Sexual Harassment

UMass Democrats Bar a 31-Year-Old Progressive Gay Candidate for Dating College Students

To the extent that the accusations against Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse get into specifics, they're pretty dubious.

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Alex Morse is the 31-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He is currently running a primary campaign against Rep. Richie Neal (D–Mass.), current chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and is backed by the progressive Justice Democrats PAC.

But he will no longer receive support from the College Democrats of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who sent him a letter on Thursday disinviting him from all future events. On Sunday, the group issued a public statement accusing Morse—who is gay—of inappropriate sexual behavior with students.

"Mayor Morse has made students uncomfortable and abused his power for sexual relationships," wrote the College Democrats.

That's a serious-sounding allegation, and one that undoubtedly carries potential consequences for Morse's campaign. It's also much, much weaker than it initially seems. It's impossible to fully parse the accusations, since the statement discusses them only in vague terms—which is itself a problem. But they appear to rest on the bizarre notion that 18- to 21-year-olds cannot consent to sex with someone who is a decade older and more established than they are.

Morse, who has taught as a lecturer at UMass-Amherst since 2014, rejected the College Democrats' accusations in a statement, writing: "I want to be very clear about this. I have never, in my entire life, had a non-consensual sexual encounter with anyone."

But many on the progressive left—especially campus social-justice activist types—cling to an odd definition of consent in which the concept is voided if any party to a sexual encounter later feels conflicted about it, or if the power and privilege differentials of the participants have not been fully worked out ahead of time. This strain of progressivism often follows a believe-all-victims mentality, which does not allow for serious scrutiny of dubious misconduct claims. In keeping with this tradition, many on Twitter called for Morse to be held accountable for wrongdoing.

Others on the left, including The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, pushed back and accused Morse's detractors of trying to infantilize college students. "There are factions of the liberal-left as obsessed with regulating, controlling & moralizing over the private *consensual* sex lives of adults as the 1980s Moral Majority," wrote Greenwald.

It's hard to disagree with Greenwald here. While the lack of specificity makes it impossible to say for certain whether all of Morse's dealings with students were perfectly benign, the accusations seem to rest upon several faulty premises.

According to The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, members of the College Democrats detailed several complaints in their initial letter to Morse:

The first issue alleges that Morse regularly matched with students on dating apps, including Tinder and Grindr, who were as young as 18 years old. These students included members of the College Democrats of Massachusetts, UMass Amherst Democrats and other groups in the state.

The second issue, "Using College Democrats events to meet college students and add them on Instagram, adding them to his 'Close Friends' story and DMing them, both of which have made young college students uncomfortable," according to the letter.

"We have heard ​countless​ stories of Morse adding students to his 'Close Friends Story' and Direct Messaging members of College Democrats on Instagram in a way that makes these students feel pressured to respond due to his status," the letter read.

The third issue: "Having sexual contact with college students, including at UMass Amherst, where he teaches, and the greater Five College Consortium."

Let's take these one by one. First, it is not an "issue" for a 31-year-old to "match" with students "as young as 18 years old" on dating apps. An 18-year-old is not a child. They can vote, fight in war, and consent to sex with other legal adults. (They can't purchase alcohol, but that law is dumb.) If you're old enough to be on a dating app, you are capable of consenting to sex with someone who is a decade older.

The social media issue is murkier, since we don't know exactly what was said. The College Democrats' letter claims that students were nervous about not returning Morse's messages because of the power he had to make or break young would-be politicos' careers, which sounds like an overdramatization even if it contains some truth.

As for the third issue, UMass-Amherst's policies forbid professors only from dating their own students, not students in general. The letter did not accuse Morse of committing this offense. Nevertheless, the university has launched a sexual harassment investigation into Morse, and administrators said they have no plans to hire him back regardless of the outcome.

"Even if these scenarios are mutually consensual, the pattern of Morse using his platform and taking advantage of his position of power for romantic or sexual gain, specifically toward young students, is unacceptable," wrote the College Democrats.

But if the students concede that the encounters were actually consensual, they should not suggest otherwise when they describe them elsewhere. Moreover, the continuous references to the students as "young" makes it sound like 18-year-olds are children who can't think and act for themselves.

