OPPOSING TOTALITARIANISM: Paper: Don’t ‘turn colleges into overseers of student sex lives.’
Colleges and universities in New York and, presumably, elsewhere shouldn’t enact “yes means yes” consent policies that force colleges to oversee student sex lives, according to an editorial in the New York Daily News.
The Daily News’ editorial page typically leans slightly to the Left (with the notable exception of endorsing Mitt Romney in 2012), which makes its editorial all the more interesting. The editorial comes on the heels of an op-ed by K.C. Johnson, who co-wrote the book on the Duke Lacrosse hoax, which expressed similar sentiments.
Given the quick debunking of the Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, the Daily News editorial board suggests colleges rethink their current scorched-earth methods of handling campus sexual assault. Specifically, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support of the controversial “yes means yes” consent policies that require college students to obtain “clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement” before each individual sexual act from kissing to touching to intercourse. These policies not only leave college students vulnerable if they cannot prove they obtained such consent, but also void consent if the accuser had been drinking.
“Nice idea, but unrealistic,” wrote the Daily News. “Without getting an openly stated yes and then another and another, a party who failed to get an explicitly positive response to the question, ‘May I?’ would be subject to sexual assault discipline. Even a thousand yeses might not suffice if a partner had been drinking, as does happen at college.”
The Daily News also faulted Cuomo’s policies for providing a “bill of rights” for students making accusations of sexual assault that provides no due-process rights for the accused. The editorial board also faulted Cuomo and President Obama for continuously citing the debunked statistic that one in five college women have been sexually assaulted.
How many politicians could survive an “affirmative consent” regime?