We all owe California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson a debt of gratitude for introducing Senate Bill 967 as an amendment to the Education Code. The brilliance of HBJ and her colleagues never ceases to amaze. In case you missed it, this bill aims to increase student safety as it pertains to the very serious subject of sexual assaults on campuses.
In essence, the hook-up culture on college campuses across the nation is causing all sorts of problems related to the fact that near strangers, both of whom are typically intoxicated, have sex and one of them regrets it the morning after and files a complaint. What is a politician to do?
The remedy to this situation posed by our state senator is to spell out in the education code a requirement that each party give an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. The law will clearly spell out that lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent and neither does silence. Furthermore, consent can’t be given if, in the event of a complaint, the complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication. Nor will it be a valid excuse if the person accused believed consent arose because the accuser was drunk. Finally, consent must be on-going throughout the sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.
Translation? No more sex on campus without some proof that consent was given both initially and throughout the encounter, and everybody was sober throughout the negotiations! Gee, what to do in a valueless society that lives for pleasure, eschews commitment and accepts no responsibility? Come up with harebrained ideas like this, obviously! Personally, I am not sure the hook-up culture will survive if everybody has to be sober!
The one big problem here is that Sen. Jackson and her pals have not required this consent decree to be in writing nor is there a requirement for witnesses who can attest to the fact that the agreement was voluntary and everybody really was sober at the time. So, how is this an improvement on the status quo? Except to say that if the woman is drunk, consent cannot be given or implied- this being the real goal of this legislation!
The problem with the hook-up culture, and any private sexual activities for that matter is, that people do not always act wisely, tell the truth, or accept responsibility for their actions. It becomes a matter of one person’s word against that of another. Unfortunately, on campuses across America, young men alone (men scarcely complain about a hook-up) are being singled out for punishment and this bill will only enforce such partial prosecution.
We once used to have a contract to cover these things in society. It was called marriage. You had to get a license. You had to have witnesses. You exchanged vows to honor one another, which ruled out sexual abuse, and the best part is, the contract lasted a lifetime! Maybe, Senator Jackson should add marriage to the education code as an alternative?
Finally, I thought the liberals wanted government out of the bedroom?
First Published in the Santa Barbara News Press
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