I'm not sure how this law is going to put a stop to offensive frat boy humor, or even start the process of doing so. To do so would require one of two things, the first being impossible and the second being objectionable.
No amount of school mandated sensitivity training or gender studies courses is going to counteract behavior that is a) fairly common to drunk and horny men and b) glorified and reinforced by the culture. By behavior I mean embracing offensive, crude sexual humor. It's a behavior that has been practiced for many centuries, although rarely as publicly and so often in "mixed company" as it is today. It is also behavior that can be seen on the internet, radio and TV, and in the movies, theater and the print media.
I don't mean to single out Bill Maher, but his show is a good example of how coarse, and even misogynist humor has not only become accepted, but applauded.
Not that long ago I saw a clip from one of his shows wherein he made a crack about some group (probably creationists or the Tea Party) and called them "dumb motherfuckers." Sitting at the dias, his guests all laughed heartily, including the former Speaker of The House
, Nancy Pelosi. I don't recall who the other guests were specifically, but typically they are mainstream journalists, politicians, academicians and the like, not a band of edgy comics who irreverently crack wise and blue about every topic under the sun. They all thought it was hilarious, and not a one seemed to be offended or displeased in the least.
My point is not that Maher is a foul mouthed lout and his panel of guests all hypocrites, but that language that not that long ago would have had these people, if not vacating the stage then at least uncomfortable, is now totally acceptable, and by prominent mainstream people.
My point has nothing to do with whether or not our culture has been harmed by this, but that it's not possible to accept coarse language and crude sexual humor from people we think are cool and then expect frat boys to show restraint. I guarantee you that a whole lot of people, especially young ones, think that the sign of which you complain is not only funny, it's clever.
Since the sort of humor represented by that sign is prevalent not only on campuses but in general society, the only way to put a stop to it is censorship. School authorities declaring that such humor when directed at disfavored groups is funny, but when seen as offensive by favored groups, must stop.
Yes calling a certain group "dumb motherfuckers" is not identical to making a joke out of rape, but one can't be harmless and the other a travesty.
As for the rule itself, as others have suggested, it seems an impotent waste of time. Anyone who is prepared to rape a woman in a brutal forceful manner, isn't going to care whether she says "Yes," "No," or "Maybe." And if there were problems with men taking advantage of a woman who didn't clearly and forcefully say "Np," those problems will continue if the woman displays any ambiguity in terms of saying "Yes."
Max is right, this rule isn't going to transform sexual affairs between students into a Monty Python skit where the man declares "I hereby announce my clear and unequivocal desire to have sexual relations which you, which is to say inserting my penis in your vagina. What say you?"
and the woman replies "I fully understand that you are proposing to repeatedly thrust your penis into my vagina, and I hereby declare that I am responding Yes, please do insert your penis into my vagina!"
Are men going to carry sex contracts around with him and require a signature? Or are they going to carry tape recorders so they can record the affirmative response for their future defense?
And it will do nothing about false accusations born of regret upon waking the next day or simple malice. If will do nothing to clear up the role alcohol plays in these incidents either, as an argument can as easily be made that the affirmative consent, no matter how convincing at the time, was given under the influence of alcohol, as one that alcohol prevented the woman from clearly asserting "No."
It's just a political response to the impossible demand that a largely manufactured "epidemic" be dealt with, some way; any way, without any consideration for the actual dynamics at work.