Affirmative Consent

Ezra Klein Meets Mao Zedong

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America's sexual revolution handed women control over their sexual destiny while hanging on to liberal notions of

Scout Willis
HotGossipItalia / Foter / CC BY

justice and due process. But now affirmative consent or "yes-means-yes" law proponents think that these notions are inconvenient obstacles in their quest to deliver total safety to women. Rape, they claim, is such a big problem that they have to trade in their "ends don't justify the means" philosophy with "by any means necessary" battle cry.

Boosting these efforts is Ezra Klein, the champion of the hot new genre of fact-based explanatory journalism. He declares that this "terrible law is necessary." Why? Because there is an ugly "culture of entitlement" among American men and "ugly problems don't have pretty solutions."

What's truly ugly, I note in The Week, is accepting totalitarian notions of justice to address a problem that is nowhere near as rampant as the proponents of "yes means yes" laws claim and that women are perfectly capable of handling on their own.

Indeed, if the rape culture was rampant, not only would it show up in reliable statistics, but women's behavior too. For example, I note:

Scout Willis, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter, wouldn't have fearlessly strolled topless in Manhattan to protest Instagram's policies against nude pictures last summer. Sure, she's quasi-famous. But nonetheless, try doing that in the pre-sexual revolution America or modern-day India (my native country) without getting assaulted or worse.

Willis chose going topless as her form of protest precisely because, contrary to Klein's assertion, there is no longer a "culture of entitlement" among American men. Her stunt was possible only because social mores that used to work against women now work for them. Far from facing any sanction, she could count on those around her acknowledging — even cheering (like me) — her right to wield her sexuality as she saw fit without becoming prey to jerks who believe she's "asking for it."

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. “Rape, they claim, is such a big problem…”

    which, now that you mention it…no one ever seems to mention the below…

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub…..9410pr.cfm

    OVER 60 PERCENT DECLINE IN SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST FEMALES
    FROM 1995 TO 2010

    WASHINGTON ? From 1995 to 2005, sexual violence against U.S. female residents age 12 or older declined 64 percent from 5.0 per 1,000 females to 1.8, and remained unchanged through 2010, according to a report, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010, released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

    These estimates of sexual violence from 1994 to 2010, averaged across two years and reported as the most recent year, are based on data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Sexual violence against females includes completed, attempted, or threatened rape or sexual assault. In 2010, females experienced 270,000 rape or sexual assault victimizations at a rate of about two victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older.”

    Meanwhile, we have other ‘social justice concerns’… such as,

    “A black male born in 1991 has a 29% chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life”

    To make matters even fucking stupider = bring up the latter point, and you have a 60% chance of being accused of Racism.

    1. The liberal panic and athoritarian policies always comes after the problem is solved. For example, when Ralph Nader wrote the infamous Unsafe at Any Speed, pointing out how we were all going to die in car accidents if the government didn’t do something, he was not only lying about the relative safety of the Corvair, he failed to mention that the death rate per one hundred million miles driven had declined steadily for decades from a peak of 17.5 in 1917 to 5.2 the year he wrote his book.

      Taking a problem that society has already solved, declaring it a crisis and getting the government to take a series of authoritarian measures to “solve it” is to the Prog playbook what the power sweep was to Lombardi’s.

      1. I think there actually is a serious theory propounding that social changes only become popular when they’re already fairly easy. For example, in a culture where the great majority of children work, child labor laws don’t get much traction, because child labor is necessary. It’s only once child labor isn’t really needed anymore, and has subsequently shrunk by a great deal, that people actually start pushing for banning it, which they can do because nobody really has much stake in it anymore.

        1. Any “revolution”/shift in culture only happens when some majority wants it, so your reasoning makes sense on that level as well. Additionally, some SCOTUS decisions and their timing support this idea (Brown v Board).

          The President also follows this pattern, though he’s supposed to be a leader and not simply follow the rest of society, but that’s a sperate conversation 🙂

    2. None of that will matter to the goodthinkful. Remember the insistence, in the face of all evidence, that America’s public schools are underfunded. Reality is negotiable; dogma isn’t.

