To these feminists the idea that the person who isn't consenting can do absolutely nothing and be completely passive seems irresponsible and may be seen as contributing to someone who doesn't have the other person's consent proceeding with the assumption that no response is acceptance.
Because they view clear communication in personal interactions as good they don't see what is bad in including this good idea in sex crimes laws.
Now there is an overturned sexual assault conviction in Connecticut which shows the danger I see in the position held by some of my fellow feminists.
The state Appellate Court in Hartford on Tuesday set free a Bridgeport man convicted last year of sexually molesting a severely handicapped woman.And why wasn't this woman helpless?
Although the woman cannot speak and testified by using a special computer device provided by the state, the appeals court ruled she is not physically helpless, as defined by the state law under which a Bridgeport Superior Court jury convicted Richard Fourtin. [...]
The woman has severe cerebral palsy and cannot verbally communicate. She is so physically restricted that she is able to motion only with her right index finger.
In order for the woman to testify during the trial, a small video camera was placed over her and a tray affixed to her chair. On the tray, the prosecutor placed a board printed with the letters of the alphabet along with the words "yes'' and "no'' on top.
After each question, the woman's left hand would push her right hand, with the index finger forward, across the board to either spell out a word or answer yes or no. It was an exhausting process that lasted four days.
But the appeals court said it was not convinced that the woman is helpless.
Because the woman could screech, bite, kick and scratch. Unfortunately, this belief that if someone can do something even once then they could do it instantly when sexual contact or activity is unwanted. None of these actions would help her get away from Fourtin so the assumption needs to be that any of these would repel him or any other sex criminal.
This idea goes back to the idea that most non-stranger rapists are merely failing to understand someone else's lack of consent. If their victims were better communicators these rapists allegedly wouldn't be rapists.
Implicit in this ruling is the assumption that if the victim didn't screech, bite, kick or scratch that she must be assumed by the criminal law to have consented or there must be reasonable doubt about whether or not she was consenting even though there is no evidence that she communicated actual consent.
This goes directly back to the position that many people defend as being reasonable when that position is not reasonable and directly helps sex offenders get away with sex crimes that those people recognize as sex crimes.
If you go to a car dealership and test drive a car, say wonderful things about that car, you have not consented to buy that car simply because you didn't say, "No, I'm not buying this car." It would be absurd to demand that all car shoppers' absence of consent must be clear.Too many people, including judges, seem to need a reminder that the basic concept of consent is a positive agreement not just the lack of an extremely negative response. The backwards view of legal consent when it comes to sex and sexual contact needs to be abandoned by everyone who doesn't support sex crimes.
Nobody who goes to a car dealership needs to be empowered to always say no in order to avoid unwanted car ownership or car ownership which comes at too high of a price.
If a shopper says, "maybe" or "I'll think about it" or says nothing everybody gets that there is no consent. So this concept is not a difficult one. Yet many people -- including those who vocally oppose rape -- continue to have trouble with this concept when it comes to sex or sexual contact.
There can be no excuses allowed for continuing to support a view of consent which leaves those who did not consent so vulnerable to sexual abuse and then to being abandoned by our legal system.