Now, today’s porn-driven awareness of alternatives sounds like a good thing, right, because then young people can calmly negotiate over exactly what they will engage in. Perhaps they could hire agents to negotiate the fine points and draw up a contract spelling everything out in excruciating detail in the manner of, say, a movie industry contract stipulating just how nude Jennifer Lawrence will be in a movie nude scene.
But more likely in the heat of the moment stuff happens, often more complicated stuff than pre-porn, and the parties may not fully agree on whether what happened was what each had in mind, especially if he doesn’t send flowers the next day. This provides much in the way of hurt feelings for University administrators to patiently listen to.
* If you’re ever wondering about why a dumb law or regulation is being undertaken, it’s always good practice to estimate how many billable hours it will generate.
* 1) Hey, here’s a radical, doubtless deeply misogynist, idea – if you’ve been raped, instead of asking a campus bureaucrat to set up an informal hearing, why don’t you ask a cop to make an arrest?
2) This shows the uniquely white/upper class/bourgeois aspect of this story (and that has always existed in feminism), which is reflected in a mindset which believes that getting expelled from a prestigious college is so awful a fate that it’s right up there with decades of prison time as an acceptable punishment for rape. After all, if that happens, one might end up having to go to a low-tier state school, or maybe never even get a degree at all, and end up having to get a job in which one works with one’s hands. The horror!
* I think the main problem is that we do not have any baseline for sexual conduct anymore, there are no taboos either about the kinds of sexual practices, or the consequences of sexual practices: not when something like 50% of American children are now born out of wedlock.
There are also zero expectations about sexual activity: if a woman in love makes love to a young man, there is no guarantee that he won’t just dump her the next day, and no way to sanction him if he does. (And, of course, it goes the other way as well.)
I’m willing to accept whatever someone wants to tell me about sexual assault, however, most of the stories I hear (this doesn’t include the UVA story, of course) involve young women who get inebriated and then have sex. Very, very few of these stories involve violence, the threat of violence, drugging, or drinking to incapacitation. If someone wants to call them “sexual assault”, OK, fine, but while it may cross a college threshhold I doubt if it will cross a legal one.
The current “last ditch” attempt is to stake the matter on Affirmative Consent. But I can already tell you that it won’t work. Why? Because there are many many cases of couples getting drunk and actively and enthusiastically assenting to all sort of things: and then have no memory of it the next day. So how do you enforce those laws then? You don’t.
I know a story of two female friends of mine who got drunk. While drunk, one friend promised the other to buy her a plane ticket. So one girl went off the next day and bought the ticket and when she asked for reimbursement, the other girl had no memory of what she had promised. So there went the friendship.
A similar thing happened to two other friends of mine.
I had an alcoholic girlfriend who promised all sorts of things that she later forgot.
I got with several bipolar alcoholic nymphomaniacs in my time. I’m lucky it wasn’t a disaster.
* Remember when NJ arrested and convicted a dude whose only crime was video taping his gay roommate having gay sex, who subsequently jumped off a bridge? And how he only showed it to a few people, but his gay roommate freaked and committed suicide in shame?
Dude got expelled, convicted, and then deported.
Remember how Stephen Glass got barred and shunned not only from being a journalist, but from being a lawyer as well, all for inventing stories?
Yet Jackie and Erdley–who accused an entire group of men of an unspeakable crime, and led the nation on a wild goose chase of lies—will not face any criminal charges or punishment of the sort.
* If only there were administrative procedures in place at UVA! If the proper procedures, techniques, policies, protocols, counselling and education are in place then students can get up to any sort of sexual activity they want and there won’t be cases like Jackie’s in the future. Procedures, policies and protocols are needed to make universities and workplaces kid-proof but in a sexual way. Universities are supposed to be fun and safe places where adult kids can get drunk, have any sort of sex they can think of and be safe from running into any emotional or literal sharp edges. Procedures clearly were not in place at UVA to make this possible. People need to get on that.
A long time ago Samuel Johnson said “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” but I think today it’s procedure that’s the last refuge. We have the right to do whatever we want without consequences and procedures need to be put in place to make that happen.
* There were fewer sexual encounters in those days to begin with – respectable young ladies did not have premarital sex except perhaps (or perhaps not) with their fiance (and if they became pregnant, whoever they were having sex with BECAME their fiance). Certainly not in college dorms which were well chaperoned. If sex did happen, what went on behind closed doors in a hotel room/ in the back seat of ’57 Chevies was highly private and never admitted to publicly, especially not by young ladies (men might brag to their buddies). If some sexual negotiation between a girl and her steady went wrong this was not something you would take public before some tribunal. If the offense was grievous enough, the couple would break up and that would be the end of it. Certainly (and to this day) the police would have nothing to do with it – if a woman put herself alone in a room with a man and without her knickers, then whatever happened after that was definitely not rape and was no more than she deserved for putting herself in that position. There were no campus tribunals to deal with such complaints. Any woman would even be ashamed to admit that she had done as much.
Let us take the case of the “mattress girl” at Columbia. According to her account (and she tell this without embarrassment to everyone who asks, indeed to all of America) she was having consensual vaginal relations with a casual acquaintance when he decided to use the back door (and she had not agreed to this part of the deal). Since she had not specifically consented to this act, Romeo went from welcome vaginal guest to rapist in her view, and she demanded from all that would hear that he be punished accordingly. Would ANYONE in 1950s America publicly admit this and seek legal or public redress for such a complaint? Was there ANY forum in America that would have heard such a dispute and not thrown the hussy out the door the moment she was so bold as to actually give the details thereof?
But in 2014 America, having drunk the “consent” Koolaid, she considers this to be a valid complaint and is shocked, shocked that neither the police, nor (surprisingly) the campus authorities consider to be anything more than a lover’s quarrel that is not judicable. Thus she carries the mattress that was the scene of the crime as the burden she must bear in order to receive redress (and earn her 15 minutes of fame and a book deal).
* My wife’s cousin is in the university sports center development business. She typically spends about 5-7 years at a state flagship university as the head of building a new goldplated sports complex to attract students. She vacations in places like Abu Dhabi and Martinique and on cruise lines checking out the latest resort amenities, then gets together with architects to design a lavish resort on campus. After it’s built and running she moves on to the next state’s flagship campus to do it all over again, just more lavishly.