    3. silly you. Rape is no longer simply “sexual violence”. Now it’s “hating yourself in the morning”.

      1. It’s “He didn’t call like he should have.”

    4. “OVER 60 PERCENT DECLINE IN SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST FEMALES
      FROM 1995 TO 2010

      THAT JUST TELLS US AT MORE THAN TWO IN FIVE WOMEN USED TO BE ASSAULTED!

  2. The thing is, Klein isn’t really even being a totalitarian on purpose (not that he seems to have a problem with it), he’s doing it because he’s a coward. He knows that if he even dares to say that there isn’t an epidemic or that innocent people shouldn’t be punished, he will be torn asunder by the rape obsessionists. So he’s just ducking the moral horrifics of this law in order to not get ostracized from the space where he gets his bread and butter.

    1. What choice does he have? If he told the truth, you are right he would be shunned and kicked out of the Prog group. Since everyone else already hates his guts, what would he have left?

      1. His good looks and natural charisma?

        1. I sense a problem with that approach.

    2. If he bucked the trend, they’d tear off his tiny balls and use them to shoot marbles. He’s a pathetic excuse for a human.

    3. I dunno. I think that still counts as “on purpose”.

    4. No, I think Klein really is that stupid. Balko and Pophat tore him to shreds today for completely fucking up what burden of proof and due process means in one of his Voxsplaining pieces.

      He said the preponderance of evidence standard to be used in sexual assault hearings was *higher* than what’s used in criminal cases.

      1. He said the preponderance of evidence standard to be used in sexual assault hearings was *higher* than what’s used in criminal cases.

        No way? Did he write that or just say it without thinking?

        I don’t actually know people like Klein. So maybe I just really don’t always appreciate how stupid they are. Time and again one of these under 40 prog journolist member will display profound ignorance about a topic they claim to understand. One of the foreign policy correspondent for the Huffpost I think admitted earlier this year that he didn’t know Bill Clinton bombed Iraq. These people must pride themselves on being stupid.

        1. He actually wrote it and then edited it later when the Twitter shitstorm hit.

          He also essentially called everybody a big meanie for harping on a “typo”.

          1. I can’t see how that could have been a typo and it not been obvious from the context. You make that point because you are trying to say that the campus system provides more protection than the criminal system.

            I can’t think of why Klein would have ever intended to right “the preponderance of the evidence standard is lower…” How would that have helped his case? And if it couldn’t, why would he have been intending to write it such that his erroneous statement was a typo?

          2. Bullshit (to Klein). A typo is when your finger slips and you hit the wrong key, not when you write the opposite of what is true. That is called an error if not deliberate and a lie if it is.

    5. he’s doing it because he’s a coward. He knows that if he even dares to say that there isn’t an epidemic or that innocent people shouldn’t be punished, he will be torn asunder by the rape obsessionists.

      This on wheels.

  3. “Scout Willis, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter, wouldn’t have fearlessly strolled topless in Manhattan to protest Instagram’s policies against nude pictures last summer. Sure, she’s quasi-famous. But nonetheless, try doing that in the pre-sexual revolution America or modern-day India (my native country) without getting assaulted or worse.”

    Can’t speak for India, but I suspect that a man or woman committing indecent exposure before the “sexual revolution” would have been arrested, as is still possible in some jurisdictions to this very day!

    I suspect that assault rates against women didn’t get better after the sexual revolution, but feel free to correct me on this.

    1. A woman doing this in Victorian America would have been arrested, not assaulted. Fuck Dalmia for implying she would have been raped like she very well might be in parts of India today.

      1. jeez john. I think you are factually right, but reading too much into Dalmia’s statement there.

        1. I don’t think so. Dalmia complains about the “oversexualized” Western culture even when she is comparing it favorably to the monstrous rates of sexual assault in India.

