I’ve talked before about the fact that our culture has moved away from personal responsibility and towards legalism. Interestingly, I find the people who are likely to cry that we can’t legislate morality are among the first to try. As evidence, I offer the sexual culture on college campuses. Or more to the point, I offer William McGurn’s comments on same from the WSJ:
On the one hand, we have more Take Back the Nights, more sensitivity courses, and more performances of the Vagina Monologues than we’ve ever had. On the other hand, the same people who give us these things keep telling us the problem they are designed to fix is getting worse. Earlier this month at the University of New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden announced that this administration’s answer will be more Title IX “guidelines.”
Some say we’re in this mess because of the collapse of traditional sexual morality. Manifestly, when society’s most educated members take the view that the only issue in what they see as a purely mechanical act is whether the involved were consenting, you’re in for trouble. Nevertheless, the real threat to civility and common decency is this: the substitution of codes and committees for responsible adults exercising humanity and judgment.
For example: How much formal ethics training do you need to know that you don’t secretly film someone in a private moment? Do you need a new committee to determine if women are being denied equal education at a school that has a female-majority student body? Instead of taking direction from lawyers, shouldn’t our college authorities decide the right thing to do—and then instruct the lawyers to make that work?
The whole thing’s worth a read. So do that.