Furthermore, with all the allegations of sexual misconduct recently circulating politics and pop-culture, we should seriously consider how we view consent of the individual as a culture before disregarding its value in other areas for the “greater good” of society. Simply put, because civil society ought to be in the business of upholding the importance of consent, protecting the right to self-ownership and defending the minority from exploitation, which are all principles we should be able get on board with.
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However, given that the state is itself an entity that operates outside the confines of civilized consent and relies on violent coercion to gain "consent," we should not be surprised.
After all, states have never been friends of consensual activities, including state support for slavery, military conscription, and taxation.
By a business spitefully discriminating against potential customers, they hurt their own chances of remaining in the market due to consumers having the ability to discriminate as well by simply shopping elsewhere.
Combining that realization with the motive to avoid social ostracism by the community, and we see both buyers and sellers have an active incentive not to discriminate with malicious intent.
When consent is not present, what we’re talking about is quite literally forced labor, or worse.
Which leads me to point out just how baffling it is to see that people aren’t immediately appalled by the idea of a government stepping in to overrule a person's consent.
The most obvious example is in the selection of a sex partner, romantic partner, or marriage partner.
In the case of women especially, we emphasize — rightly — that consent is critical in these matters if we are to respect a person's ownership of her own body. This distinction is highlighted in cases involving alcohol, where we often point to the fact that the woman “couldn’t consent.” Which most people wrongfully conclude to only mean she couldn’t say yes, instead of also realizing the importance her inability to say no plays as well. Asking someone to help you in the form of giving you their labor and the products thereof requires consent, which means the ability to say no.
This doesn’t always mean we have to agree with someone, but we should always value their consent, and not violate their choices just because we disapprove, whether through government edict or not.