Much like their friends in academia, legislators make a living in a world outside of reality. As a result, they often impose laws, without thinking about the unintended consequences. Of course, they don’t live by the same laws, so those consequences probably don’t matter to them.
A Woman Scorned = Sexual Assault
The new “Yes Means Yes” law in California is a prime example of this. While the concept behind the law is laudable, it is extremely impractical. No one should ever have to suffer unwanted sexual contact, but from a man’s perspective, you ladies are often nigh incapable of being unambiguous, as this law requires for a man to stay out of prison. Hell, even renouned relationship expert John Gray says that often women don’t know if they want to have sex until they start! This is likely why ladies sometimes seem to switch horses in mid-stream, which is itself difficult for a man to wrap his head around. But when you add this to women’s decidedly more indirect communication style, you have a recipie for a felony under this law, because I don’t see anything saying that withdrawl of consent needs to be “unambiguous.” Hopefully this wouldn’t happen, but this law could really be used as a devistating weapon against young men, by an unhappy woman, especially when you consider that there typically is no one else around to confirm one person’s story or the other’s, the whole crime hinges on her feelings about the encounter, and the statute of limitations is a few years. What’s the old saying? Hell hath no fury?
Look Into The Camera When You Say “Yes” Baby
Not that the guys will have too much of a problem with it, but now that men will be required to get an “unambiguous” confirmation of his partner’s interest in doing the deed, or face felony charges, men are effectively going to have to insist that they videotape all sexual encounters, for evidence in court, just in case she regrets the encounter later.
How Drunk is Too Drunk?
This law apparently wants to prevent women from drinking too, because it declares a “drunk” women incapable of consenting. Again, great in theory, worthless in practice. If you’ve got independent witnesses saying that she was passed-out, or completely hammered then okay, but beyond that, you’re whistlin’ Dixie, if you think there’s any way to legitimately prove that a reported victim was drunk enough to be incapable of consenting to sex. Maybe they want everyone to take a breathalizer before sex? Or perhaps call a cop to conduct field sobriety tests?
So Much For Liquid Courage
At that age, they’re probably both drinking because they’re nervous and trying to relax, so that things will go smoothly! And what about the ladies who have drinks, just so that they could plead plausible deniability if their friends disapproved, or in case they changed your mind afterwords? It’s the old “I want to get drunk so I can make out with somebody” routine. Oops! Felony~!
So what do you think? Are legislators risking criminalizing innocent guys for political points with the double-x crowd, or do you think this is really a problem that this law will help solve?
BTW, there’s a great podcast on this sort of legislative mess, called “Fitness Apartheid” at Freakonomics radio. Subscribe now! It’s a great podcast!