Maybe Governor Jerry Brown should have paid more attention to the situation in Sweden when he passed into law California’s Affirmative Consent, or “yes means yes” law. The Scandianavian cradle of political correctness has a date with Julian Assange to question him over alleged sexual molestation and possible sexual assault. Assange is not charged, strictly speaking, but could be after questioning. At the same time, in Sweden last year, a gang of 6 teenagers were acquitted of raping a 15 year old female in a bedroom at a house party because of a change in the laws from the victim having to be in an “incapacitated state” to being “particularly vulnerable.” In this twilight zone of process and progressive nanny statism run amok, justice seems to go missing in both cases. We are step by step approaching the logical end point of marxist liberation theory as applied to gender relations, where maleness in itself becomes guilty unless it can prove it’s innocence. California, and now New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire all have on the books, or have sponsors attempting to test-run, a yes-means-yes policy on campuses in their states.

Part of the problem with consent is how to decide if it has been given when alcohol and/or drugs have been consumed. Surveys done by the CDC or the Justice Department have been criticized for the wording of the questions and the methodology used. As a result, their findings of 1 in 5 college women experiencing some form of sexual assault can certainly be questioned. And when substance abuse is involved, the question becomes a judicial nightmare for all involved, and certainly for the accused. Substance abuse has been a widespread problem on and off campuses across America for decades now. It is also one that has resisted all sorts of solutions, from stricter laws to tough-love, to softer-therapy intervention, to faith-based intervention. The successes seem to trail the failures and the problem continues. With this in mind, two approaches to sexual consent laws might help: a set of statistically sound, clearly worded surveys, done across broad samples to clearly define and then see how prevalent sexual assault is, on and off campuses, and sexual assault laws that provide reasonable due process to the accused. Campus rape is a problem, although it is not clear how large a problem, but the solution must be crafted with a little wisdom. The debate over what consent involves is unavoidable nowadays. Judicial process needs to be balanced and clear eyed in response.

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