          1. That’s why I don’t read her articles. She’s the one reason writer where I agree with most people’s criticisms of her.

      2. A woman doing this in Victorian America would have been arrested, not assaulted.

        I think that will depend on where she was doing it. If it was someone of Scout Willis’s social position and in the equivalent of today’s mid-town Manhattan, I’m sure that’s true.

    2. If you look at the numbers violent crime spiked during the 70s and 80s before peaking in the early 90s and then drastically and consistently declining until today.

      Presumably sexual based offenses follow this trend as well if we define that as women being physically assaulted in the streets or in their homes.

    3. I suspect that assault rates against women didn’t get better after the sexual revolution, but feel free to correct me on this.

      I think that depends on whether you include married women. I think it also is something that reliable figures probably aren’t available for.

  4. Klein types traded in their “ends don’t justify the means” philosophy a long, long time ago (that is, if they ever had that philosophy).

  5. Dammit Shikha, why the blurred boobs? The girl wants to show us her boobs and you cover them up? *sigh*

    1. This is why there are no female Libertarians.

      Of course, the few females there are, would want to see those boobs too. They look firm and perky. And who male or female doesn’t love that?

      1. Her mother’s were better.

        1. But they were man made. Hers are real.

        2. Before or after the zillion dollars worth of surgery?

    2. It is a bit funny that it’s OK in actual public, but blurred in a libertarian magazine website that has no problem publishing headlines with “fuck” in them.

      There are plenty of sources for the non-blurred picture, in case you haven’t already checked. I approve.

      1. “We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”

  6. Someone needs to point out that Exra Klein is exactly channeling Robespierre’s rationale for the Terror during the French Revolution.

    Robespierre claimed that justice was achieved only by policies that were both terrorizing and virtuous; that the individuals had to submit to the popular will as expressed by the laws created by the legislature; that the people had to ultimately answer to society for their conduct; and that people who transgressed these rules deserved to be ruthlessly extirpated in exactly the same way a despot brutalized his victims.

    This poisonous idea, that individuals should be punished based merely on suspicion, inevitably leads to blood on the streets as the state tries ever more desperate measures to control that which it cannot control with no negative feedback other than the howling mob.

    1. Yeah…that is a good observation. Progs in a nutshell.

      1. Yeah…that is a good observation. Progs in a nutshell.

        The Jacobins were the original Radical Left after all. Oh and they were quite pro-war too. Where did this notion of a left that supported civil liberties and opposed war ever come from?

        Robespierre also opposed the death penalty, until he came to power that is.

        Robespierre claimed that justice was achieved only by policies that were both terrorizing and virtuous

        “Terrorism” originally referred to this attitude.

        1. Well, it’s not really valid to assume that “the left” is the same thing in all times and places.

          Where did this notion of a left that supported civil liberties and opposed war ever come from?

          The brief time in the 20th century when the American left opposed war (or one war, anyway) and supported certain civil rights that had been shamefully denied to certain groups for a long time.

          1. The terms “right” and “left” are pretty meaningless anyway since originally referred to seating arrangements.

            I mean classic liberalism was considered “left” because they opposed feudalism and absolute monarchy but so did the communists. And libertarianism is considered “right” because of opposition to the welfare state, regulations and high taxes. And the differences with other rightists are quite numerous.

            The brief time in the 20th century when the American left opposed war (or one war, anyway) and supported certain civil rights that had been shamefully denied to certain groups for a long time

            And this is different from the Jacobins how? They opposed war and supported civil liberties for certain groups like the Jews but once they got in power they supported war and killed their opponents. And they weren’t particularly laissez faire either.

    2. And that idea permiated fascism and its twin communism. It all comes back to the idea of collective guilt. You are guilty because of who you are. What you personally did or did not do isn’t the point. The point is who you are and the need to terrorize and or eliminate people like you from society because you are standing in the way of the new better world.

      Collective guilt and the idea that you can create the perfect society by terrorizing or eliminating those classes of people stopping the creation of the perfect society is at the heart of both fascism and communism. The two just disagreed on what class of people were standing in the way. For the communists it was the bourgeois and for the fascists it was the inferior races.

