The Thinking About Consent Has Evolved Drastically. This Code May Turn the Clock Back.
A major effort to update the model criminal code on rape may actually undermine new understandings of consent advanced by the #MeToo movement.
Silence or a lack of resistance, as we have now learned, does not signal consent. Yet the proposed code — a blueprint for states in updating their own laws — suggests that a person’s inaction may in fact be interpreted by another as permission to engage in sex. This would turn back the clock on cultural and legal progress toward understanding consent as freely given agreement.
Originally published: May 16, 2022
Author: Michelle J. Anderson
Institution: Brooklyn College
Published by: The New York Times