What happened to Dating?

Monday, September 21, 2015
posted by elizabeth @ 1:15 PM

Dating has changed. Dramatically. If ones googles “What happened to dating?” the search will unearth many posts. Apparently many people are interested. A Glamour survey found that “73 percent of single women said they can’t often even tell whether they’ve been on a date or not.”
The reason is a combination of sexual free for all’s and social media. The new dating stage isn’t Match.com, or even texts and Snapchat, but Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid. Of course, users don’t actually have to “date;” they just swipe themselves into a quick hook up. Instant gratification. No pressure. No problem. Right? Wrong.
The 1960s sexual revolution combined with progressive feminism have painted dating, traditional relationships, marriage, and morals as sexist, anti-woman, and akin to enslavement. The idea is that women, men, and others are equally entitled to sex without commitments and without outer limits. What has this disparaging view of traditional dating and relationships done? It has created a boundary-less college environment where both sexes are bewildered and afraid to do anything. More campuses are moving to a “guilty until proven innocent” system without the tools or resources for students to communicate their side.
Many of us have become accustomed to the “No means No” slogan. But that campaign is now apparently insufficient. “Yes means Yes” is the new lingo. It is also known as affirmative consent. In California in 2014 and most recently this summer in New York State, Governor Jerry Brown and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed laws requiring an “affirmative, conscious, voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” How exactly does one get affirmative consent during a passionate moment between two people and how is that proved you ask? Good questions. Lucky for us the Affirmative Consent Project distributes Consent Conscious Kits, which contain sex contracts, a pen to sign the contracts (of course), breath mints, and a condom. Whew. That clears things up.
Indeed, it is very difficult to prove affirmative consent, from either party. There is little agreement how the rules actually work. Minus a line item contract, what exactly does affirmative consent look like? How often is affirmative consent needed in the midst of sexual activity? What if someone changes her mind during the event, but remains quiet. Silence is not consent, but she gave consent earlier, does that count? Where do friendly hugs fall into the consent needed spectrum?
The issue gets more complicated. As part of Yes Means Yes, campus tribunals are mandatory. Forget the judicial system and Bill of Rights, students lose those liberties. The tribunals, staffed by college administration and professors, will provide their own form of justice. This means no guaranteed rights to an attorney, hearsay can be admissible, and the accused can be denied the right to confront witnesses or even plead the 5th Amendment. Students who refuse to participate can expect to be expelled. I understand the protective mechanisms for the potential victims, but the lack of a fair process goes against our country’s foundation and creates an environment that all victims are truthful all the time. We know that is not always true. Furthermore, it hurts victims, too. If too many capricious cases are filed, a “real” victim may not get their fair shot at redress.
The ramifications are huge. Any one can accuse any other student of sexual assault at any time, provided they are unhappy with the outcome of a physical encounter. Now, please do not get me wrong. As the mom of two girls, I absolutely want a safe environment for my daughters. As the mom of two sons, as well, I worry that our culture has taken this all too far. We demand that our college women be treated equally with men, yet progressive feminists feel college women still need protecting. It’s a double standard. And a double standard that I worry about for my sons as they grow up. When our culture flip flops “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty until proven innocent” with very little course of action to defend oneself, we are on the road to doom.
I want all four of my children to make good, healthy dating choices, preferably without Tinder. And, I expect all of my children to treat both sexes with respect and dignity. While we may not be able to go back in time, a future of presumed guilty co-eds without due process is not the right direction. We need to re-evaluate the college justice environment.

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