Hey babe, wanna go to the Gaslighting Quarter for some “affirmative consent,” if you know what I mean

That’s some tight night game in the title, but not as tight as the State of California’s Junior Anti-Sex League gaslighting game, which works day or night, although not so well in the sunshine. It’s as if the state’s electorate keeps bending over and moaning, “fuck me, daddy!” Or, perhaps, keeps doing foolish but innocent things that can be deliberately misconstrued thus by the dungeon mistresses of California civics, a collective come-on to those wielding the whip of state.

In 2012, California’s big fuck-me-daddy moment was the passage of Proposition 35, an overbroad, draconian ballot initiative ostensibly drafted to crack down on human trafficking but really drafted to make sexual activity (especially prostitution) a matter of universal criminality and to extend the Two Minutes Hate on sex offenders. The county-level returns on Prop 35 were like none I’d ever seen. The only counties in the entire state where it passed by a margin of less than three to one were San Francisco (72.2% to 27.8%) and Yolo (74.9% to 25.1%). The No vote exceeded 20% in only fourteen other counties, mostly in the foothills, the mountains, and the Sacramento Valley. The liberal streak that usually runs down the coast and around the San Francisco Bay from Humboldt County to the Mexican border, skipping Orange County, broke apart quite bizarrely: Humboldt, Mendocino, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties all returned opposition above the 20% threshold, but not Sonoma, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, or San Diego. In Monterey County, the No vote was only 13.4%, the lowest in the state, even though Monterey has not historically been a hotbed of reactionary penal sentiment and has usually leaned mildly towards the leniency of Santa Cruz and the Bay Area.

It’s worth repeating that we’re discussing counties in which Prop 35 got less than eighty percent of the vote. The unimaginably paltry opposition to this ballot initiative apparently came mostly from an assortment of upcountry libertarians, Northstate hayseeds, San Francisco sex radicals, libertine remnants in a few other large cities, and aggie liberals in Chico and Da-a-a-a-a-a-vis (where, yes, one can major in animal husbandry until one is caught at it). It received relatively strong pushback (the only kind available for electoral analysis) in Sacramento, which is swarming with the kind of flatbiller dirtbags one can easily imagine enjoying some white slavery, but not in San Diego, which is swarming with a similar but slightly less threatening crowd. It also attracted more opposition in Glenn County, one of the most hard-right-wing counties in the state, than in a number of notoriously libertine counties on the coast.

It gets weirder. Another proposition that passed in every county statewide was Prop 36, an initiative limiting the application of  California’s three strikes law to certain felonies, mainly violent ones, for the purpose of excluding minor crimes as third strikes. Prop 36 passed by lopsided margins, but not nearly as lopsided as 35’s; statewide, it passed by 68.8% to 31.2%, with over half again as much opposition as Prop 35 attracted. On 36, the No vote was 25.5% in Monterey County and 42.6% in Glenn.

California’s voters had no idea what the hell they were approving in Proposition 35. Somewhere between a tenth and half of them were asleep at the switch. The civic dominatrices snuck in a massively hung Trojan horse.

And now, in 2014, we have the pleasure of another fuck-me-daddy moment, this time from the legislature and the governor’s office. This time, the bougie bugaboo at issue has changed from “human trafficking” to the “sexual assault epidemic,” particularly on college campuses. It’s a different moral panic but the same root salaciousness. The common factor is an unhealthy, mentally and morally disordered obsession with the idea that women are everywhere in danger of rape and helpless to protect themselves. It’s not unduly extreme to call this interest a sexual perversion. Prop 35 and SB967 arise from the same sick fascination with white girls in distress. Capitalize the W and construe it in racially catholic terms if you like, but not too catholic. Acculturated Latina and Asian chicks qualify, and so does the average high yellow, but reservation Indians and ghetto-ass bitches who ugly and whose hair always gonna be nappy (don’t blame me; I heard it from a trashy bird of quite the same feather on the LA Metro Blue Line in the direction of 103rd Street) will be so honored only on a case-by-case basis.

The more I think about this sick dynamic, the less I think it’s a matter of racism, or even of classism. Age plays a huge role: the younger, the better. So, it seems, does student status: there’s a lot more media interest in high schoolers and college coeds, especially ones enrolled at prestigious schools, than in women who spend dozens of hours a week holding down adult jobs, even if they’re also enrolled in high school or college programs. The creepy fucks who eat this shit up are really taken with cute vulnerability.

