Meanwhile the law in North Carolina…
A case of alleged sexual assault in North Carolina has brought to light an antiquated law stipulating that a person cannot be charged with rape if consent was given at the beginning of the sexual encounter.
As The Fayetteville Observer reports, 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer says she was at a party when a man pulled her into the bathroom. She consented to have sex with him, but asked him to stop when he became violent. He did not listen.
Compounding Palmer’s trauma is the fact that four soldiers who were at the party — one of whom is a captain — have been accused of making or possessing a video of the encounter. But despite video evidence documenting the incident, Palmer discovered that the alleged offender cannot be charged with rape. Under North Carolina law, women are not able withdraw consent once they agree to have sex.
Can I hear your opinion before I say something that gets me bashed on?
If someone offers me a drink, and I accept the drink, I’m still allowed to change my mind before they go to order it, or after they bring it to me, or after I take a sip and decide it isn’t that good or it tastes different than I expected. I’m allowed to drink everything but the backwash and leave it there, rather than finishing the whole thing. None of that is hypocritical or confusing.
People have a right to change their minds because our past and present selves are dealing with different circumstances.
You might have taken someone home with promise of screwing them all up, down, and sidewise about your house but realize once you get home that those last two shots didn’t settle right and now you’re too busy with the spins to be aroused about anything.
You can get someone completely naked and see tattoos of the names of their most recent exes featured prominently on their chest, which encourages you to invent an excuse to have them sleep on the couch, or for you to go sleep on the couch.
You can be having an amazing LSD experience, having some of the most fantastic, transcendent coital-spiritual connection possible in this or any other universe then all of a sudden notice a spider in the ceiling corner devouring a fly and realize the spider is your life and the fly is all of your hopes, and now your trip is going bad so you need to go to another room and be alone a little bit and maybe eat some ice cream.
All of that is fine because consent is continuous and especially in a new relationship, ought to be expressly enthusiastic because it takes time and trust to build accurate assumptions. It can be frustrating if someone gives you mixed signals, but mixed signals tend to be pretty clear signals that someone isn’t having a proper good time. If it’s more than a sloppy one-night stand or actively bad situation, there should be a better opportunity sometime later.
Moreover, if someone is being too frustrating to put up with, changing their minds all the time, you also have the right to withdraw your consent, too, and not have sex or get your rocks off some other way so you can settle down.