The New Campus Sex Puritans

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The neo-puritans want to bureaucratize your sex life, and criminalize incorrect behavior. Will the progressive left have any better luck regulating sexual behaviour than the puritanical right did? 

2014-wente-headMargaret Wente writes: Sixty years ago, sexual behaviour among the young caused deep alarm among the puritanical religious right. Today, it causes deep alarm among the puritanical progressive left. Like their forebears, they are doing their best to restrict and regulate it.

This weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that makes universities redefine consensual sex. From now on, students must effectively obtain the “affirmative consent” of their partners, which must be “ongoing” every step of the way.

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“Sexual violence is anything that makes someone feel unsafe; it could be catcalls, peer pressure to act a certain way in a situation, verbal harassment and unwanted touching. Many of these things occur daily without anyone giving a second thought to them.”

— Jami Coughler, program co-ordinator of the sexual violence support centre at Ontario’s Brock University

Those accused of violating the consent rule will be judged on the puritan-girlpreponderance of the evidence. Perpetrators face suspension or expulsion, and universities face heavy penalties for failure to enforce.

“…sexual violence includes such offences as ‘criticizing the partner sexually’ and ‘withholding sex and affection’ – things that in my day were known as ‘being in a bad relationship.'”

The new measure is designed to stem a tidal wave of rape on campus that, in fact, does not exist. (Violent crime, including sexual assault, has been in decline for 20 years.) Even so, universities across North America have set up vast new administrative apparatuses to deal with the crisis. Many of them have also expanded the meaning of “sexual violence” to include anything that makes you feel bad. Read the rest of this entry »