« OK, I'm dead tired | Main | First Exam Passed, It Seems »

OK, This Will Never Happen At Columbia Law School

When three of my favorite authors have 'gotten their knickers in an unnecessary twist,' I'm interested. When they come out on different sides of the debate, I'm intrigued. And when they manage to get sex, law, and economics into the conversation, I feel compelled to give them a link.

The short version: at Oberlin College, apparently they have a 'Safer Sex Night' which turns somewhat bacchanalian. [1] There is even a 'Tent of Consent' where people... well, consent. From this basic fact the discussion has led:

  • To a Frontpage.com article about Oberlin's 'activist' stance and how horrible it is. It's written from the right: be prepared for breathless details of sexual activity coupled with condemnation of everything from the outrageous to the perfectly sane. Best quote: "The rest of her presentation was too obscene to recount." (Nothing is as titillating as false prudishness wrapped in neo-Victorianism.)

  • To a post by Steve at Begging to Differ, a rather wry commentary on the entire affair. Best quote: "While the Tent Of Consent appears to have attained institutional status at Oberlin, it was banned at Penn State. 'Instead, [students] were encouraged to write on a poster the best places on campus to participate in consensual activity.'" (I'm guessing 'In my bedroom with the door closed,' wasn't listed very often.) To Steve goes the award for starting the whole ball of wax going, by questioning, "Is this legal?"

  • And from this to the promiscuous (at least in terms of sheer numbers of blog posts) Will Baude of Crescat Sententia, who puts the 'libertine' into 'libertarian.' [2] He gives his best shot at answering, managing to work in the Ohio Criminal Code, Barnes v. Glen Theater, and the ever-present Lawrence v. Texas. Best quote: "But this kind of stuff happens at the University of Chicago as well." Who knew?

  • And from here we get to the economics argument, from long-time member of my blogroll, The Curmudgeonly Clerk. The clerk manages to bring things full-circle, from the faux-Victoriana of the original piece to an almost Chestertonian dismissal: "I doubt very much that anyone requires institutional assistance with his or her sex life...College students will, no doubt, find their way sexually even if they cannot explore fetishes in the chaplain's office." The main thrust of his argument seems to be that the money for the Safer Sex Night might better be spent funding a chair in human physiology.
  • Normally, I find myself agreeing with the Clerk, but here I think he's being uncharitable. Perhaps people at the University of Chicago, or Columbia Law School, or federal law clerks in Texas don't need 'institutional assistance with their sex lives.' But my friends, isn't it nice to know that for those who do, Oberlin College is there? [3]

    [1] Keen readers of the articles involved will note that the event is not at all bacchanalian, as any even honoring Bacchus pretty much has to have wine. Oberlin, deciding that wine gets in the way of consent, if not intercourse, recently banned alcohol at the event. I played around with other words, like satyrian, then figured that was sexist but satyrfaunian was too long, and then decided Oberlin probably didn't deserve me making up a term out of whole cloth. The classicists among my readership may be amused, offended, or both.
    [2] Yes, you can't really get 'libertine' into 'libertarian.' Work with me here.
    [3] Best quote from the linked article? It has to be "'I view Safer Sex Night as the penultimate expression of Oberlin's suppressed sexuality and frustrated libido,' added sophomore counselor Chad Stratton, offering a more blunt assessment of the evening." Someone tell me this is an undergraduate mistaking the meaning of the word 'penultimate,' because otherwise I shudder to think of the ultimate expression of Oberlin's frustrated libido. Would it be like a scene from Akira?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference OK, This Will Never Happen At Columbia Law School:

» Consent (Discon)Tent from The Curmudgeonly Clerk
Over at Begging to Differ, Steve opines on the Oberlin college experience. What caught Steve's attention was the "Tent of... [Read More]

» Law School Buzz from De Novo
Some Columbia Law School organizations may hold an event at which sex toys will be sold, with the idea being to promote sexual choice and safety and further discussion about legislation and recent court decisions regarding obscene devices. It sounds... [Read More]

Post a comment

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students

De Novo
Theory and Practice
Liberal Federalism?
Good News, No Foolin'

Nancy Pelosi covers her head and visits the head of John the Baptist.
Vlogging in from Austin.
Omikase/"American Idol"

Jeremy Blachman's Weblog: 2007
Happy Passover
Looking for Advice re: LA
Google Books

Stay of Execution
What I've Learned From This Blog, or My Yellow Underpants
The End
Mid Thirties

Legal Theory Blog
Program Announcement: Summer Programs on the Constitution at George Washington
Book Announement: Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy by Whittington
Entry Level Hiring Report

The Volokh Conspiracy
Making the Daily Show:
Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
Profile of Yale Law Dean Harold Koh:

Crescat Sententia
Hillary II
Politics and Principal/Agents

Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'

Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise

Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...

For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?

The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?

Letters of Marque
And there we are

Signing Off

Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....

Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys

Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?

Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay

the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year

The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

Syndicate This Site



Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot