[Crimson] UC Votes to Support Affirmative Consent

“The Undergraduate Council voted Sunday night to support the adoption of a College-wide affirmative consent policy, just one week before students are set to cast ballots on the very same issue.

The UC’s Sexual Assault Policies and Procedures Act calls on Harvard to adopt affirmative consent in order to “lessen ambiguity” and bring the University’s policies in line with those of its seven Ivy League peers.Affirmative consent—in which partners must affirmatively communicate their willingness to participate in sexual activity—is also at the center of this fall’s student-led sexual assault referendum.”

read more: UC Votes to Support Affirmative Consent


One Comment on “[Crimson] UC Votes to Support Affirmative Consent”

  1. Most couples (married or not) are allowed to be intimate with each other in their own bed, it’s a part of being in a healthy relationship. Is it not unreasonable to assume that the man is overstepping what is allowed in their relationship when he touches her without asking? What do you expect of men, exactly? That before I touch my girlfriend anywhere, I stop and ask: “Can I touch you here now? Ok! What about here? Ok great! Can I kiss you now?” My girlfriend would lose her freaking mind. Surely anyone would. We both know that we can show affection/be intimate with each other without having to stop and ask permission each and every time.

    There’s such a thing as established boundaries in a relationship, and the continuing failure to recognize this is why I oppose affirmative consent standards in practice. Because they almost inevitably fail to recognize that long-term partners can have standing ground rules for what is and is not acceptable behavior in their relationship, and no one wants to be asked for permission each and every time their partner wants to kiss them on the cheek.

    An existing relationship does not necessarily imply consent to all acts, but there can be reasonable expectations of consent in certain contexts. I’d wager that very few people find it necessary to stop and ask permission each and every time they want to touch their SO in any way. My girlfriend is also a serial rapist according to a strict interpretation of affirmative consent rules, because I’ve woken up to her performing oral sex on me more than a few times. These kinds of rules are appropriate for a first date or a one night stand, but they’re simply unrealistic when applied to long-term intimate partnerships. A “no” must always be respected in any context, of course, but isn’t it unrealistic to expect someone to always ask permission before they touch their long-term sexual partner in any way?

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