When rape prevention activists urge parents to teach their sons about sex and consent, they probably don’t have Roxanne Jones’s version of “the talk” in mind. In fact, they might recommend its exact opposite. The founding editor of ESPN: The Magazine warned her son to “watch out for the stupid girls,” according to a recent CNN op-ed. “You know the type — the party girls, the girls who thrive on attention … the girls who will do anything to get a guy to notice them.” According to Jones, these women are more likely to drunkenly “misconstrue the meaning of consent,” putting her son, other young men, and many professional athletes she’s covered at risk of a false rape accusations. That’s why she recommends turning consent into a text message rape liability waiver.
Jones knows consent is a hot topic: “It seems nearly every week, we hear news stories about sexual encounters at parties where everyone is drinking — and a young woman says she was raped, and a young man insists the encounter was consensual,” she writes. Although the most common version of that story is the rape is real and the rapist goes free, Jones believes men need further protection, which is why she prescribes sexting. “Never have sex with a girl unless she’s sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand,” she writes. For good measure, follow up the encounter with a “tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another — even if you never plan on hooking up again.” Forward to your lawyer in case of an emergency.
Texting before and after may be good hookup etiquette, but it’s not the same thing as consent. You can still rape someone after she’s expressed interest in sleeping with you (even after she’s committed to sleeping with you for the rest of her life!), and especially if she’s since drunk herself to the mental status of toddler, making her legally incapable of giving consent. Sorry, son, there’s no cheat code for not being a rapist.