McCaskill Endorses Loopy Version of Sexual Consent

It’s not just the Obama administration VAWA Office that thinks all sexual contact or behavior without “explicit consent” is sexual assault.  So does Senator McCaskill (D-MO).

Later this summer, McCaskill is going to propose legislation that would further undermine due process on campus.

According to Senator McCaskill’s spokeswoman, she thinks that people (including, presumably, her constituents) are rapists if their consent to sex is not “explicit.” Many forms of consent to sex or intimate touching do not involve “express” consent in advance, and thus would be sexual assault under this definition.

This concept is not popular among the general public, i.e., voters, judging from criticism of the slightly less extreme California “affirmative consent” bill (which would arguably allow non-verbal consent) by both the liberal Los Angeles Times and the conservative Orange County Register.  It puzzles me that lawmakers support it, despite the seeming lack of a political upside (except perhaps within the Democratic primary electorate).

The White House VAWA blog, in a post by Bea Hanson, also endorsed this “explicit consent” standard .  It writes, “Sexual assault is not just limited to rape – it includes any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent.”

According to The Maneater, the University of Missouri at Columbia’s student newspaper, McCaskill agrees. Her spokesman Sarah Feldman noted that McCaskill appreciated the White House’s recent PSA on sexual assault because it “gets the right message across,” namely,  “that unless there is explicit consent, it’s rape and there is no gray area.”

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader is a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

9 thoughts on “McCaskill Endorses Loopy Version of Sexual Consent

  1. Your reporting is a bit incomplete. Alcohol involvement removes (they claim) consent for women. Therefor, nearly every triste on a college campus is rape, even if both have been drinking.

  2. ‘The Maneater’ — Really ?

    This latest foolishness increases my longing for the
    good old days, when students became legal adults at 21,
    universities stood ‘In Loco Parentis’, and the Dreaded
    Dormammu (Dorm Mother) protected the virginity
    of her charges.

    1. “The Maneater” is based off of the mascot of the University of Missouri — a tiger. The name is just a funny coincidence. It is a mostly journalism school, and it is pretty progressive in tilt.

    2. In Loco Parentis no longer applies in Higher education . Yet the student STILL has an expectation of safety and the University has an obligation to establish safeguards. This is about potential lawsuits…NOT public displays of affection…

      Let’s just assume that enough UPPER Educatees felt sufficiently restricted that they took up the argument…so that the student body eventually became free to act out of their own judgement and inclination…What of the University?…They tried to fix the problem of sexual assault…and the Students said ‘NO’. Could they not claim that they are excused from liability?

  3. This law doesn’t go far enough in my view. It should require *signed* consent. Anything short of that, and it must be considered rape, pure and simple. Because how are we supposed to know if someone gave verbal consent? That can’t be proven.

  4. So…how does this “law” impact marital relations? What if I give my wife a quick little affectionate “butt grab” but don’t have her EXPLICIT consent…am I a rapist, or am I guilty of sexual assault?

    Same as the gun BS…TAKE ‘EM ALL AWAY…

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