Friday, February 20, 2015

Yes Means Nothing

I'm not a big fan of rape or the rape culture.  It's never made sense to me why any man would attack a woman, even one that whines a lot. There's simply no excuse for a man physically assaulting a woman, with the possible exception of self-defense.  And even then, she'd better have a really big gun aimed in the right direction to justify a roundhouse right.

When it comes to sexual matters, I really don't understand why any man would force himself on a woman.  Oh sure, I get the psychology that rape is all about misplaced anger and not about sexuality.  But violent rape isn't what I'm addressing.  I'm talking about the pushy date who doesn't take no for an answer.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why a guy would even want a woman who doesn't want him.  The whole point of great sex is -- or at least I thought it was -- the two of you doing your best to make each other feel wonderful.  Why anyone would want to advance on someone fighting them off is simply beyond my ken. Do any men really subscribe to that whole "conquering" thing any more? Don't they have enough friends in jail for taking things that weren't theirs to take?

Ask anyone who's been wanted by someone who doesn't want them and they'll all respond the same way:  It's icky.  Mind you, I have no idea why anyone would go out on a date with that person in the first place, but that's beside the point.  I'm sure they have their reasons.

Here's something I do have an idea about, though, and it's just as puzzling:

In January, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Yes Means Yes legislation into law.  The well-intended bill applies only to the state campuses of California's colleges, no place else.  And the law sounds pretty simple:  It changes the standard of woman's of sexual acceptance from  a lack of her vocal utterance of "No" to a verbal assurance of "Yes."  So the guy has to hear the word yes from the girl before advancing any further.  The notion was to clear up any misunderstandings about rejection of sexual advances.  Apparently, "What part of 'no' don't you understand" isn't understood by enough Neanderthals, so the legislature has opted for an affirmative indicator.  She only means "yes" if she audibly vocalizes the word yes.

At first, this sounds like a great idea.  Unfortunately, it's a really bad law.  And here's why:

The way the law is written doesn't specify when a woman can change from yes to no.  A couple could be in the midst of mutually approved physical rapture, well on their way to sexual Valhalla and a woman can suddenly say no.  After that, there's no time limit involved for a man to figure out what to do next.  Of course, the hard core feminists among us will stick to the letter of the law and insist he just stop, but that's hardly realistic, especially if she changes her utterance once again a few seconds later.  

And then there are those whose worlds of fantasy could come crashing down on them.  Visit any online dating site and you'll find at least one question along the lines of, "Would you participate in a rape fantasy if your partner asked?"  Yikes.  Talk about a high risk situation.  If she says yes on the questionnaire, does that assent still cover her suitor's liability after the handcuffs click? How long does yes last? Is there a time limit or does a man have to continually feed the meter?

The Yes Means Yes law is a beautiful example of our country's misplaced belief that laws can resolve the complete abdication of any kind of self-respect or individual accountability -- not to mention common sense.  A few decades ago, pundits lampooned the arcane laws of sexual preferences and opined how government has no place in the bedroom.  Today, those same voices clamor for ridiculous laws that sit squarely on your pillow.  

We don't need more well-intended, badly-written laws.  We need more people understanding how to be good to each other and why being good is such a great thing to do.  Mothers and fathers are supposed to do that.  It's their job.  In the meantime, who knows how many young lives will be derailed by Yes Means Yes. 

Sure, you worry about your daughters.  But now you get to worry about your sons, too.


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