Sex At New York’s Colleges Is Screwed

Given the experience of politicians with sexcapades, one might hope they would be a little more circumspect in their embrace of the flavor of the month redefinitions of what constitutes a sexual assault for college students. After all, had that been the rule when they went to Fordham, there’s a good chance they would be digging ditches today.

But no. Neither New York’s leaderless Assembly nor Senate had the guts to say no means no, and gave in to Governor Andy Cuomo’s gift to his daughters. From the New York Times:

New York’s political leaders have reached a deal on one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s legislative priorities for 2015, saying they will adopt new laws intended to change the way sexual assaults on all college campuses in the state are handled.

The agreement, announced on Tuesday, proposes legislation that would establish a statewide definition of “affirmative consent,” and define consent as a “knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity.”

Which means . . . what?

This does not mean students will need to enter into a written contract before every sexual encounter; it is meant to reorient students in terms of how they approach sex, said Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, a Manhattan Democrat and chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee.

Okay, so it doesn’t mean more work for Legal Zoom, but what does it mean?

“It’s a question of putting everyone on notice that they have to be in a consensual situation,” Ms. Glick said. “It also sends a message to the institutions that they have to up their game on how sexual assault on campus is viewed and treated.”

So what you’re saying is, you have no clue what it means either. Great. So students will be accused, go through the pretense of a hearing where guilt is presumed, due process is denied, and males are expelled from college (no refund?), permanently tainted, lives ruined, based upon meaningless rhetoric?  Well, yes. That’s what it means.

The “compromise” language reached in this deal is provided by Capital Confidential:

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willigness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Kinda makes the Beatles’ “I wanna hold your hand” seem prescient.

There are two huge glaring gaps here, not to mention a thousand smaller ones.  First, there is nothing in there relating to the inability to consent based upon intoxication. Does that mean that drunkenness doesn’t obviate consent, or that they’ve punted on the question, leaving it to students to take their chances and colleges to do whatever they please?

Second, the definition plays the same game as California’s, that consent can be “by words or actions.”  This “compromise” was meant to address the absurdity of having to ask “may I” with each grope or nuzzle, but it leaves every student to his own devices to figure out what action is sufficient, what means what.

At the same time, “silence or lack of resistance” does not mean consent, so if someone stares lovingly in another person’s eyes, unbuttons a shirt, while the other silently, longingly, allows it to happen without a word, we’ve got us an assault!

That Cuomo doesn’t see a problem was made abundantly clear when he decided to hook up with the brilliant legal scholar, Lady Gaga, in a joint op-ed in the Harvard Law Review New York Times Billboard, where all the really deep thought happens.

Every fall, young men and women head off to colleges across the country, dreaming of bright futures and the experience of a lifetime. They’ve worked hard for the chance to become a part of their new campuses, and they set out full of hope and excitement.

Unfortunately, for thousands of these students that dream turns into a nightmare because of the unacceptable epidemic of sexual violence that is currently plaguing colleges and universities. It is a shocking reality that many in academia, government, and society in general still refuse to acknowledge.

Cite?  Get real, there are no cites in Billboard.  In Billboard, it’s all about sweeping feelz based on movies, and Cuomo had just the movie to prove his point.

[T]he governor has been promoting a documentary called “Hunting Ground,” about sexual assault on college campuses. The film was co-produced by his sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, and Lady Gaga contributed to the soundtrack.

So what that the movie was fiction.  Who cares if it got its facts wrong.  It evokes an emotional response, and isn’t emotion far more important than facts, anyway?

Well, not when that emotion involves any sort of sexual activity on campus in New York, from now on, because it’s going to end up being dependent on whether the male student can, without benefit of counsel or discovery, offer facts to prove his innocence. Otherwise, he’s screwed.

17 thoughts on “Sex At New York’s Colleges Is Screwed

  1. Jennifer C

    “Every fall, young men and women head off to colleges across the country, dreaming of bright futures and the experience of a lifetime.”

    What about the young men and women who are not college material and who have slightly dim futures – don’t they get raped too? I’m pretty sure they also get drunk and go to parties. Is this law actually written to only apply to college students, or is just marketed that way, since college students and their parents are much more likely to vote and donate money to campaigns?

    Although, if the law does leave out the high school drop-outs who don’t go to college, I guess they should be grateful that being exempt from this nonsense is one of the few benefits of their situation.

    1. SHG Post author

      If they don’t go to college, they don’t fall under Title IX. Instead, they go to the police.

  2. David M.

    And gentlemen in New York still abed
    shall think themselves accursed they took her home
    and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    that claims that she was raped in place of ‘yes’

    1. Fubar

      Message discovered by a happy band of brothers, scribbled inside a baseball after an autumn sandlot pickup game near Agincourt:

      You demonstrate, Sir, gracious manners,
      To invoke saints of cobblers and tanners.
      Where’er they decide
      To tan Cuomo’s hide,
      They’ll emblazon your words on their banners!

      1. David M.

        Someday long after we’re all gone, you’ll be Saint Fubar, patron of limericks. Say hi to Crispin and Crispinian for me.

  3. scott morrell

    Classic sausage making laws due to compromises for politicians benefits. Not only is the New York Legislature corrupt (which has been well established), but incompetent as well in the use of English.

    It’s a total embarrassment to make a law that makes things more confusing than prior. You are right that this will open a pandora’s box into how a person engages in any sexual conduct. I think I will need a notary public with me the next time I am thinking about sex so all the paperwork is in place.

    1. Frank Rizzo

      “It’s a total embarrassment to make a law that makes things more confusing than prior.”

      That’s not a flaw, it’s a feature. the goal of the law is not to make anything clearer but to muddy the waters so that almost any sexual liaison can be termed an assault. The goal of these laws is to up the reporting rate for sexual assaults on campus. Colleges and Universities already have their marching orders. They have to increase the reporting rate to closer to 1 in 5 in order not to be investigated for Title IX violations. It’s now assumed by the Dept of Education that anything less that a 20 % reporting rate is prima facie evidence that institutes of higher learning are making it difficult for females to report sexual “crimes”. and thus are violating Title IX.

  4. John Barleycorn

    The Truth used to hold the track record at Title IV Downs until Sincerity came along…

    Sincerity and The Truth entered the back stretch neck-and-neck, but it’s Sincerity by a half-a-length now that is pulling away as they head to the line.

    The crowd can’t believe it as Sincerity widens the gap towards the finish leading by length-and-a-half with an eighth to go.

    The Truth doesn’t seem to have it in him on the outside as they approach the line….

    And….it is Sincerity that will replace The Truth by two-and-a-half lengths and a new track record.

  5. dm

    There once was a man in Albany,
    Who, intellectually, was not all that he could be,
    The dude’s name was Cuomo,
    All the “victims’” majordomo,
    Jane, get me off this crazy thing!

    1. Wrongway

      Aren’t there rules ??
      nice try but that just hurt..
      how dare you use a ‘Jetson’s’ reference without rhyming..
      How Dare You Sir!!..

  6. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT AND THE “PROVE YOURSELF INNOCENT” APPROACH: FIRE’s Joe Cohn examines the …

  7. adam

    We’re obviously headed toward single-sex campuses. How else are parents to protect their male children?

Comments are closed.