University Policy: ‘Slight’ Neck-Touching Can Be ‘Sexual Battery’


East Carolina University’s new sexual harassment policy declares that even “slight” neck-touching can be considered a form of “sexual battery” and deserving of punishment.

According to the school’s new “Regulation on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence” rules, which went into effect on Jan. 1, “sexual battery includes the intentional or attempted sexual touching of another person’s clothed or unclothed body, including but not limited to the mouth, neck, buttocks, anus, genitalia, or breast, by another with any part of the body or any object in a sexual manner without their consent,” “however slight” that touching may be.

Of course, no one wants to deal with some creep coming up to her and rubbing on her neck and making grunting sounds and smacking his lips or something. But where is the line drawn? What if someone picks a piece of fuzz off of my turtleneck and I decide that they seemed sexually aroused by it? Does how I say I felt about it determine whether or not it was sexual battery?  

Or is it about whether or not the person with the neck looked uncomfortable with it being touched? If so, would what Joe Biden did to Ash Carter’s wife be considered sexual battery? What about when George W. Bush touched Angela Merkel at that G8 summit? Was that really just a funny little awkward moment, or was it in fact a violent, disturbing incident of battery that was caught on tape and should have led to him being punished if not impeached?

#share#It seems to me like it would be kind of hard to tell — and like even some of the more annoying examples, might not be quite so grave as to warrant being called “battery.”

FYI: The school’s previous version of the guidelines did not specifically mention the “neck” at all — it said “non-consensual sexual contact . . . includes, but is not limited to, kissing, touching of the genitalia, anus, buttocks, or breast of a person.”

#related#As the College Fix notes, it isn’t clear exactly what prompted the school to change its policy. Was there a sudden, vicious outbreak of unbridled neck-molesting? Perhaps one being committed by people with prosthetic hooks, kind of like when Buster Bluth tried to massage Uncle Oscar in Arrested Development, except it was being done in a sexual way and the bodily injuries were being inflicted on purpose?

Who knows? In any case, it’s probably best for Biden and Bush to steer clear of the campus. Oh, and the administrators should probably ban students from watching any and all episodes of Arrested Development so they don’t get any crazy ideas. After all — safety first!

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review

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