It's possible there's more to this story, and that new revelations will mean that Morse actually has something to apologize for. But as it currently stands, he looks like the victim of an insinuation campaign premised on the idea that college students have no agency and need constant protection from sexual predation. This idea is a bad one, and has produced several of the more obvious examples of #MeToo overreach.

NEXT: Fund Students Instead of Systems

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  1. …Glenn Greenwald, pushed back and accused Morse’s detractors of trying to infantilize college students.

    Victimhood is power now, not only for the victim but often more so for the protectors.

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    2. As long as Morse didn’t date his own students, it seems he didn’t do anything wrong.

      1. Isn’t “something-something non-government so it’s okay” applicable here, like you post the other cancel culture articles?

        1. No

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          2. In the commonwealth, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is receiving the highest amount of federal aid, an estimated $18.3 million, followed by Boston University, which expects to receive $15 million, and UMass Boston, which will get $12.2 million.

            Ba boom. Guess they’re not *precisely* a private, non-governmental institution.

      2. I was thinking the same thing. If it is his own students, then it is inappropriate, since he has some power over them.

        But if not, as the article says, they are all adults. So long as it was consensual, hard to see this as a reason to ditch him.

        1. They’re clearly violating their own “terms of service”. And they’re not an internet platform like YouTube or Twitter, so they might actually be legally liable.

          Is a code of conduct a contract of adhesion? If so, isn’t it usually law that any ambiguity be interpreted in favor of the non-drafting party?

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  2. You expect me to believe that guy is gay ?

    1. That’s a definite penis-tasting grin plastered on his face in the picture.

  3. Oh, this is a primary challenge. I missed that. Not difficult to guess whose campaign stoked someone in the UMass-Amherst College Democrats to gin this up. Woke Gen Z’ers will fall for it every time.

    1. Yep, first thing I noticed was that he was involved in a primary fight against an incumbent. It’s a good guess at the college Democrats have closer ties to the establish political machine than to an insurgent. And after all, it’s not like the Democrats are inexperienced in raising sexual harassment allegations to defeat someone.

      1. Not any incumbent — 18 term Richard Neil, the chair of Ways & Means. Someone potentially able to hand out a lot of choice DC internships, in addition to the $1000 he gave the club.

        1. Neal is denying involvement, but it looks like we got the gist of this one right.

  4. While the lack of specificity makes it impossible to say for certain whether all of Morse’s dealings with students were perfectly benign.

    Come on Soave, I thought you were passed this bullshit. If they don’t have specific charges that can be adjudicated, then thy have bubkis.

    1. The accusation is all the proof needed in college.
      That is, if we are talking equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation – – – – – –

      1. But the accusation is that you can’t date someone 10 years younger.

    2. “I thought you were passed”

      I’ve noticed this is the newest collective typo habit, in the vein of “I could care less” and “could/would/should of”

      But… I could care less what people should of done in the passed

      1. As long as we are picking on people’s word choices, those things are not typos. A typo is an error in setting type for printing, or by extension, when you hit the wrong key on a keyboard.

        1. Touche

          Though I thought typos included things like typing “your” instead of “you’re” when meaning “you are” – am I wrong about that?

          1. That what makes it a typo is that it is not a conscious choice that’s erroneous, but a mistake one makes because they’re used to typing a certain form of a phonetically identical/similar word and automatically/habitually type the more commonly used form than the form they intend.
            So in this case the typer doesn’t see/recognize that they have typed “passed” while knowing in their mind that “past” is the correct form

            1. So typos would be one of 3 types:
              – unnoticed mechanical error; typing “lassed” instead of “passed” having accidentally hit the “l” in place of the “p” button
              – unconscious mechanical substitution; typing “passed” instead of “past” because “passed” is a word typed more often
              – conscious grammatical confusion; typing “passed” in place of “past” (or vice versa) intentionally because of confusion regarding the correct form of the word due to phonetic similarity (“of” in place of “have” style)

              1. *– conscious grammatical confusion; typing “passed” in place of “past” (or vice versa) intentionally because of confusion regarding the correct form of the word due to phonetic similarity (“of” in place of “have” style)*

                Possible better way of putting this: it’s a typo due to phonetic confusion. “Could’ve” becomes “could of” instead of “could have” because the spoke “‘ve” sounds more like “of” than “have”, and people don’t think of it as the contraction. So people intentionally type it out sans contraction, but use “of” where “have” should be because they think it is grammatically correct

          2. Typing ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ is a typo.

            Typing ‘could care less’ instead of ‘couldn’t care less’ is a different type of mistake.

