The New York Times has brought to our attention that when enjoying sexual activities, a San Francisco school recommends confirming consent every ten minutes for its 10th graders. Here’s some of the pertinent stuff:
“Consent from the person you are kissing — or more — is not merely silence or a lack of protest, Shafia Zaloom, a health educator at the Urban School of San Francisco, told the students. They listened raptly, but several did not disguise how puzzled they felt.
‘What does that mean — you have to say “yes” every 10 minutes?’ asked Aidan Ryan, 16, who sat near the front of the room.
‘Pretty much,’ Ms. Zaloom answered. ‘It’s not a timing thing, but whoever initiates things to another level has to ask.’
The ‘no means no’ mantra of a generation ago is being eclipsed by ‘yes means yes’ as more young people all over the country are told that they must have explicit permission from the object of their desire before they engage in any touching, kissing or other sexual activity. With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on a bill this month, California became the first state to require that all high school health education classes give lessons on affirmative consent, which includes explaining that someone who is drunk or asleep cannot grant consent.”
Over at Imgur, one of the “most viral images” was this picture of a poster at a university:
Back in July, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on a new sexual consent form that was being pushed at the University of Minnesota.
“The University of Minnesota is joining a national movement requiring students to obtain ‘affirmative consent’ from their sex partners or risk being disciplined for sexual assault.
The policy change, sometimes known as the ‘yes means yes’ rule, has been sweeping college campuses across the country since California passed the first such law last year.
The U’s new rule, which is poised to take effect this month after a 30-day comment period, says that sex is OK only if both parties express consent through ‘clear and unambiguous words or actions.’ Absent that, it would fit the U’s definition of sexual assault.
So far, the plan has prompted little dissent at the U. But nationally, critics have derided such policies as absurd and dangerous, particularly when it comes to protecting the rights of the accused.
‘Once that accusation has been made, it’s somehow up to the accused person to prove they did have consent,’ said Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil liberties group in Philadelphia. ‘What that means is that they’re guilty until proven innocent.’”
Here’s the consent form:
The points above are good ones. And, yes, there are far too many women who are taken advantage of. If you have sex, especially if you’re a man, you better be able to prove you had consent in this environment. The poster above is right, your life can be ruined in a flash.
Whether or not we want to admit it, decades ago we opened Pandora’s Box when we tossed aside the traditional mores surrounding sex. Things were made even more confused with the advent of the pill. We forget that up until recently, sex wasn’t just about pleasure, it was intimately tied to procreation. The threat of children resulting from sex kept a good chunk of promiscuity in check. Now, we have little to restrain us other than our appetites.
Sexual chaos has been unleashed. As a result, if individuals will not restrain themselves, outside forces will often act to contain the chaos. We’re now given the choice between traditional sexual ethics or a bureaucratic nightmare of consent. So much for fun, sexy times.