When Soleil R. Sykes took an internship in Washington during her first year as a student at Antioch College, she experienced a bit of culture shock.
She was working at a German think tank and noticed that both in the office and at social events, friends and colleagues were far more casual about touching one another. “At a mixer before a speech, someone would tap you on the shoulder or I would tap someone on the shoulder,” said Ms. Sykes, 22, now a fourth-year student majoring in political economy. “At Antioch, people would have asked permission first.”
In 1990, Antioch College students pioneered its affirmative sexual consent policy, formulating a document now called the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy. It was mocked by much of the rest of the world. Since then, campuses across the country have caught up. Education about consent is now part of college life.
Now, the current crop of pioneers at Antioch are moving the conversation beyond sex to discussions of consent in platonic touch.
When Alyssa Navarrette, a third-year student who is studying anthropology and art, came home for her first visit after starting college, she was taken by surprise when her mother hugged her.
“If you don’t want to be touched and your mom wants to hug you, you should be allowed to say no,” Ms. Navarrette said. “It’s about having autonomy over your own body.”
“It’s a framework for how to engage with everyone, on every level,” said Angel Nalubega, a 22-year-old fourth-year history major and a dorm resident adviser. “It helps promote respect for all people in the community.”
Read the whole thing. Please make every effort to insure that your jaw does not break when it hits the ground.
I mean no offense to your readers of the Northern persuasion, but there are some things so batshit crazy that only Yankees can imagine them being a good idea.
But seriously, how can the snowflakes who emerge from this college ever live in the real world? Why would anyone want to take the risk of talking to them, knowing that they are so terrified of the possibility of contact? I would go out of my way not to hire an Antioch graduate, afraid that if they got a pat on the back from a colleague, they would file a harassment lawsuit.
UPDATE: If you don’t read the story, you’ll miss this bit of awesomeness:
Antioch recently extended its Sex Week into a month. “We wanted to bring even more pleasure-based sex education and gender-based education,” said Iris Olson, a 2017 graduate, who is studying for a master’s degree in public health at Boston University and uses the pronouns they/them/their. Mx. Olson, 23, who prefers that gender-neutral honorific, helped organize Month of Sex events.
During them, programming has included screenings of ethical pornography, a “Kiss and Tell” story-sharing event, “Dildo Bingo,” a ropes-and-bondage workshop and an Antioch traditional event that students attend dressed to express themselves along the gender continuum.
A “sex positive” culture has everything to do with the S.O.P.P., Mx. Olson said. “Being able to talk to a partner or multiple partners about what you like, what you would like to experiment with — to have a negotiation whether it’s about B.D.S.M. or extra cuddling, whatever gets you going — those discussions are what make sex wonderful. You have more control of the situation.”
In late 2014, Todd Sanders, now 26, was called to meet with a dean because two S.O.P.P. violations had been filed against him. “I had gotten very active in my romantic life when I was at Antioch,” said Mx. Sanders, who is gender-fluid and uses they/them/their pronouns. “I was having difficulty managing being polyamorous. Alcohol became a factor.”
In the real world, we’d think of Todd as a slutty drunk. More:
The dean read a list of complaints, Mx. Sanders said. Some of them came as a surprise, but not all. Mx. Sanders said they and the dean decided they should leave school.
Look, New York Times, I know you’re woke, but you are doing real violence to the English language by going along with these crackpots and their personal pronoun meltdown. I had to re-read that paragraph to figure out who “they” was.
One more bit. The comedy writes itself:
Andy Janecko, 19 and a second-year student, wants to create another policy. “I’m really wanting to write a separate policy, that brings consciousness about consent a little bit further,” said Mx. Janecko, who uses they/them/their pronouns. ”We’re missing this whole component of consent in general, teaching people not to touch people at all if you don’t have their verbal consent,” they said, suggesting that it could be called the Nonconsensual Contact Prevention Policy.
One reason for the policy, they said, is to protect against people casually touching people who don’t like to be touched or who have disabilities that make unexpected touch painful or unsettling.
“I’m also looking for it to help people get justice or get acknowledgments at least for microaggression,” said Mx. Janecko, currently on co-op in San Francisco, working at a mime theater. They hope to get to work on this next evolution when they return to campus this spring.
Working. At. A. San Francisco. Mime. Theater. And thinking about further ways to be offended.
It costs about $50,000 per year to attend Antioch College, by the way.
UPDATE.2: A reader comments:
The article reads almost as a satire but unfortunately the people creating the frameworks for such kinds of new regulations are completely serious and are growing in political and cultural power. Also, these ideas are very much in the same lane as pro-abortion logic (my body, my choice) and the logic that the biological connection between parents and their children should have no legal or moral weight (eg removing kids from their parents if the parents raise their underage kids according to a conservative sexual ethic that, for example, does not approve of trans-affirming surgery/hormones). That is, the farther in the future you look, and the more power these people have, the less accepted will Catholic/Orthodox sexual ethics be in our legal environment.
One way to look at this is as a massive evangelization opportunity for those who look at this stuff and think, “Crazytown!” and who are therefore looking for a saner way. Unfortunately, the unstoppable train is moving so slowly that this crazy ideology is invisible to most people, who mostly just see the most obvious and appealing fruits, such as their gay-married relatives who are now happier. By the time most people realise this is upon them, they’ll have already been indoctrinated from a young age into its underlying logic. So, I don’t think they’ll mind. Or at least, not much.
What is interesting to me is how consistent is the internal logic of their revolution. Instead of people being in communion with one another, with all the risks and benefits that entails, everyone is an island, legally, morally, physically. A woman can abort (or not) her fetus, because the fetus has no claim on her. She can marry the father, or not, because the father has no claim on her, nor does the fetus have a claim on the father. If she marries the father and gives up her job to care for the fetus (child), and then the father decides to divorce her and find someone younger and prettier, he can do so, because she has no claim on him. Once the fetus is born and becomes a child, it can change sex at will, because the parents have no authority over it. And so on.
The end result of all of this atomisation is that there will be no human interaction, no matter how small, that is not subject to external codification, regulation, and punishment. The existence of the word “microaggressions” is a form of this. The very fact that anyone who is not in a mental hospital is talking about hugs from their mother being a violation of consent, tell us that this time has already arrived.
If you can handle coarse material, you should read Michel Houellebecq’s best novel, The Elementary Particles. It’s about this. In real life, young Michel was abandoned by his hippie parents. The contempt he has for the Me Generation is boundless.