Sep 30 2014

California Clarifies Rape Laws – People Lose Their Minds


*There’s some legitimate adult language in this article considering the subject matter. You’ve been warned.

So, as of yesterday, the State of California issued a revision to rape laws that clarifies what constitutes consensual sex. Called Yes Means Yes, Senate Bill 967 essentially makes rape laws clear by stating a sexual act must be stated clearly as consensual by both partners verbally agreeing to the act prior to initiation. Prior to this, the law regarding what constitutes rape or consent was very unclear as explored in this article in the LA Times from February of 1995.

Basically what this new law (which is ONLY a clearer verification of existing law) means is one of the participants must spend 3 seconds asking “Can I have sex with you.” and the other must spend 0.5 seconds responding with either a yes or a resounding “Of course!” before the siestivities* begin.

*Siestivities = Nap Activities? This can be a word, right?

Now, you’d think that this is a great step towards bringing rape culture as we know it to an end and clarifying when sex is and is not consensual. It’s already so hard for women (and men) to report sexual assault because they can’t utter the phrase “No” when they’ve been drugged and dragged unconsciously to your dirty mattress in the barn and violated beyond belief. I mean, obviously “no” was implied when she didn’t say “yes” right? Well, you’d think so. But California took that a step further and just said, “Hey, you know what? Let’s just make sure that everything absent a yes means no. Okay? Cool.”

And chaos ensued all over the internet. Or more specifically, the rape apologists of Facebook began shitting all over the women who dared wade through their pasture of delusion. Take for instance, this conversation, which I became heavily involved, and annoyed, with.

california yes means yes

Katie was the original poster of this comment thread, she bowed out fairly quickly because she’s a law student who definitely has no time for this nonsense.

california yes means yes

I quickly let my opinion be heard, as I definitely thought people (Zach, various other posters on the thread) didn’t quite understand how EASY it was to comply with the new law. I was wrong, as the conversation just got more heated from there.

california yes means yes

Zach quickly got upset when Heather pointed out the flaw in his claims that this would hinder his sex life. She even went so far as to clarify what the law means several times, as highlighted in the boxes above. This wasn’t the only time she stated nearly these identical words, I simply edited out some comments as to not be repetitive.

It was going fairly well, until this. I tried not to get defensive, but with comments like the next one, I couldn’t help it.

california yes means yes

I am absolutely shocked that this is a real comment. I repeat. Women are not out to get men. I promise. If we were, you wouldn’t exist. That’s the truth. In fact, if women were out to get men, we’d have far more rape woman to man than man to woman.

And since our friend Zach likes to quote our information and stab blindly back, I decided to quote him and give him real facts. Remember readers, I’ve BEEN there. 

california yes means yesAfter this, it’s just more repetitive conversation from Zach implying that he needs to print up consent forms and if he ever has a son, to arm him with them as well. I ended the conversation with a private invitation of friendship to Heather and admitted to her that I needed to get off the internet before I lost all my free writing time.

Today however, the comments continued all over the internet in various forms of articles. I urge you to read them and participate, on one condition. Don’t be an a*hole. Be a supporter of positive changes to our culture and how it treats rape. No Means No (and anything short of Yes is a No.)


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