Apparently, Rush Limbaugh finds Ohio State University’s new sexual consent policy, which requires a spoken “yes” before consenting partners engage in sexual acts, to be appalling. On his show Monday, Rush mocked the entire idea, saying caustically, “Seduction used to be an art. Now, of course, it’s ‘brutish’ and it’s ‘predatory.'”
Limbaugh then drew outrage by adding,
“How many guys, in your own experience, have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?”
There have been some critics of the new policy, particularly in regards top the definition of “consent,” but no one but Rush Limbaugh has gone so far as to say that “no means yes.”
In response to Limbaugh’s inflammatory “no means yes” remark, top Democrat and Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel called for Limbaugh’s removal from radio, stating, “There’s simply no excusing comments of this offensive nature, especially at a time where our country is having a long-overdue conversation about violence against women. Plain and simple — Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault and should be taken off the air immediately.”
This isn’t the first time that Limbaugh has been under fire for remarks viewed as anti-woman. In 2012, he referred to law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for advocating for the contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act. Limbaugh also said once that feminism was created to give ugly women a place in society and referred to single mothers as “semen receptacles.” Statements such as those have caused Limbaugh to become the subject of petitions and boycotts groups, urging advertisers to withdraw from his show and urging Clear Channel to drop Limbaugh.
In addition to requiring affirmation between consenting partners, Ohio State’s new policy also requires the university to review its handling of sexual harassment and violence reports, expand training for the campus community to help prevent further incidents, and take action to ensure that students and staff are aware of their rights under the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX. By doing this, Ohio State has been removed from a list of 79 colleges and universities that are under investigation for how sexual violence reports have been handled.
According to the Ohio State University website, consent is defined as “The act of knowingly, actively and voluntarily agreeing explicitly to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be freely given and can be withdrawn at any time.”
The website also states that the criteria listed below must be met, as well.
- Not coerced
- The absence of “no” does not mean “yes”
- It must be asked every step of the way
- It cannot be implied or assumed, even in the context of a relationship
In addition, there are certain circumstances where consent cannot be legally given, even if the person verbally consents. For example, an intoxicated person cannot give consent legally.
What do you think? Should Rush Limbaugh be taken off the air for his remarks?