Provides an excuse for rapists
I am extremely disappointed in your decision to publish the column "Can boys still be boys when yes means yes?"
First, it includes a joke making light of the trauma suffered by those reporting assaults by comedian Bill Cosby, as well as all survivors who relate to those experiences.
Minimizing survivors' trauma makes it less likely for them to seek help and disclose. Secondly, while fraternity houses breed a culture that makes rape more prevalent, the "Yes means Yes" campaign helps all. Rape can happen anywhere.
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The column also makes a mockery of affirmative consent, saying it would need to be "announced in front of a notary." Sex requires consent that is clear. Sex without consent is rape. There are multiple reasons why when people don't say no, it is still rape. You cannot say no if you are drugged, if you are unconscious. You cannot say no if you are too afraid that your life is at jeopardy if you resist. You cannot say no when facing a person of power with your whole future on the line. It is situations like these where the original "No means No" does not work.
This column provides an excuse for rapists.
Failed satire, poorly written
Larry Webster's attempt to poke fun at the cultural cachet of the discussion of sexual abuse, domestic violence, affirmative consent and rape culture was failed satire. Shame on the Herald-Leader for publishing it.
Webster's satire failed because he parroted actual anti-affirmative consent arguments, sandwiched with chauvinistic snark, in such a way as to legitimize these arguments. That it was so poorly written robbed it of its potential.
It's dangerous to suggest that men cannot control their sexual urges, that women shouldn't be afforded the right to say "yes," or "no," and that the burden of a denied sexual conquest is more troublesome than a culture that celebrates rape.
Webster is stuck in the Dark Ages
The Dec. 7 Larry Webster column was not only some of the worst published writing I have ever seen, but it was incredibly offensive. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 percent of American women in college will be raped. We do need to put restrictions on the actions of young men.
To answer the headline, "Can boys be boys when yes means yes?" No. In the traditional meaning of the phrase, boys can not be boys anymore because we will not let them.
Discussions on what consent means are happening on college campuses across the nation, laws are being passed on state and national levels to create new definitions of consent, and recent news headlines were filled with the issue of colleges handling rape accusations internally.
Webster is stuck in the Dark Ages. We do not talk about rape, sexual assault and gender like this anymore, this newspaper does not need to supply him with a platform.
I am stunned that the Herald-Leader would print such garbage as, "Can boys still be boys when yes mean yes?" Not only was the writing absolutely pathetic, but the misogynist drivel disguised as satire was utterly offensive.
Larry Webster has branded himself as a rapist sympathizer with quips like, "It is all our duty to promote the positive evolution of humans. If we are going to remain atop the food chain and keep on claiming our superiority as a species, we must be very careful about putting restrictions on the sexual impulses of young males, and even young females."
Seriously? So sad for Webster that young men can't have sex whenever they feel the urge. I think Kentucky has many more insightful, thoughtful writers than this man. You should try to find them.
Freedom of speech good but not this
Recent statistics show that one out of five women and one out of 71 men report being raped in their lifetimes (that doesn't begin to cover the number who did not report it).
Many of these rapes occur while these individuals are in college. Lexington has three college campuses. Please think of these students, and your sons and daughters, before posting such columns.
I am aware that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, however, considering the amount of sexual violence committed every year I would assumed educated people would consider these facts before publishing statements such as, "If we are going to remain atop the food chain and keep on claiming our superiority as a species, we must be very careful about putting restrictions on the sexual impulses of young males, and even young females."
Sexual freedom is a wonderful thing, however that does not protect people from physically imposing themselves on other people without their consent. That is 100 percent illegal and has created massive amounts of trauma both within our nation's borders as well as throughout the world.