California’s new affirmative-consent law for sexual relations on college campuses may not just ruin the lives of accused students – it could help provoke the “future unraveling of the Democratic coalition,” according to the liberal writer Jonathan Chait of New York:
It is a massive broadening of the legal definition of rape, and a new blow in the culture wars that will likely reverberate in ways liberals have barely begun to contemplate. …
The fact that we need to change cultural attitudes about sex itself underscores the fact that cultural attitudes about sex lie well outside the contours established by the state of California. What percentage of the last decade worth of Hollywood sex scenes, if acted out between college students in California, would technically constitute rape? A majority? Ninety percent? …
California isn’t merely attempting to set out to nudge the culture in this direction. It is reclassifying all sex that falls outside those still-novel ideas as rape. A law premised on this sort of sweeping, wholesale change is likely to fail.
Noting one writer’s claim that the law won’t be triggered without a sexual-assault complaint, Chait retorts:
So the law will not come into play because nobody will actually try to enforce it. Instead, it will technically deem a large proportion of sexual encounters to be rape, but prosecutors will only enforce it if there is an accusation. And since most, and possibly nearly all, sexual encounters will legally be rape, then accusation will almost automatically result in conviction.
He’s also flabbergasted that affirmative-consent backers seem to think that wrongly convicting 2 to 8 percent of all accused people is justifiable collateral damage – and Chait says that number will probably grow, “which is directly attributable to the actions of California’s elected Democratic officials.”
Read the full article here.
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