Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why Affirmative Consent Laws are a bad idea

"Affirmative Consent" law means that if you are a man and have sex with a woman, you must explicitly ask her for consent first, and unless she explicitly verbally gives consent, you are a rapist.

These laws, as written and enacted, are completely unilateral. Notice that it's always "he must ask her for consent", never the other way around. These laws never require a woman to ask consent from a man. But never mind that; it's not the main point in this post.

Assume this scenario: You are a man, and you are so drunk that you pass out. Some woman then performs oral sex on you, without you knowing, being aware, or being able to do anything about it, because you are unconscious. Later she accuses you of rape.

According to the Affirmative Consent principle, she is right: You had sex (by legal definition) with a woman, you did not ask her for consent prior to the act, and she did not explicitly give you consent. Therefore de jure you are a rapist. Never mind that it was essentially she who raped you, rather than the other way around; according to the law, you are the rapist in this scenario.

What a far-fetched artificially constructed idiotic hypothetical, isn't it? That would never happen in reality. People are not that stupid. Surely they understand the spirit of the law, rather than staring blindly at its letter?

Except that it has happened already.

Welcome to bizarro world, where a man can be raped by a woman, and it's the man who gets convicted of rape.

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