Saturday October 25, 2014

You kids are getting screwed — and not in the good way
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By Andrea Peyser
October 24, 2014

You kids are getting screwed — and not in the good way

There is to be no more joyful sex on college and university campuses in New York City. No more furtive gropes or copped feels.

Two words were tucked into a bill intended to curb sexual assault on public and private campuses introduced to the City Council Wednesday by Public Advocate Letitia James. These words have haunted randy, red-blooded students of higher education from California to the New York state university system: affirmative consent. Scary.

Affirmative consent takes the old sexual warning, “no means no,’’ to the next level. If the bill passes through the council and becomes law, as it’s almost certain to do, students — of both or no genders — will be on notice that they’d better get enthusiastic consent every step of the way when engaging in an ancient pastime.

This can take the form of shouting “Yes, yes, yes!’’ as a would-be suitor touches a forearm. It can also be a vigorous and unambiguous head nod as he or she (or both sexes or no sex) reaches for the zipper of one’s trousers. Failing to do so puts a lover at risk of being branded a rapist.

What a buzzkill.

“I feel bad for the kids today,’’ criminal-defense lawyer and radio personality Ron Kuby, 58, told me. “In my day it was ‘Let’s get home and get high and listen to the Moody Blues and Bob Dylan and screw.’ Now you can’t get high, no one has made a decent album in a generation and the times they are a-changing.’’

But Kuby suggested that young people videotape encounters to cut down on false rape accusations. “I can see ways the kids can make it sort of hot,’’ he said.

Then he loudly blew me a kiss goodbye over the phone.

“I guess I should have asked first, ‘May I blow you a kiss?’ and waited for you to say ‘yes,’ ’’ Kuby said. Too late.

Last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a so-called “yes means yes’’ law, the first of its kind in the nation. It requires post-secondary schools, that get state money for student financial aid, to adopt strict policies for investigating complaints of sexual assault. This means that a student must get a “yes’’ before going at it, or risk being accused of forcing a partner into sex. Someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent.

Drunken hookups are so 20th century.

Earlier this month in New York, Gov. Cuomo ordered trustees of all 64 schools in the state university system to adopt requirements for affirmative consent. “Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent,’’ Cuomo said.

Among other things, the proposed NYC Campus Safety Act calls for supplying students with lists of rape-crisis centers and sex-assault helplines.

But then, the proposal calls for required “affirmative consent education,’’ a kind of indoctrination that will only guarantee that more males (and the rule is aimed mainly at males), guilty or not, will be accused of sexual violence.

“We’re trying to encourage healthy relationships,’’ Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, the bill’s co-sponsor, told me. “We have boyfriends and girlfriends, same-sex couples, transgender, married couples. We want them to understand that you have to give consent.’’

In April, President Obama’s administration declared that nearly 1-in-5 women attending American colleges and universities is the victim of unwanted sex acts. Never mind that the bogus 1-in-5 statistic was based, in part, on a 2007 online survey of students at two universities, some of whom equated getting sloshed and getting it on to being raped, according to Christian Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. She believes a better statistic is in a 2003 Bureau of Justice report putting the campus sexual assault rate at 1-in-40 students.

Campuses, under pressure to fight sexual assault — their government funding may depend on it — hold tribunals (some men call them “kangaroo courts’’) that are unfairly weighted against the accused. Being convicted can lead to penalties including expulsion.

I guess using protection has taken on a whole new meaning. Students, if you plan to do it, be prepared. Bring your smartphones.

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Andrea Peyser



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Oh, what the tuck, Renée?

Actress Renée Zellweger, 45, showed up Monday at Elle magazine’s 2014 Women in Hollywood event in Beverly Hills, Calif., looking gasp-inducingly unrecognizable with her visage taut and her eyes less droopy than in her “Jerry McGuire’’ film days.

Zellweger, who hasn’t made a movie since 2010’s “My Own Love Song’’ but is set to appear next year in “The Whole Truth,’’ issued a statement to People magazine in which she credited her transformation to being healthy and happy with her boyfriend, musician Doyle Bramhall II, 45.

She did not address speculation than that she underwent plastic surgery and/or received Botox injections.

Zellweger has a right to change her appearance. I have the right to look away.

Monica's pity party just 'sick'

America’s favorite unemployed former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, 41, made a stop on her “I’m a Victim’’ tour, giving a speech at a Philadelphia conference Monday.

“I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of a way. It happens. But my boss was the president of the United States,’’ Lewinsky said about her sexploits on her knees with then-President Clinton. This led to Clinton’s impeachment by Congress and acquittal by the Senate in 1999 on charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

Now on an anti-cyberbullying campaign, she described herself as the world’s first person to be bashed on the Internet. “I was Patient Zero,’’ she said. At a time when people are dying worldwide of diseases from malaria to Ebola, how tasteless for Lewinsky to compare a situation she brought upon herself to a sickness.

Pistorious ended up outrunning justice

A South African judge said Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius, 27, showed “gross negligence’’ when he shot dead his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, through a bathroom door in his Pretoria house last year.
Sure it was gross — but merely negligent?

Pistorius got his nickname from the carbon-fiber blades that replace his amputated legs below the knees, which made him the first disabled person to run alongside able-bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympics (he lost the race). He was sentenced by Judge Thokozile Masipe Tuesday to just five years in prison for culpable homicide, but legal experts said that Pistorius could be free and under house arrest in 10 months.

The judge last month acquitted Pistorius of premeditated murder and murder after a bizarre seven-month trial in which Pistorius testified that he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder. He continually threw up and wept — crocodile tears!

He got off with a wrist slap. He deserves worse.

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Andrea Peyser is a columnist for the New York Post, writing on the social and political issues important to Americans.

Her commentary has brought her awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Columnist of the Year from the New York State Associated Press for 2005.

 

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