Yes-means-yes……is the new law passed by California lawmakers primarily aimed at University campuses. The law mandates Universities to adopt Affirmative consent in their definition of consensual sex. Basically the law states that silence and lack of resistance DO NOT signify consent and that drugs or alcohol do not excuse unwanted sexual activity.
This law is particularly interesting because it delves into dangerous territory. Dangerous territory because it assumes that once a woman does not “say anything” or resist the (sexual) advances of a man, it means that she has not consented to sex – let that sink in……Think of the awkwardness of a guy asking woman…”hey should we have sex?”. The general understanding that when a woman says no, it means stop is basically thrown out the window. Should silence mean no? In our daily interactions with our fellow humans, when has silence ever meant no?
Also, let’s look at a scenario where a woman likes a guy and he makes a sexual advance towards her. She (as an adult, should be able to say no) keeps silent and ends up having sex with the guy. The next morning, she feels guilty and all of a sudden, reports him to the authorities and (according to this law) the guy asked something like , “Did she consent to the act by saying yes?” Again, let this sink in……
It makes you wonder, what differentiates an adult from a minor if they are not required to say no to stop an act.
Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown must sign the bill into law by the end of September.