This, probably much more than race, is why the abduction and murder of Sandra Coke didn’t get much attention. She was middle-aged, attractive enough and apparently well-adjusted enough that any number of men might have been interested in dating her given the opportunity, including white guys who don’t usually have any interest in black women, but as a cutie in distress she was a nonstarter. It certainly wasn’t because she was mixed up with violent dirtbags; she ran with some rough ex-cons, professionally and socially, but that isn’t the kind of thing to keep a naive-looking coed from making the national news when she goes missing. The buzzkill about her was that she was clearly a grown woman who knew how to take care of herself. And she usually did exactly that. She had above-average street smarts. She just wasn’t tough enough to survive a romance with the murdering kind. Few are, and the exceptions are usually ones who fly with their own flock, like maybe Stephanie Lazarus. Now there’s a hard broad who will gladly take a bite out of crime.

Instead we hear this hue and cry about rape on college campuses. The claims that colleges harbor pervasive cultures of rape are hard to believe. Residential campuses (which are overwhelmingly the ones under discussion; commuter schools hardly register in this dispute) are inherently safe places. They have overwhelmingly peaceable student bodies, high population densities, dedicated private police or parapolice forces, and large numbers of pedestrians in public areas at most or all hours of the day and night. In the event of an assault, sexual or otherwise, they are exceptionally easy places for a conscious victim to summon help by crying out. Even at athletic and fraternity venues, which are generally the only places (if there are any) harboring a genuine rape culture, the liability is usually too extreme for anyone at all in his right mind to sexually assault a woman who might cause a real scene. A police service call or a civil suit by the victim could easily unleash a PR shitstorm and force a massive settlement by the host organization, which is likely to have substantial cash reserves exposed to the outstretched hands of plaintiff’s counsel. The built-in deterrents to raping anyone who is in any position to fight back are probably stronger on a college campus than anywhere else.

Much of the trouble, then, involves those victims who are not in a position to fight back, even by crying out. It’s well known that these victims tend to get that way by being Rob Ford on the crack pipe drunk. Many of them get this way around casual acquaintances or total strangers, specifically around men strange to them who are blatant dirtbags. These are the Pareto power players in the campus sexual assault scandals. If their outsized influence on the incidence of campus assault were commonly recognized and if they themselves, both the foolish victims and their predatory attackers, were commonly recognized as disordered and marginal characters who have no business forcing campus-wide policy to be conformed to their special needs, their sick subcultures would be no threat to those students who know better than to get mixed up with them. Such a recognition might well also force school administrators to abolish egregiously antisocial extracurricular organizations and put troubled ones on closely monitored probation.

Instead, the stupid antics of these marginal drunks and thugs are conflated with the behaviors of the general student body, often by design. The endurance of these troubled and sometimes downright criminal athletic and Greek programs (because university administrators are loth to part with the previous first fruits that they bestow upon their host institutions’ endowments and annual funds) are convenient excuses for concern-trolling white knights to tell tall tales about campus sexual assault. The gist of these stories is that not getting totally sloppy drunk around God knows whom is not enough to protect a student (usually a woman) from being violated. In point of fact, it probably is enough. Even if it isn’t enough to deter an assailant from trying, it probably will be enough to get him to stop on short order or to summon help. Most of these guys are opportunists who think they’ve found soft targets. They’re looking for an easy lay, not a shitstorm from an angry victim and various bystanders.

The activists here want students to be insecure, immature, and afraid. This is a very bad sign. Nothing good comes from such a paranoid and irresponsible body politic, and nothing good comes to it. Febrile claims of rampant sexual assault are being used to build a low-tech, crowd-sourced version of 1984. Busybodies with ulterior motives are conspiring to intrude into the private, consensual sex lives of mentally competent students on the pretext of protecting the general student body from the kinds of harm that come to out-of-control gutter drunks who choose to associate with likely sexual predators. They want women to assume that men are predators who need explicit guidance from the state in order to avoid committing forcible sex crimes on women. The prejudice is rightly dripping. Just as with the freakout over human trafficking (but really just sex trafficking), in which the public is beseeched to assume that common prostitutes are only in the sex trades because they were kidnapped by white slavers, the campus sexual assault scare is a perfect setup for tyranny.

