Contact: Gina Lauterio
Affirmative Consent Splits the Liberal Coalition
Critics Compare Controversial Sex Proposal to Repressive Political Regimes
WASHINGTON / October 28, 2014 – Signed into law less than a month ago by California Gov. Jerry Brown, Affirmative Consent is sparking controversy among liberals across the nation. The new law mandates ongoing “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” among California college students.
Commentators from all points on the political spectrum are decrying Affirmative Consent policies because they are unlikely to curb rape, and they remove the presumption of innocence from the accused.
In a controversial October 13 column, progressive Ezra Klein announced his support for Affirmative Consent, despite his admission that such policies are “terrible” and will likely engender “fear and confusion:” http://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6966847/yes-means-yes-is-a-terrible-bill-and-i-completely-support-it
Klein’s column drew rebukes from commentators comparing Affirmative Consent to policies enacted under repressive political regimes.
Liberal columnist Shikha Dalmia charged that Affirmative Consent embodies a “totalitarian” notion of justice and compared Ezra Klein’s views to former Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung: http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/16/ezra-klein-meets-mao-zedong
On October 15, writer Cathy Young, who lived in Soviet Russia as a young girl, labeled Klein’s article as “repulsive” and likened his claims to Russian despot Joseph Stalin who once warned, “When you chop wood, chips must fly:” http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/15/the-argument-against-affirmative-consent
An editorial in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times framed the dispute as a “clash between those who believe the law is too intrusive and those who believe intrusiveness is the entire point:” http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-10-27-what-they-are-saying-20141027-story.html
SAVE, a national victim-advocacy organization, believes it is deceptive to claim that Affirmative Consent policies will deter a rapist intent on assault, and will even lull women into a false sense of security. SAVE has launched a campaign to highlight the inadequacies of Affirmative Consent: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/affirmative-confusion/
SAVE has also drafted a bill that would require campus sexual assault cases be handled by local law enforcement authorities, not untrained campus disciplinary panels: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/campus-rape-courts/
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is working to promote effective solutions to campus sexual assault: http://www.saveservices.org/