Several readers have argued that the Stanford student who wrote the op-ed about being sexually assaulted is a SJW true believer who is sincerely crusading to have Yes Means Yes applied equally to women as it is to men. I find this highly doubtful because of the way the piece is crafted.
The first tell is the nature of the assault itself. He starts with a bit of misdirection; he was surprised when she put her hands down his pants without asking for consent. But this isn’t the alleged assault, because he immediately follows this by stating that he was ok with it. The assault he is alleging is her continuing to kiss and grope him as he walked her home. He tells us that he was into the kissing and groping at first, and that throughout the process he was “horny”. He also makes it clear that he deliberately decided to allow her to continue this because he decided it would further his aim of getting her home safely. He said no, after he meant yes, while he was clearly aroused, and while he deliberately allowed her to continue.
He tells us this didn’t traumatize him, and that he didn’t think about this for months. Then he realized that what happened sounds an awful lot like sexual assault as defined by the university. But even after reading the university definition, he tells us, he wasn’t convinced that this was actually assault. So he set out on a quest to answer this question; was he assaulted?
He shops this question around to the various organizations supporting “Yes means Yes”, and details the hypocrisy he finds. After he busts the rape counselor for blaming the victim, he keeps asking until a representative of the university finally confirmed that yes, this (ridiculous scenario) was assault.
Once he gets the answer he was looking for, he takes a clear shot at the absurdity of the campus policy (emphasis mine):
What she does not deserve is expulsion. We need to understand that we can’t solve these grey issues with black and white statements and punishments.
By demanding a “strong presumption in favor of expulsion” through last quarter’s ASSU Task Force Proposal, we begin to force the hand of the administration in cases where they should instead be using a discerning eye. Under the proposal, the only mitigating factor that can be brought forth to fight expulsion is the presence of a “pertinent, acute mental illness.” Mistaken consent, cooperation with the judicial review process and evidence of a lack of malicious intent are all outlined as factors that are inadequate to bring forth an argument against expulsion. It is completely understandable why the ASSU would deem these as inappropriate, but in practice this results in harsh punishments that fail to account for the differing degrees of sexual misconduct and rape.
Keep in mind that the scenario is a perfectly defined case of mistaken consent. If you play the story from her shoes, the man is excited and initially clearly into her. Then he starts saying no but continues to kiss her and deliberately allows her to grope him. This is the “assault”.
It has been argued that this is not an example of black knighting because the author isn’t out to have anyone expelled. I don’t know if that is truly a requirement for the term, but perhaps a better description of the article is a form of satire. This is a policy which can only be discussed by those claiming victim status. Other perspectives are not allowed. The only way to ridicule the policy is to pose as a ridiculous victim.
This leaves the question of whether the events described actually occurred at all. Unlike the Rolling Stone UVA story, this one seems at least plausible. The author may well have thought about how the absurd campus rules would look if applied to a real incident he experienced and decided to go from there. However, feminists have already set the rules here. It isn’t permitted to question the story of someone who claims they were assaulted. Either way, there is nothing solid which could be disproved about this story, just like so many of the stories used to create the policy in the first place. And if the author recants the entire story tomorrow, he could continue to drive his (satirical) point home by pointing out that fact checking shouldn’t define the narrative, and that the important thing is that men are victims of sexual assault.