, mistakes and all, were a lot more fun than it is today.
So if neither party manifiests the above defined "affirmative consent" (as is usually the case) how do you determine who is the "rapist" and who is the "victim"? Or are they both guilty of rape?
This is probably aimed at making it easier to prove a crime against those who sleep with someone who might have had too much to drink or almost passed out. That’s already illegal (can be tough to prove) and all this does is make new felons out of thousands who don’t even know it.
All that is needed is a consensual sex app for the I phone. There is a passport folder on th iPhone. Use is for consent.
This comes from raging man-hating feminazis. Naturally, they would not criminalize carpet munching.
Its on the record - whos to say it was not rape?
The feminist prosecutor and all the liberals (this is Kalifornia) on the jury.
Isn't that a marriage license?
Also--who's the rapist and who's the rapee--or are they both both? If it's a threesome, are they all three rapers and rapees? This is going to get complicated.
Leave it to California. If it can be harebrained, it will be harebrained.
Why are they always hyphenated?
Any CA college guy looking for ‘some’ who doesn’t carry a recording device on him at all times is a fool. Get the girl to assent to the pending liaison and record her saying it. I fear that even that would not get a young man clear of these lunatics.
Taking responsibility for ones actions is the core of Conservatism. Liberalism says, "It's always someone else's fault."
The hilarity of this is obvious.
There are all sorts of ridiculous things out there this could promulgate.
A statement affirming heterosexual only status, and that at no time do they consent to any form of homosexual act.
A statement that unless they are unconscious, if they believe an act is rape, they will loudly yell “rape!” before it happens. This is done with the understanding that if the other person or people stop what they are doing, the act will not be considered rape.
A statement that at no time will they voluntary submit to or carry out any form of bondage, especially any type involving a gag. That they also reject any act of sadism or masochism.
A statement that they believe heterosexual sex involves a penis and a vagina. No anal sex. No oral sex.
And finally a statement that they believe that the purpose of sex is for procreation, not entertainment.
(Can you imagine the total freak out such statements would cause among leftists?)
Fornication is named as a sin for a reason.
So its now “Mother may I” mating or “Simon Said” sex ?!?
This leads in so many directions.
How good is a verbal contract?
Over what time frame is consent valid?
How old do you need to be to give consent?
How many witnesses do you need?
If unwanted consent is given, what are the consequences of not fulfilling the contract?
Do the consentees need to speak the same language?
Can the deaf legally have sex?
Better videotape the deposition when the woman “consents” to have sex. Otherwise it could become a “he claims/she said” thing for the authorities...
Liberals, progressives, Demcorats. Redefining tolerance for decades.
And don't forget .... a female is 0% responsible for her actions when hammered and a man is 100% responsible for his.
Feminism is the epitome of wanting all the rights and zero responsibilities.
Its on the record - whos to say it was not rape?
Would a man whose real intent was to rape actually go through all that? Doubtful. It wouldn't surprise me, though, to see some sort of smartphone app developed that features disclaimer language and collates date, time and photos of the parties with digital images of concurrence signatures. Hell, it probably already exists.
I guess guys need to start using the Steve Dallas (Bloom County) pre-affair contract:
At a bar:
Steve: So. Whaddya say we melt on over to my place for a little of the ol’ kootchie-koo skiddoo?
Steve: Great, baby. But first I’d appreciate you signing this pre-affair contract. Besides absolving me of all emotional commitment, it makes you liable for broken furniture, torn clothing, 1/2 the cost of meals and all car repairs when you roar off in a jealous rage and wrap my new Camaro around a telephone pole.
Girl: Does it make me liable for the dental work after I kick your teeth in?
Steve: No, but note the herpes clause, here ...
Dear Young Men,
If you want to avoid a rape charge, learn abstinence and practice it. If you want to get sex really badly, hire a professional. Either way, elarn to control your sexual urges.
Best and Sincerest,
My concern from a legal standpoint is "regrets" turning into felonies putting people (that made a dumb decision, as opposed to an evil one) in prison for a long, long, time due to a technicality.
It also trivializes rape which really is a big problem on campus.
Dear Young Women,
If you want to avoid being raped, learn abstinence and practice it. If you want to practice attracting males without serious intent, do so in a polite, chaperoned situation. Avoid parties where alcohol and drugs are consumed. Do not place yourself in a situation of privacy with a single male or group of males. Either way, learn to control your sexual urges, and keep a bladed weapon for when you mean “no” and wish to enforce that decision.
Best and Sincerest,
I wonder if the same “affirmative verbal consent” rule will be applied to drug purchase convictions, prostitution busts, and votes cast for Democrats.
California is full of neo-Puritans who crave controlling everything in everyone's life.
So far it hasn't occurred to them to require everyone to keep their windows open--as did early Massachusetts Puritans--to make sure no one was doing anything unauthorized, such as smoking cigarettes, disagreeing with same-sex marriage, or whatever the sin du jour happens to be.
Anyone who has sex without written agreement should be forced to wear a scarlet "R". That goes for males and females--and all those in between.
These people love to style themselves "Liberals" or "Progressives". In fact, they're the opposite.
George Orwell had them figured out.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans haven't figured them out yet.
Not only was Orwell right; so was P. T. Barnum.
Not to mention Santana.
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