            1. Agree. That one is as egregious as it is common, and not really a grammatical error. Completely changes the meaning, and there’s no inherent or phonetic justification. It’s just colloquial laziness. So you’re right: not a typo, but something else.

              But I do think the other examples (past vs passed, have vs of) are more like typos, as they’re products of translation error between oral and written communication. Though substituting “of” for “have” is a bit between typo and colloquial laziness.

              Ultimately, they’re all products of sloppy writing.
              And, when used consistently, sloppy thinking.

            2. word. are people voice-texting? i bet homonyms are difficult for those machines.

            3. “Typing ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ is a typo.”

              Not if you’re too stupid to know the difference. Typing something like

              you’r
              youre
              your’e
              yuo’re

              would likely be typos, where some key was accidentally struck out-of-order or omitted, but the author clearly made the attempt to type out you’re.

              When I see your instead of you’re, it’s more likely to me that they simply don’t know the difference; giving the benefit of the doubt means they made a full-word-substitution mistake and not a minor typo and would love for Reason to have an edit button to correct the error.

              Similar logic holds for they’re/their/there.

              1. Meh, I’ve made that mistake numerous times, and you can see it’s a subject I think about to an extent.
                But sometimes you’re typing and you don’t consciously type it, but do anyway. You know what you’re trying to say, but don’t catch the error until you reread it after posting. It happens.
                Personally, I’m most both[ered] by “could/would/should of”.
                Annoys the hell out of me

                1. My big annoyance is when people type “then” when they mean “than”. As in, “I’m better at writing then most people.”

                2. “Personally, I’m most both[ered] by “could/would/should of”.
                  Annoys the hell out of me”
                  I like to have fun with that one. “You only asked me if I could. You didn’t ask me if I would.”

          3. Depends on how it happens. If it’s just muscle memory making you type the wrong word, I’d probably call it a typo (like the ones John is famous for). I think some people just don’t know the difference, and that would be a different kind of mistake.

      2. “Could care less” – literally the opposite of the intended communication, but a grammatically proper sentence

        “Could/would/should of” – literally incoherent gibberish

        “I thought you were passed this bullshit” – I think you meant “past” as in “beyond”, not “passed” the verb. It’s possible that Robby “had passed” this bullshit, or (contrary to the intended communication) that Robby “was passed by” this bullshit

        But I’ve noticed this newest word murder has become fairly common

        1. I could care less about all of this. But I’m too lazy to make the effort to do so. 😀

          1. You just want to eat your cake and have it too.

        2. Can someone rein in this discussion?

          1. Or reign over it? Or rain on it?

  5. the continuous references to the students as “young” makes it sound like 18-year-olds are children who can’t think and act for themselves.

    Well, to be fair, based on recent events I’m not sure if that’s such a bad assumption.

    1. I have reversed the old saying to now be “never trust anyone under 30”.

    2. Were *any* of Weinstein’s victims minors?

      1. I don’t even think of them as victims. They wanted jobs, he told them the price, they accepted. He may be a slimeball, but they were consenting adults. There were other studios, other producers, and lots of other ways to make a living as an actor.

        1. this. freedom to contract. work a desk job in Omaha, Rose.

        2. I don’t even think of them as victims.

          I was a bit concerned when Kate Beckinsale claimed that he greeted her in a bath robe and offered her a drink at age 17. Then she started quarantining with a 22-yr.-old.

          Still, figured I’d ask, because it’s easily conceivable that some actress lied her way onto his casting couch and he wound up cavorting with a minor but, despite all the claims, that doesn’t seem to have happened.

