Consent Is Gone

Consent is one of the terms that have been ditched by the Left almost overnight and have been picked up by the Right.

First, it happened with “freedom of speech.” Then with “working classes.” The abandonment by the Left of consent as an important concept is very recent and quite sudden. Only a few years ago, the Left was consumed by its passion for such extremes as “affirmative consent” for any type of sexual interaction. Today, though, people on the Left are taking to the streets violently to impose men’s right to expose their genitals to women against the women’s expressly stated wishes. They are harassing gay people for merely expressing a sexual preference for their own sex. They side squarely with Big Pharma (formerly the second biggest bugaboo) and the state security apparatus / military (formerly the biggest bugaboo to the Left) against unconsenting citizens who don’t want their bodies and privacy invaded by these entities.

At this point, one has to ask, what are the organizing principles for the Left? I’m talking about the kind of principles one doesn’t ditch no matter how situationally expedient it might be. In spite of my perennial readiness to change my mind, my principles haven’t changed in pretty much forever. I’ve always been for privacy, consent, freedom of expression, and leaving gay people in peace to love whomever they want. I’ve always been deeply suspicious of Big Pharma and the state security / military apparatus. I’m always against censorship and especially against coerced speech. I’ve always been for “not the color of your skin but the content of your character.” I’ve always thought that treating people differently because of their race or ethnicity makes you a monumental dick, no matter how good you think your intentions are. I’ve always been for “my body, my choice” (and in the case of abortion for “safe, legal, and extremely rare.”) I’ve always been against exploitation of workers, irrespective of whether they were born in Ukraine, Nebraska, or San Pedro Sula. I was always against the sexualization of children and against any but the very medically necessary medicalization of children.

If the Left has now ditched even consent and bodily integrity, what’s left? It’s a serious question. What are you for that you were for 20 years ago?