After all, Ansari himself — an outspoken Hillary Clinton–supporting male feminist and certified “woke bae” — had already declared his pro-woman bona fides in a variety of ways, and yet such declarations of respect went out the window as soon as he and “Grace” (the woman who wrote anonymously about their bad date) had some wine and went back to his apartment. What matters is not the words but the behavior. Based on the number of ardently progressive men who have been unmasked as sexual predators in the past four months, why would we think that signing a “consent pledge” is any more likely to make men behave appropriately than campaigning for Hillary Clinton or publicly supporting the Women’s March?
There is a mechanism already in place for ensuring that sexual encounters are consensual: It’s called the law. Take liberties with another person without her consent, and you are liable to prosecution, conviction, and jail time. Rape and sexual assault are serious crimes. It’s nice that Ellsberg apparently has regrets about being a jerk, and that he has publicly sworn not to commit a sex crime, but he ought not to risk spraining his elbow patting himself on the back. Nor should anyone who signs his silly petition.