          More generally, I agree and figured out early on that half the problem was him asking women to do inappropriate things, the other half was them not telling him “No.”

    3. well, for financial aid and insurance purposes and federal bailouts, isn’t the age of adulthood now somwhere around 25 or 27? The mayor may still qualify.

  6. As for the third issue, UMass-Amherst’s policies forbid professors only from dating their own students, not students in general. The letter did not accuse Morse of committing this offense. Nevertheless, the university has launched a sexual harassment investigation into Morse, and administrators said they have no plans to hire him back regardless of the outcome.

    Honestly, it’s probably legitimate to question just how appropriate it is for any professor, male or female, to get into relationships with students, even if that student is not specifically under their instruction. I think it’s bad for the university not because it’s necessarily coercive, but it reflects poorly on his professionalism. I’d say the same of almost any professor dating a student at their own university, even if they’re not violating policy.

    1. That would be a reasonable argument for having UMass change their policy. I would tend to support it just like I generally support non-fraternization policies that cross corporate supervisory levels.

      However until you change that policy, neither the professors nor the students are on proper notice that their behavior under the current policy could subject them to investigation or other adverse consequences.

    2. it reflects poorly on his professionalism

      You gotta be a rock star professor like Richard Feynman to get away with it.

      1. I wonder how many of their students guys like Chomsky, Dawkins, Krugman and Cornel West have dinked.

        1. You know Chomsky was rollin deep.

    3. Isn’t there a prohibition in the military about relationships across wide range differences?

      To some degree, all employees of the university assist in the instruction of the students.

      1. There’s a big difference between fraternization in the military and bonking a professor – even one you’re taking classes with.

        No single professor can ground your career, to start with.

        1. Depends on what level you’re at. If your advisor dumps you unceremoniously six months before you were set to deliver your dissertation, one’s career is pretty grounded. Happened to a friend of mine. Was in a rather goofily useless field, so wouldn’t translate to a STEM field. But, what do you do with just a Masters in Medieval Literature?

          1. I mean – Masters in Medieval Literature. That career was dead from the start anyway.

          2. “But, what do you do with just a Masters in Medieval Literature?”

            1. Write historical fiction.

            2. Learn to ask “Would you like fries with that?” for a living.

          3. Without knowing more of what they actually did and studied, it’s hard to say for sure, but depending on their skills and research…

            Working in a museum, a library, as an archivist or restoration expert… And, of course… teacher.

            1. “Working in a museum, a library, as an archivist or restoration expert… And, of course… teacher.”

              1. The Museum would probably want a PHD.
              2. Book restoration is a completely separate discipline from the study of literature and requires knowledge at a materials engineering type level of historical papers/parchments and book binding techniques that are completely separate from the study of literature.
              3. Not much call for teachers of Medieval Literature at the K-12 level. At the College level, a professor would require a PHD.

            2. The thing with these sorts of degrees is that the number of jobs is pretty tiny – there are far more people training for those jobs than there are job openings. And everyone taking that degree is doing so because they want that sort of job, so the competition is fierce.

              So getting one of those plum jobs – *especially* a tenure track teaching position – is basically like making it into a professional sports team. Its why so many PhD’s end up as adjuncts. They went in to get a teaching position, dreaming of tenure, got outcompeted.

        2. But I’m just adding a counterexample to be argumentative I think, because I don’t actually disagree with your post.,

    4. There are 30,000 students in Amherst, probably another 1000 at the other 2 colleges in town, and only 10,000 nonstudents, many of whom are UM employees.

      It’s a company town, the person the professor sees in church or the grocery store is likely a student.

  7. This sounds very similar to what people were outraged in 2018 that Roy Moore did at an similar age except with females.

    1. It certainly sounds like he got more of what he was looking for than Roger Ailes did.

    2. Wasn’t Moore aiming a little lower?

      1. A bit, but there was nothing untoward alleged except the age difference. That was the most recent precedent established for political figures.

        1. There were the 16 year olds alleged. That seems a bit untoward, to me.

          1. 16 years old was above the age of consent in Alabama at the time.