      1. The notion of collective guilt may be the most poisonous idea ever.

    3. No, Klein is worse.

      Read the full article.

      He doesn’t pretend the law is just. He acknowledges that it is unjust, and likes it because its injustice and cruelty will spread terror.

      Robespierre claimed, and probably believed, that his laws were just.

      Hell, even STALIN at least pretended his laws were just.

      Klein no longer sees a need to pretend.

  7. Before I check the comments, how many will it take for some idiot jumps on Shikha and says she’s saying that women who dress provocatively deserve to be raped? I’m calling…4?

    And now I check and I am not disappointed. The very first comment.

    Lenoxus ? an hour ago
    So there’s no meaningful rape culture because women are willing to go topless for protests, willing to go to parties, and basically not spending all their time locked in their rooms. That’s a novel inversion of the usual argument: Rather than stress the importance of women structuring their lives around the avoidance of rape, you point to the absence of such structuring as evidence against rape’s severe prevalence. I’m not sure how to respond, actually.

    You also assume without saying so that nudity is an example of risky behavior with respect to sexual assault, hence the notability of Scout Willis going naked. It’s not. The risky behavior is being around certain men, especially men who know you and are able to earn your trust. Which men those are is the tricky part. But “Scout Willis got naked and no men tried raping her” should not be seen as wonderful evidence of mens’ self-restraint relative to their natural overpowering urges (a surprisingly common position given that it combines anti-feminism with misandry).

    1. Rather, it’s evidence that the culture is at least sufficiently advanced that “She was naked” isn’t seen as an excuse. If our culture happened to believe that nudity is plain and non-suggestive, but that tight clothing is at least somewhat an inducement to rape, then it would be “safer” for women to go naked. It’s not really about men and their desires, but what the culture says we can get away with, a message that significantly affects the substantial minority who would rape.

      Yes, perhaps it’s a lot better in the USA than in India (I wouldn’t know), but no, it’s not at an acceptable level. Regardless, pointing to worse situations elsewhere is a tiresome and common means of justifying local injustice.

      1. Where is this place where men are told that they are free to rape any woman wearing tight clothes? Seriously, how do people convince themselves of this bullshit?

        1. The lack of rape just proves what a rape culture we live in.

          1. And of course rape includes looking a a woman in tight clothes when she doesn’t want you to. So, really rape happens all of the time.

            1. She doesn’t want you to. Really she doesn’t. Thats why she put on the tight clothes.

              I am going to the Renaissance Festival in Conroe, Tx saturday. It is a complete boob fest. Many of the women there could really be qualified as naked. They dress like that because they don’t want me ogling them, not because they are exhibitionists or anything like that.

              1. Forgot this bit;

                “So, really rape happens all of the time.”

                Then saturday I will be a rapey rapey son of a bitch.

              2. Yeah, they’re just testing you. And you will fail.

    2. “…mens’ self-restraint relative to their natural overpowering urges…”

      Fuck you Lenoxus.

      I find the ‘rape is everywhere’ canard identical to the ‘racism is everywhere’ canard. They exist for exactly the same purpose; to discredit anyone who disagrees without having to address their arguments.

  8. America’s sexual revolution handed women control over their sexual destiny…

    Or in other words, made them more slutty acting.

  9. I’m going to say something hugely politically incorrect:

    There is a massive contradiction between treating sex as casual fun for adults, and treating rape as the worst thing that could possibly happen to a woman.

    If sex is not that big a deal, then being raped should be only marginally worse than being assulted in a non-sexual way.

    1. Watch any 60s-70s sex comedy and see how it treats Women who don’t want to have sex.

    2. Hazel,

      Thinking about this rationally and expecting these idiots to apply a consistent and rationally consistent view of sex is your first mistake.

      Check your privilege and cut the mansplaining right now!!