Chateau Heartiste, often a fount of batshit crazy war-of-the-sexes paranoia, hits the nail on the head this time in analyzing the unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of SB967’s “affirmative consent” requirement:

Women generally don’t like to verbalize their desire to get banged out. They prefer dropping subtle cues that experienced, confident men will recognize and use to lead the interaction toward the bedroom. They also prefer to put up token resistance before relenting completely. A law that requires women deny these two essential aspects of their nature, or to twist them into something inhuman, is a law doomed to fail… or to “succeed” beyond the wildest dreams of its femcunt sponsors….

A law like this is pure signaling by alpha males and omega females. The former get to flex their power over weaker men and demonstrate through their indifference a prowess with women that will never be threatened by morning-after regret. The latter get to make life harder for better looking women of sound mental health, and much much harder for those creepy beta and omega males who sheepishly and awkwardly hit on them in elevators.

I’m skeptical about the “token resistance” part, which sounds a lot like the head games played by unhinged gaslighting bar skanks, but maybe it refers to behavior that any reasonable person would recognize as sarcastic and playful. CH is absolutely right, however, that SB967 flies in the face of natural law. According to the Seattle PI, “[t]he legislation says silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. Under the bill, someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent.” The part about “silence or lack of resistance” is absurd. Many women want to let a sexual encounter simply happen. Maybe it’s because they’re inclined to be submissive rather than dominant, or maybe it’s because they’re sexually repressed or ambivalent or feel guilty, but the reason doesn’t really matter. Unless a woman is severely incapacitated, she’ll be able to clearly signal a desire to cut off a sexual encounter, and unless her partner is either predatory or too wasted to process the most basic social cues, he’ll stop. The new drunkenness threshold is far too restrictive. Many people, especially women, get drunk for the purpose of facilitating sexual encounters that they’d otherwise be too uptight to undertake. This does not mean that they’re falling down drunk or blacked out or shitfaced or too blitzed to fight back or cry out against sexual advances that make them uncomfortable. Often they’re just loosened up but more or less coherent, not Amy Winehouse tumbling down a flight of stairs into a Tube station. Anybody who isn’t batshit fucking insane can tell the difference.

And of course women are reluctant to put out for men who can’t or won’t read basic nonverbal cues. It’s the kind of thing that betrays, or at least inaccurately suggests, really serious social deficits. It indicates something way beyond the alpha/beta divide, a total inability to function in the most basic give-and-take of normal social interactions. Any person, male or female, without a preternatural ability to deal with weirdos would have a hard time enduring someone so socially stunted, even troubled. Getting naked and doing the nasty with such a man-child would certainly be a bridge  too far. This is why guys who are that awkward or clueless end up with whores: they’re the only ones who can take it, since they’re used to the taste of that really strange strange. What the affirmative consent standard does in this context is to put an epic mindfuck on guys who might otherwise be a bit timid and awkward around women but perfectly salvageable with prolonged exposure to a sane and decent sociosexual environment.

The notion of women using draconian consent standards as shit tests to qualify honey badger alpha males and disqualify meek losers is outlandish, but there may be something to it. The same thing is true of the prospect of some women wanting to use draconian consent standards to put men under a regime of universal criminality so that they can selectively retaliate against men they find sexually unattractive for hitting on them. It sounds crazy, but it may be happening. A good part of this motivation has to be subconscious. Many women on the party scene, where false sexual assault allegations and screeds about dorky “creepers” are particularly common, are in the realm of personality disorders, mostly borderline and narcissistic.  The promotion of stricter consent standards is also probably an application of the Big Lie, with antisocial elements getting away with the severe distortion of sexual consent standards for their own parochial benefit precisely because no one else can imagine anyone doing something so brazen and depraved. They can’t imagine that anyone would have the nerve and the rotten morals to use public policy, sexual assault law no less, as a cudgel to enforce a regime of moral hazard for dissolute, gaslighting bar skanks, facilitate arbitrary claims of sexual misconduct against annoying but harmless dorks, kick the same dorks while they’re down, and identify sexy bad boys who don’t give a shit about the law.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m thinking about voting for Kashkari. Moonbeam’s letting me down.

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