George Orwell, Heather MacDonald and “Yes Means Yes”

Supporters of The Yes Means Yes Law
Supporters of The Yes Means Yes Law

History doesn’t repeat per se, but it seems to rhyme. In 1979, The Dead Kennedys sang “California Uber Alles” in honor of the statism embodied by then Governor Jerry Brown. Whether his aura smiles, frowns or requires a prune juice enema, Governor Brown remains Governor Brown. Like Big Brother, he is watching you. It could also be argued that like Big Brother, he has formed an alliance with his very own version of The Junior Anti-Sex League out of Orwell’s dystopian novel. In supporting and signing the “Yes Means Yes Law” to govern how California Universities investigate sexual assaults, he has proven that 1984 remains depressingly relevant in 2014.


A subset of Right Wing Commentators are arguing over the impact and intent of this bill. I think they are looking at too small of a picture. Some, such as Heather MacDonald see it as the end of the collegiate bacchanal. She opines as follows.

But isn’t this bureaucratic and legislative ferment, however ham-handed, being driven by an epidemic of campus rape? There is no such epidemic. There is, however, a squalid hook-up scene, the result of jettisoning all normative checks on promiscuous behavior. A recent case from Occidental College illustrates the reality behind so-called “campus rape.” Girls are drinking themselves blotto precisely in order to lower their inhibitions for casual sex, then regretting it afterwards.

Man-O-Sphere Bloggers consider the law to be a feminist plot to further weaken men. Dalrock offers this explanation for why he is bothered by the passage of the law.

Feminists are pushing for a world where female promiscuity is encouraged and defended with the full force of society. The danger is, conservatives could be baited into backing this as they were baited into backing child support. Those who don’t formally approve of the new order are likely to want to stay out of it, out of a reluctance to being perceived as going to bat for promiscuous men. Ironically the standard argument against the law, that it will create a chilling effect on the hookup culture, only confirms to conservatives that this is in fact a good law. But the law isn’t designed to put a damper on the hookup culture, it is designed to grease the skids for women to participate more fully in the hookup culture.


My Evil Inner Libertarian is entirely repulsed that Right Wing Thinkers would even be arguing over how this totalitarian, garbage legislation impacts their participation (or lack thereof) in anonymous, soul-sucking fornication. This isn’t about the protection of anybody. This is about control and deconstruction of the individual. George Orwell had The Party encourage all young women to join the Junior Anti-Sex League so that people would find it harder to develop any affectionate attachment outside the society.

So rather than going to bat for promiscuous men, or celebrating the return of campus Neo-Victorianism, we need to ask ourselves a much more important question. “Who in the heck are these university administrators to try, convict and sentence anyone of rape?” Rape is a criminal act with harsh yet condign prison terms in any state of the Union. We already have a legal system that investigates and tries allegations of such despicable misdeeds.

Non-judicial trial or arbitration set-ups unalterably produce outcomes skewed towards a favored party in the preceding. For now, accused men are the party out of favor and can reasonably expect to get their names blackened and there posteriors run out of town on the railroad. For now this may temporarily make people think twice before they indulge in the morally dead liquored-up banging session. Yet these are all externalities that miss the main point that no apparatus of state should be defining intimate experiences or controlling that aspect of our lives. It sort of makes my skin crawl that politicians would do so for their own benefit. Statist indulgences such as the “Yes Means Yes Law” in California are one major reason why most of the political ambitions of the surviving Kennedys are blessedly dead.



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