ANN ALTHOUSE: Jerry Brown signs a law requiring colleges and universities that get state money to impose a “yes means yes” standard on student sex.
The statute proceeds to speak of “the accused” and “the complainant.” The accused is not permitted to use intoxication as an excuse for misperceiving the existence of affirmative consent and there can be no affirmative consent when the complainant was “incapacitated” by drinking or drugs.
What if both are drunk? The smartass answer to that question is: It depends on who’s the accused and who’s the complainant. It seems as though, beyond the gender-neutrality of the statute, there is an assumption that only women will complain. The statutory scheme would collapse if men complained too. But social conditioning and convention keep men quiet… at least so far. Perhaps in the future, they will complain defensively after a night of ambiguity.
There are plenty of college women acting badly, and usually, because of uneven social conditioning and convention, with far less self-awareness about it than men.