Yes Means Yes: There Oughta be a Law
Should “no means no” be upgraded to “yes means yes”?
The California Legislature says state-funded colleges should do just that when determining whether a complaint constitutes rape. By a 52-16 vote in the State Assembly and unanimously in the Senate.
- Rape is rampant on college campuses, where 1/5 of women are assaulted
- Rape charges on campus almost always involve alcohol
- When people are drunk, they often can’t say anything
Drinking condemns her, gets him off the hook
But would that open drunk men to rape charges?
No fair, right? He’s drunk, so he can’t be responsible for his behavior!
Hmmm, those who say, “She shouldn’t be drinking because she might get raped,” have a problem with saying, “He shouldn’t be drinking because he might rape”?
And these aren’t equivalent situations. Because when a drunk person is attacked she or he is being harmed. But when drunkards attack, they are doing harm.
Doing harm should be punished. Not getting drunk. (It’s sad when some think a tipsy girl “deserves” whatever she gets, as though it were a punishment.)
Cue next argument:
The nanny state is bad
Oooooh! Don’t bring the nanny state into the bedroom!
Yeah… those are the same folks who want the nanny state in your bedroom all the rest of the time: no birth control, no right to terminate a pregnancy. Even if a woman’s life or health is at risk. Or if she has been raped by some drunk frat boy. And no gay stuff, either.
Nanny state worries are only used when convenient.
If you’re in a tizzy over the State Nanny taking away your freedom, you’re likely worried about freedom for the powerful… while ignoring the more powerless.
Before feminism, sexual assault law — and general ways of thinking about rape — mostly came from the perspective of men in powerful positions. Their views passed through the generations and became a part of our culture. Even today we’re still more likely to hear from the perspective of men in media, legislatures, courts… The male view becomes conventional wisdom, and both men and women internalize it.
Men aren’t bad. But they are more likely to worry about being accused of rape than worry about being raped. And to them, freedom from the nanny state just might seem like a bigger deal than freedom from the trauma of attack.
But which is worse: Twenty-somethings guided by a so-called nanny state? Or rape?
And anyway, I wouldn’t want to settle for anything less than enthusiastic consent, with or without a law.
Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Posted on August 29, 2014, in feminism, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged California legislature, No Means No, rape, sexism, sexual assault, violence against women, women, yes means yes. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.