All the world is a stage, again. Thus the frantic spinning and spinning of relentless simulacra, fatal strategies, viruses, contagions—a “wilderness of mirrors”, to quote Eliot.
==Empire of Chaos: The Roving Eye Collection (Pepe Escobar)
Back in February, FIRE expressed concerns about California’s Senate Bill 967, which attempts to address the issue of campus sexual assault by requiring colleges receiving state-funded student aid to implement an “affirmative consent” standard in their sexual assault policies. Yesterday, KPBS in San Diego shared FIRE Legislative and Policy Director Joe Cohn’s comments about why the bill will endanger due process for students accused of sexual assault, as well as statements from supporters of the bill that are worth discussing.
To review, SB 967 defines affirmative consent as “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” that is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity.” Supporters praise the bill for allowing an accused student to be found responsible for sexual assault in cases where the accuser didn’t say “yes,” but didn’t clearly say “no,” either. But as my colleague Samantha Harris pointed out in June, the bill goes further than that, requiring not just consent but continual reaffirmations of consent.
How often must an initiator—presumably a male student, at least according to some victims’ rights advocates—ask for consent? That’s not clear. And how could an innocent student demonstrate he or she received affirmative consent? In response to this question, the bill’s co-author, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, simply said, “Your guess is as good as mine.”