            1. Still is in Massachusetts

        2. Moore’s interview with Sean Hannity is what did him in. Hannity had him on his radio show and basically gave Moore free reign to tell his side of the story, with Hannity asking very short, objective, direct questions.
          Moore came off poorly.
          His defense was pretty much just “their parents were cool with it, and they liked me.” Moore didn’t even do a good job of explaining or describing that such situations were fairly common or traditional in that time and place, thus not unique to him (no idea if that was the case or not). He’s a dude who dated 16 year olds when he was in his 20s. Probably a lot weirder now than it was 50 years ago in Alabama, but i don’t know.
          I think most Alabama voters were just looking for some reassurance that he wasn’t the sick pervert the left was painting him as, or at least some plausible deniability to not come to any conclusions, to feel ok voting for him. But that interview basically gave them the opposite impression.

          1. Hannity wasn’t even neutral. He was trying to give Moore every chance he could to deny wrongdoing or put some kind of justifiable spin on it.
            Moore just couldn’t do it

            1. It’s always fascinating when a child predator refuses to simply lie for his own good. I wonder if it’s just the fact that most people are bad liars, or if they just can’t help defending their own ethical norms. If he lied he would be admitting he did something he feels was wrong.

              1. 16 year olds are at the age of consent in about 1/3 of US states. I think it’s more than a bit of a stretch to call a 20 year old dating a 16 year old a child predator.

                1. Keep defending Roy Moore’s sexual proclivities, loudly and often.

                  1. I’m not saying what he did wasn’t creepy, but 20 year old with 16 year old would be completely legal in a good chunk of the US. What is accomplished by exaggerating what he did?

                    Calling him a child predator will make people not familiar with the story think he was going after 8 year olds. Which I get the impression is the point of using that term.

                    1. And as everyone knows, we hold Christian moral authoritarians to the lowest of standards for their personal behavior.

                2. Wait, Moore still has defenders? I kinda assumed that since he lost everyone would deny ever having liked the guy.

                  Huh. Wonders never cease.

                  1. Nuance is hard…

                    Did you come back to this site to whine about not having enough special rights some more?

          2. Even a ‘look, Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year old *cousin* – it was a different time, man’.

            Though even back then that shit wasn’t tolerated much and it destroyed his career . . .

            1. It’s definitely creepy.
              I wasn’t around back then, so I don’t know if it’s gotten more creepy since or not.
              Pretty sure it would’ve been creepy for the entire 30+ year duration I’ve been around.
              My point was that Moore couldn’t even give it any kind of justifiable context or spin, and that’s what did him in.
              Maybe he would’ve been a decent senator. We all know the Clinton/Obama/Pelosi types would’ve either ignored, lied, or spun it without breaking a sweat

              1. It wasn’t especially creepy then. It was pretty common.

              2. Meh, I’m Canadian, and when I was in junior high (early 1980s), this girl in grade 8 (so, 13-14 years old) had a 28 year old boyfriend. We all lived in the burbs, and lots of people thought it was gross but her parents were fine with it. I think that’s what the rest of us kids found the weirdest.

                As far as teenage girls tend to think, and speaking from experience, we’re generally attracted to older boys at that age. Girls tend to reach developmental milestones earlier than boys do, and the gap widens at adolescence. If you were in junior high, you wanted to date a high school boy. As a freshman in high school, you wanted to date a senior, or even a college boy.

                So from the vantage point of those girls (16, dating a 20 year old, 50 years ago), it probably didn’t feel creepy at all.

  8. Ain’t payback a bitch?
    On so many levels –

  9. If you’re liberal left and you put up with this you are as bad as Portland’s mayor who is letting his city degenerate.

    Still the schadenfreude is fun.

    1. “Still the schadenfreude is fun”

      Never met a schadenfreude I didn’t like.

      1. Sweet, savage schadenfreude.

  10. Sounds like a political hit job to me.

  11. It was also against the rules for professors to date their students at my alma mater. A survey indicated that just over one-half of unmarried tenured or tenure-track professors married students. I know one who married two students (no, not at the same time).

