I’m with Dave Barry that Neil Diamond’s “I Am, I Said” is one of the worst songs ever written. But I’ll go a step further and argue that the real shame of it is that it started off so promising. The first verse is not a bad piece of writing at all. Read:
L.A.’s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is “laid back”
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin’ about
Making my way back
Early ’70s California was, not to put too fine a point on it, a great place to get laid. I can vouch the same was true in the late ’80s and early ’90s, too.
But no longer. Not today. Not with the Junior Anti-Sex League running the joint. Amy Miller has the facts on California’s “affirmative consent” law, which just went into effect on Sunday:
Section 1 of the bill states that “the accused’s belief in affirmative consent” cannot have arisen “from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.”
It also states that “it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances: (A) The complainant was asleep or unconscious; (B) The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.”
Coupled with the campus “kangaroo court” system currently in place at so many American universities — including California — this bill is a recipe for disaster.
Real talk: sex happens. Drunk, sloppy, reckless sex happens on college campuses and there’s not a bill in the world that can eliminate the oft-depressing reality of “the morning after.”
This bill not only assumes a drunk male is guilty of assault, but assumes a drunk female is incapable of consenting to sex, and does not define what it means to be “incapacitated.”
Now, by law, in a situation where a substantial amount of alcohol is involved, consent cannot exist, the aggressor is by default a rapist, and an even-willing partner is by default a victim.
Stanford could call offering my boys a free ride and I would forbid them from accepting it. What California has done is the ex post facto criminalization of normal, healthy human behavior. Because let’s be clear about this: It’s already rape-rape to have sex with somebody who drank enough to pass out, but getting to know someone a little better over cocktails and then deciding to make the beast with two backs is a tradition predating, so to speak, the written word.
And now it could make one or both of my sons into criminals.
image via shutterstock / Ken Wolter