[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]
California's Historic New Bill Just Changed "No Means No" to "Yes Means Yes"
Yesterday, a bill in California was unanimously approved by the Senate. Said bill requires schools across the state to define consent as an "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement" rather than a lack of a "no." Any schools who fail to do this risk losing funding.
This is a very important win in the battle to make Universities actually fucking do something about the rampant sexual assault and rape on their campuses. It's also important in the fight against rape culture in general. "No means no" is ineffective and even damaging. A lack of a stated "no" should not be considered consent. Story after story shows how the human body and mind will often freeze up in dangerous situations as a survival mechanism. This is not consent. This is the brain thinking you're about to die.
The spread of enthusiastic, affirmative, continuous consent as the standard is extremely important in the fight against rape culture. The fact that the government of a large and important state in this country is a big step and hopefully the start of a trend. Washington State needs to get on this.
There will inevitably be detractors who will fret about hypothetical men who "accidentally" rape because they didn't ask for consent enough. These people are the scummiest of the rape apologist scum.
It's very simple. If you give a fuck about your sexual partner and you're not a fucking sociopath, you'll be able to read facial expressions and body language. If you're not sure, you'll ask. If you're worried that asking will "kill the mood," then you care more about your pleasure than the safety and well-being of your partner, and you're therefore a terrible person who should never be allowed to have sex again.
That's all there is to it.