    I wonder how these profs managed to do that without dating……

    1. By paying the bride price to the parents? Aren’t the majority of grad students foreign these days?

  12. I wonder how long before the left tries to overturn Loving v Virginia (?) and ban interracial relationships.

    1. Not specifically, but banning fertile heterosexual relationships for being sexist, trans and homophobic, and bad for the environment might be on the table.

      /sarc

      1. Gay marriage is cultural appropriation!

        1. You have a point. Monogamous marriage seems to miss the point of being gay.

          1. You’d be surprised by all the frivolous things we can accomplish even while having an incredible amount of anonymous sex. Bathrooms don’t decorate themselves.

    2. Interracial relationships already draw heavy social censure, especially from Black women. And, racially segregated dorms are making a comeback—that seems related.

  13. kinda fucking beautiful to watch the boomerang.

  14. an odd definition of consent in which the concept is voided if any party to a sexual encounter later feels conflicted about it

    “You know, I’m feeling buyer’s remorse about this car. That means I didn’t consent to the purchase. In fact, it was forced upon me by the salesman! Throw him in jail! Aaaauugghh!”

    1. Retroactive withdrawal of consent….so may implications.

      Seems this sort of loosey goosey “jurisprudence” has largely been limited to college campuses; but actual damage resulted from the Title XIX enforcement; the basement grandpa promises to bring it all back and more.

      1. Title 19?

    2. Romance novels are full of consent tropes. Not just the retroactive retraction of consent, mind you, but perhaps even more common, the retroactive granting of consent.

      Goes like this: the hero rapes the heroine. Sometimes it’s a “rape rape” and sometimes it’s a “he ravishes her and at some point before penetration, in the privacy of her own head, she decides she wants it, even as she continues to resist (which of course means he’s left to believe he’s a rapist)”.

      The next 350 pages are devoted to him demonstrating to her that if she knew him then like she knows him now, she WOULD have consented. And then they get married and live happily ever after.

      Which kinda makes me think maybe it’s women who need consent classes.

  15. Lefties eating their own is so funny.

    The Democrat Party is the Party of slavery, KKK, segregation, affirmative action, and public housing.

    Of course, being a Democrat means that you support government and other elite bodies controlling what people do and say.

    1. But always with the best of intentions…something about morality being more important than factual.

  16. The state regulated who he could date, and he followed those regulations to the letter.

    I don’t understand why the left is mad at this dude, they should be giving him an award.

    1. primarying the House Ways & Means Committee Chairman bad idea. he’s got the ways & means.

      1. To New Orleans, to go down by the river where it’s warm and green?

        1. maybe. mine was “they just won’t let you be, oh no” [Truckin’]

  17. Maybe I’m not as well versed in Postmodernism as I could be, but this obsession with Power dynamics seems to completely overlook the reality that those dynamics will always exist and are both fluid and highly variable. They are explicitly overweighting two (age and position in the political hierarchy) while completely discounting all of the others that exist. It removes all agency from the supposed victim and assumes they have zero “Power” of their own (as if the young uns age isn’t itself a “Power”).

    The Postmodernism removal of Agency from the “victim” needs a reckoning. It’s so bad right now that it doesn’t even seem worth sending kids to college. I dare say that Systemic Postmodernism in the College system is far more of a societal problem than “System Racism”. I’m happy to talk about rebooting institutions if we’re talking about our education system.

    1. ” It removes all agency from the supposed victim and assumes they have zero “Power”

      That IS the “power” and the basis for feeling “unsafe” and “uncomfortable” you see

    2. I hope Jordan Peterson recovers from COVID. It was always a good time watching his stupid ideas get trashed.

      1. I love that he enrages you.

    3. “Maybe I’m not as well versed in Postmodernism as I could be”

      I agree. The student might well be offering sex in return for unwarranted passing grades from the teacher. The notion that this had something to do with postmodernism is ridiculous.

    4. We used to live in an honor culture, where any slight had to be answered, to put others on notice not to f*ck with you or your family (think pistols at dawn).

      We trended into a virtue culture, where we prefer things like laws, rules and courts to redress grievances and insults (think fines, reprimands, lawsuits, etc).

      Now, we’re back to a weird bastardization of honor culture, only the weapon of choice is not a pistol in your hand, it’s the virtue culture’s various enforcement apparatuses, and the position of greatest power is one of perceived weakness/helplessness.

