A seeming tension exists between millennial attitudes toward sex: There’s an irreverence toward casual sexual activity, yet the #MeToo movement has spotlighted a disconnect between expectations and reality of sexual encounters. But as CU Law Professor Aya Gruber sees it, the tension isn’t a result of a generation’s incoherence in its attitudes.
It “reflects contemporary feminists’ struggle to embrace sexual liberation, while simultaneously critiquing a schizophrenically regulated sexual terrain, where all the burdens seem to fall on women,” Gruber said during a lecture Wednesday evening. Her talk was part of the Colorado Law Talks series centered around the intersection of law and top-of-mind current issues, such as free speech, race relations and this time, shifting understandings of sexual consent.
Much of Gruber’s talk focused on the tangles created by affirmative consent, a legal approach to tackling sexual assault that, despite intentions, has assumptions built into it that might ultimately raise more questions than it resolves.