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In the Spotlight

‘Yes’ Is Better Than ‘No’


Michael Kimmel, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University and Director for the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, co-authored a New York Times opinion piece with writer and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem.

The piece, entitled ‘Yes’ Is Better Than ‘No,’ details why the recent passage of Senate Bill 967 in California will help to prevent sexual assault on college campuses by requiring affirmative consent to determine whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity.  Until Bill 967, consent was implied unless an explicit “no” was heard.  

While Antioch College was parodied for instituting a similar policy in the 1990s, those against Bill 967 seem to be students who fear that the policy will hinder their sexual advances.

Kimmel and Steinem remind readers that “yes is perhaps the most erotic word in the English language,” and that mutual declaration of desire is both sane and sexy.

Kimmel is considered a leading figure in the field of men’s studies. He has written many books on gender and masculinities, including Changing Men (1987), Men Confront Pornography (1990), Men’s Lives (2012, 9th edition), The Gendered Society (2011, 4th edition), Manhood: A Cultural History (2012, 3rd edition) and best-seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (2008). He has co-edited The Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities (2005) and Men and Masculinities: A Social, Cultural and Historical Encyclopedia (2004), which was named “Best in Reference 2004″ by the New York Public Library Association. Stony Brook University is also the home of the field’s most visible and prestigious scholarly journal, Men and Masculinities, for which Professor Kimmel is the founder and editor. 

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