    5. Postmodernism is the intellectual equivalent of nervous laughter.

  18. 18 year old in high school banging everything that moves. 18 year old in college can’t consent to sex without filling out Form 128b-35 and signed by two witnesses.

    1. Inverse “power;” Use whatever you can to scream VICTIM and watch what happens

  19. So the Democrats at UMass are homophobic, it appears.

    1. Don’t forget ageist.

    2. I was hoping it was the “progressive” part of his description that was problematic.

  20. If you’re old enough to be on a dating app, you are capable of consenting to sex with someone who is a decade older.

    Good thing thirteen-year-olds never lie to get on porn and dating sites or Robby would be permitting more than intended.

    1. You usually need a credit card to be able to actually interact with other people on dating sites. It’s not a perfect filter for “is 18”, but it’s not terrible.

  21. Looks like we have another example of the Herpetologist’s Handshake.

  22. Let’s take these one by one. First, it is not an “issue” for a 31-year-old to “match” with students “as young as 18 years old” on dating apps. An 18-year-old is not a child. They can vote, fight in war, and consent to sex with other legal adults.

    There is a reason the ‘half your age plus 7 rule exists. I wouldn’t stop a pair of consenting adults from hooking up, but by the time you’re 30 you shouldn’t be hunting in the local college anymore. Dude is using his age, experience, ‘being established’, etc, to give him a leg up on getting a leg over among a young crowd that can be wowed by a guy with his own home.

    (They can’t purchase alcohol, but that law is dumb.) If you’re old enough to be on a dating app, you are capable of consenting to sex with someone who is a decade older.

    All you’re really saying here is ‘the societal rules I don’t like are really dumb’.

    With that said, consider that it might actually be inappropriate for a local politician (even if he is only a Mayor) to solicit a personal relationship with other people. That’s the societal rules the Millennials have set up for themselves, its the rules the Zoomers are entering college with. The mayor ain’t old enough for this to be a cross-generational misunderstanding – dude’s a Millennial.

    This is the world they said they wanted.

    1. (iAge/2)+7 really is a formula that works

      1. So a 12 YO’s date needs to be at least 13?

        1. No dummy – its a maximum difference, not a minimum one.

      2. “Mind your own fucking business, we’re both consenting legal adults” is the formula that works. I though this was a Libertarian site.

        1. It is. Just because we’re libertarians doesn’t mean we can’t – or won’t – judge and gossip about you and your choices.

          That’s what freedom means.

    2. There is a reason the ‘half your age plus 7 rule exists.

      I was never comfortable with the ‘half + 7’ rule.

      I prefer the half + 9 rule.

      1. IMO, the half+7 rule works for a larger range of ages – including very young ages.

        A 16 year old, for example, gets 15-18 with half plus 7.

        Half plus 9 gives a nonsensical result at that end of the spectrum – where its really most important.

        1. Wait, why does it get a nonsensical result at the end? It’s the beginning of the spectrum where it’s most important. But that’s just me, I wouldn’t have been comfortable dating a 16 yr old when I was 18, and I definitely wouldn’t put up with my 16 yr old daughter dating an 18 yr old boy.

          18 gets 18, and then it moves from there. 40 gets to date 29, 50 gets to date 34 etc.

          I guess if you mean there’s nothing wrong with a 50 year old dating a 32 year old, then I understand why you might think that. But in my opinion, it protects the lower end of the spectrum and… at least in my view, maybe makes it a little less creepy as things get older?

          1. The gays, in my experience, have somewhat different standards on this matter, though that will go away along with everything else once the suburban gays force the rest of us to keep assimilating into soccer mom culture.

          2. There’s nothing wrong with two consenting adults fucking. There’s nothing wrong with two sexually mature teenagers fucking. End of story; put away the slide rule. When did libertarians become as prudish as Victorians and woke leftists?

      2. more like half minus 7 at my age.

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  24. Meh. If you want the woke college me too endorsement, then you have to meet their expectations.

    It can be creepy, not actionable, and not the candidate they choose to endorse, all at the same time.

