Newly defined by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Right (OCR) sexual harassment is “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” This leaves out the two major elements considered standard in sexual harassment definitions: that the conduct be offensive to a “reasonable person” and that the conduct be severe and pervasive. Under the OCR definition, therefore, any mention of something sexual could be deemed as sexual harassment if anyone all takes offense. Because Title IX is in charge of federal funding for universities, one can imagine why now nearly every university has switched to operating by this new definition.
The new definition creates immense liability for universities where sexual exploration of its college students is considered a right of passage. College’s sexual exploits are fantasized by the young teenage boys discovering their bodies for the first time and young girls picturing themselves in a romantic, erotic experience. However, with college and intoxication being nearly understood as one and the same experience, what does that mean for safe sex?
The current generation of students were taught ‘“No” means No’ meaning if a woman said no she did not want to have sex. However, in response to the newly defined sexual harassment universities are now operating by ‘“Yes” means No’ meaning which even to a sober person is confusing. The line currently is that if a woman drinks more than 3 drinks in a span of two hours, she is “binge drinking” and despite maybe being fully coherent she is to be considered “incapacitated.” Despite her buzzed or drunk seductions for sexual interaction, any form of such is an “absolute no” and would be considered sexual harassment because of her incapacitation. What if she wants it and doesn’t press charges you ask? Well if and when a Title IX coordinator becomes aware of this issue, (as we have seen with past victims of sexual harassment) the perpetrator (fondly known as the penetrator) will be charged by the university which will result in suspension or expulsion.
As any reasonable person would ask, how would a male student (intoxicated or not) know how many drinks another female has consumed? Other than obvious signs of clear intoxication and recklessness (which most likely do not happen at 3 drinks), how is a man to know? The fact that he is not. The recommendation for male students is to not have any sexual acts of any kind with alcohol present because you never never know.
This policy of protecting women by infantilizing their “Yes’” into “No” is unrealistic as there is no way to enforce this policy that will not result in a class-action lawsuit. But how do you protect women who “are drunk and incapacitated to give sexual consent”? Hope this doesn’t shock anyone, but often the point is to have drunken social encounters. Ask the women living in New North who go to non-USC housing apartments to “pregame” social events on the Row. Pregaming is no considered necessary as hard-alcohol has been banned from social activities severely detouring the opportunity to get drunk at a party. That’s why women get drunk before they go to parties. The problem here is two-fold: women can be drunk while still high functioning and classy AND when pregaming occurs there is literally no way for a male student to know how many drinks have occurred.
The infantile definition of sexual harassment creates a climate where intoxicated men are needed to “baby sit” women because we are not commanders of our own bodies.
If I say, “Yes” intoxicated or not, I want you to fuck me.