When it comes to sex, "affirmative consent" is the standard taught on college campuses and in countless articles written for both the classroom and public consumption. But critics have recently intensified their claims that it's not working. The Washington Post's Megan McArdle writes that affirmative consent ignores human beings' basic ability to read cues from a sexual partner, and it creates an impossible standard to meet, particularly for someone who might be accused of crossing legal lines.

Our guests discuss our expectations for sex, safety, and affirmative consent. In studio:

  • Allison O'Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Lauren Berger, education and outreach specialist at RESTORE

What is the definition of rape? The question after a handful of cases where judges showed bias toward young, privileged men accused of raping young women. In one case, the judge decided that a 16-year-old boy accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party would not be tried as an adult because he came from a good family; the judge said that traditional rape is defined, in part, as two or more males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, manhandling a person into a secluded area. The ruling caused backlash and the eventual resignation of the judge.

What are the dangers of powerful people in the criminal justice system misunderstanding rape and sexual assault, and victims' trauma? Our guests discuss that question, and we hear the story of a local woman who has been personally affected by that concern. In studio:

We discuss the documentary, “Roll Red Roll.” The film explores rape culture, toxic masculinity, and online bullying following the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio in 2012. Two star members of the local high school football team were found guilty of the crime. Their convictions came after many critics blamed their school for trying to protect the popular team and its members.

This hour, we discuss the forces that lead to teenage sexual assault, victim blaming, and how to help survivors. We also talk about if and how the Steubenville case would have been handled differently in the era of #MeToo. This conversation is a preview of an upcoming screening of the film and a panel discussion at MCC. In studio:

  • Allison O’Malley, CEO of RESOLVE
  • Christine Plumeri, professor of sociology at MCC, and program coordinator for MCC’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program
  • Lauren Berger, training coordinator at RESTORE
  • Jack Brennick, co-founder of RESOLVE’s Stand Up Guys program

This hour we are reflecting on rape: the reporting, the victims, the accusers, and the impact of the UVA story reported by Rolling Stone. We're joined by Susan Brison, chair of the philosophy department at Dartmouth College. Tuesday night, Brison will be the featured speaker at Hobart and William Smith Colleges' ongoing dialog aimed at enhancing a culture of respect.