    1. I agree. If you want the ‘Holyoke youth vote’, you’re probably going to have to sacrifice the other 89% of the constituency.

  25. There is no other industry outside of higher education that thinks it a good idea that employees routinely hook up with the clients. Relationships with subordinates will always risk the appearance, if not actual, impropriety.

    1. What about the oldest profession?

      -jcr

    2. What if your subordinate has a side job in an erotic massage parlor and you walk in as a customer?

  26. We now see what the progressive democrats are willing to do to one of their own if that person does not toe the exact line that they have made that every one should follow. Now just think what they will do to those who think that they are wrong!

  27. 1. The College Democrats of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is a student group: Is Reason declaring these students cannot choose their invitees? Could be that some of his “matches” are members.

    2. “who sent him a letter on Thursday disinviting him from all future events’: Has the Mayor ever attended or been invited to, a “future event”?

    3. “An 18-year-old is not a child.” No one said they are. The 18-year-olds are, however, not only students where he teaches, but live in the town Mr. Morse governs.

    A group of students standing up to the local chief: good for them.

    1. Holyoke is an hour’s drive and across the river from Amherst.
      It’s even in another county.

    2. 1. The College Democrats of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is a student group: Is Reason declaring these students cannot choose their invitees?

      Given that UMass is a public university, there are restrictions on what they can and cannot do. Libertarians have no problem with legal restrictions on government-financed institutions.

  28. Just taking the temperature here. Is a college Democrat overreacting to something somewhere more, or less, important than the president taking direct deliberate action to destroy your right to have your vote counted? Roughly the same?

    1. Just taking the temperature here.

      Rectally, as usual.

    2. the president taking direct deliberate action to destroy your right to have your vote counted?

      He’s done no such thing and you know it, rent-boy. He’s doing what he can to prevent mass election fraud by the Democrats.

      -jcr

      1. You should inform yourself before you vote, if you’re allowed to vote.

        I personally don’t see how he can engineer his preferred electorate as specifically as he wants to. I’m not even sure his sabotage of the post office will help his voters and hurt Biden’s.

        1. You should inform yourself before you vote

          A principle I endorse. If only people like you lived by it, our country would be a lot better off.

    3. I’m not worried about my vote getting counted, I’m pretty sure it will, and pretty sure it won’t matter.

      I am more concerned with a President issuing executive orders that step all over the separation of powers.

    4. Is a college Democrat overreacting to something somewhere more, or less, important than the president taking direct deliberate action to destroy your right to have your vote counted?

      I’m not aware of any “direct deliberate action to destroy your right to have your voted counted” by our current president.

      Also, that “right” is pretty ill-defined anyway. Socialists, for example, correctly think that extending voting rights to as many people as possible is a good way of destroying liberal democracies. Libertarians, on the other hand, think that nobody should be able to vote on the disposition or use of someone else’s private property.

  29. Make thousand$ of dollars sleeping with horny professor$! Just go to this link…

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  30. Issue #0: the College Democrats of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have Freedom of Association and are allowed to have higher standards then “did not commit a crime”.

    Why you against Freedom of Association?

    1. And everyone else is free to criticize or ridicule their standards.

      Why are you against Freedom of Speech?

      1. Because the Reason comment section makes me feel punchy.

        That said, as the “Cancel Culture” articles show, libertarians/Libertarians don’t believe in Freedom of Speech anymore, so I guess I shouldn’t have bothered asking.

        So you’re right. My post was entirely pointless.

  31. The Marxists are heating up their war against gays. I warned them….

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  34. Well, it is frowned upon.

  35. But they appear to rest on the bizarre notion that 18- to 21-year-olds cannot consent to sex with someone who is a decade older and more established than they are.

    Well, then they also cannot consent to being represented by someone a decade older. So let’s raise the voting age to 21, or maybe 30, just to be sure.

    1. Not necessarily bizarre. With leftist Democrats in charge of legislatures, they might just enact rules like this into law. Right now, a boss-subordinate relationship could be prosecuted as prostitution in most jurisdictions by aggressive prosecutors.

  36. This is almost too easy, in two words: Monica Lewinsky.

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