    3. I am not sure I agree. Rape isn’t really about sex, its about domination. Casual sex is about….well…sex.

    4. We’re a semi-monogamous species of monkey in which a male claims a woman and then more or less owns her for a while. You could consider rape as much about gaining social standing by stealing a woman as about anything else. It’s not a coincidence that wedding ceremonies are ritualized bridal kidnappings, after all.

    5. The radfems are crazy and evil, but they’re more correct than the Jezebel crowd.

    6. There is something to that. But I think it is actually both casual fun and a big deal at the same time. Sex is weird that way.

      And assaulting someone in a non-sexual way is a big fucking deal too. I wouldn’t really object if people were treated as harshly for assault and battery as they are for rape.

    7. Hmm, boxing is casual fun for adults so punching people who don’t want to be punched is only marginally worse I guess. No biggie.

  10. But nonetheless, try doing that in the pre-sexual revolution America or modern-day India (my native country) without getting assaulted or worse.

    If you try doing that in America before the YKW takeover you would go to jail, and rightly so. India, yeah. Gotta give her credit for telling the truth about her own people while she libels mine.

      1. I’m guessing “You Know Who”. But I don’t know who. The Joos?

        I’m not giving much more thought to someone who thinks it right to jail people for having exposed breasts in public.

    1. You have a ‘people’? That is like just so wrong.

    2. Gimme an A!
      Gimme an M!
      Gimme an URICAN!

      This post will appear very strangely out of context when his messages all get memory-holed, again.

  11. Women love and respect you when you say “May I kiss you?” I mean the purple women from outer space. You’ll muster the courage to kiss a gal or you won’t. She’ll kiss you back or she’ll turn her head. It’s complicated, that’s the way it is.

    1. I’m sure you know from experience LOL.

      1. Both ways.

  12. If this sort of law, lowering evidentiary standards, has been introduced in other places – notably Sweden – where it has had some interesting effects.

    The amount of unreported rapes in Sweden is lower than the rest of the western world at 87% in Sweden and 90% or higher elsewhere. Also Sweden has expanded the definition of rape and has one of the greatest risk or rape in the world. A lot of rape gets reported in Sweden. And the methodology is such that the investigators are instructed to be sympathetic and mindful of the victims plight.

    Sweden has a very low rate of conviction for rape. One reason conjectured as to why this might be is that asking easy questions and gaining only the basic evidentiary proof, results in weak cases.

    In America the system is going to be even worse for convictions. If a rape takes place on campus a statement of facts for the schools disciplinary process will be made that will be different to any statement given to the police, because the two operate at different levels of evidence. A rapist could utilise the varied statements of the victim to show that one statement is a lie. This will result in a lower rate of conviction and the distinct possibility that a rapist will win civil damages from a school for the rape.

    It is a horrible law.

    1. Sweden has allowed mass immigration of Muslims AND has adopted cultural Marxism as its national political philosophy. So the definition of rape in Sweden is cultural.

    2. Poor Julian Assange.

    3. Assange did the early morning second-boink. The second boink is the best boink. All hands agree! I’ll hazard a guess that he wasn’t patient enough to let that happen in due time or let it go if it didn’t.

  13. What’s truly ugly, I note in The Week, is accepting totalitarian notions of justice to address a problem that is nowhere near as rampant as the proponents of “yes means yes” laws claim

    Fixed.

  14. So come all you jolly young fellows
    A warning take from me
    and if you go out on the town, me boys,
    Beware of the pretty Colleens

    They’ll feed you with strong drink,my lads,
    ‘Til you are unable to stand
    And the very first thing that you’ll know is
    You’ve landed in Van Dieman’s Land

    Her eyes they shone like diamonds
    I thought she was queen of the land
    Now I’m far away from my friends and companions
    betrayed by the black velvet band

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR-B-StfDQk

  15. Seriously? You think that if a woman walked around topless in “pre-sexual revolution America” women would get assaulted?

    Uh, no. I’m guessing the only time in US history that was likely was actually the 1970s, when crime was at its worst.

    I think in most other times, people would give you something to cover up with and/or see if you are hurt.

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