Remember when liberals wanted government to stay out of peoples’ bedrooms?
Gone is the language of morals, tradition, and order—the state now intervenes in our sex lives bearing the mantles of safety, exploitation, and sex discrimination.
“We are living in a new sex bureaucracy,” warn Harvard Law School professors Jacob Gersen and Jeannie Suk in an upcoming paper for the California Law Review. Contra court decisions such as Lawrencev. Texas—which decriminalized sodomy in Georgia and affirmed a constitutional right to sexual privacy—”the space of sex” is still “thoroughly regulated” in America, they write. And “the bureaucracy dedicated to that regulation of sex is growing. It operates largely apart from criminal enforcement, but its actions are inseparable from criminal overtones and implications.”
Gersen and Suk’s paper, titled “Bureaucratic Sex Creep,” is mostly focused on federal overreach with regard to colleges and student sex lives, though they say this is only one realm of such regulatory creep. In great detail, the authors trace the roots of how the feds came to be in the business of encouraging “enthusiastic” sexual communication between teenagers and how everything from forcible rape to unwelcome comments between students became the prerogative of Washington paper-pushers and campus “Title IX coordinators.” This “bureaucratic turn” may be “counterproductive to the goal of actually addressing the harms of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment,” they warn, while also depriving due process to the accused and encouraging bizarre new sexual norms overall.
Bear with me here: one of the cultural left’s favorite artistic conceits is the story of “Lysistrata”, the greek legend involving the women freezing the menfolk out of sex until they ended all war. It’s one of those sanctimonious legends that feminists have held near and dear forever.
And like “class war” – their other big conceit – it turns out that there might be a grain of truth to it. The opposite of anything the left ever predicted, but a grain.
In the case of class warfare, they got it; it’s on the gun issue, and they were on the side of the patricians, and they lost (so far).
As far as Lysistrata goes? When college feminists take a breath from complaining about the nonexistent epidemic of sexual assault, they bemoan the growing disinterest of college-age men in relationships.
That’s right; the PC war on the male is being met…with Lysistrata in reverse!
And no – while upending a lefty conceit is singularly satisfying, in the long term it’s not a good thing. More on that tomorrow.