Not only will students ignore new rules regarding how to have sex, but those rules also promote "discriminatory enforcement," according to author and lawyer Wendy Kaminer.
Kaminer, in a new op-ed for the Boston Globe, reminds readers that just two decades ago, the notion that students need to follow a strict question-and-answer session template for each sexual encounter was mocked by "Saturday Night Live."
"These days, no one's laughing," Kaminer wrote.
Kaminer is quick to point out that there is nothing wrong with teaching students about consent, but cautions against the "yes means yes" approach of imposing such teachings as "quasi-criminal laws on campus" that pose "serious risks of expulsion to students accused of not obtaining consent for every move or for acting on mistaken impressions of implied consent."
She also notes that accusations will be easy to lodge due to the lack of due process rights employed by colleges and the low burden of proof necessary to secure a finding of responsibility. By contrast, proving one's innocence will be much more difficult, as college administrators are being trained to believe an accuser's story from the get-go.
"When advocates of these laws acknowledge the difficulty of proving consent, when they praise regulations of alleged sexual assaults for 'sending messages,' they're implicitly endorsing discriminatory enforcement," Kaminer wrote. "Affirmative consent policies are not designed to govern every encounter. They're designed to bring about findings of guilt, or responsibility when rape accusations are leveled — mainly against men accused of assaulting women."
Kaminer asks if women who advocate for such policies follow the rules themselves each and every time they engage in sexual activity. The policies should apply to students of either sex, but in practice that is not the case. Kaminer suggests such double-standards could lead to the policy's downfall.
"Someday, male students will have the nerve to accuse females of failing to obtain consent in strict compliance with the rules," she wrote. "It will be bad for affirmative consent regimes, but good for sexual equality."
Indeed, more awareness of these laws and the fact that male students should be able to accuse female students of assault will show just how ridiculous and impractical they are. But before that happens there will likely be many, many more innocent lives ruined for the sake of "sending a message."