A Victim of False Doctrine

Sometimes you start to write a post, and it doesn’t turn out the way you expected. The Telegraph is one of my sources for European news, and this story caught my eye: “Oxford student activist resigns after admitting to non-consensual sex.” As you may have heard, a bizarre new “consent” regime is sweeping across universities. This is an instance of that fad:

A prominent student activist at Oxford University has resigned from a number of societies after admitting she had non-consensual sex with someone.

Actual non-consensual sex is called rape, and until recently was a capital crime. These people are talking about something quite different.

Annie Teriba, a third-year student at Wadham college, said she failed to establish consent during sex with someone she met the NUS Black Students’ Conference.

This person’s gender is unspecified, but Ms. Teriba is a lesbian.

According to student newspapers Cherwell and The Oxford Student, Teriba wrote a statement on her Facebook profile which has since been deleted. It read: “At this year’s NUS Black Students’ Conference, I had sex with someone. The other party later informed me that the sex was not consensual.”

“Later”? Did she mention it at the time? Apparently not.


I failed to properly establish consent before every act.

Seriously? Before “every act”? Did she get it in writing?

I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions.

Today’s young are bringing back Maoist self-criticism. Not sure that’s a good thing.

In a separate incident, in my first year of university, I was alerted to my inappropriate behaviour whilst drunk in a club, where I had touched somebody in a sexual manner without their consent. Therefore this is not an isolated incident. I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions.

This was apparently two years ago.

“With these incidents I have rightly lost the trust of those who I organise with and fully intend to work to ensure that I both put my politics into practice in my personal relations and to prove to them that I am committed to transformation. As such, it would be wrong of me to accept platforms and access spaces until I have done so.”

She then said she would resign from the political positions she holds on National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts’ National Committee, the NUS Black Students’ Committee, as the People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer at Wadham student union and as editor of the No Heterox** zine.

That sounds like parody, but I assume these are real organizations.

Her statement was reposted and criticised by the Oxford University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign – an organisation she was involved with.

It was insufficiently self-abasing, apparently. There is much more at the link, including the full statement as posted by Ms. Teriba. It begins:

This statement explains why I will be stepping back from political campaigning from now. (I owe you a proper explanation, so will go into details here which you may find triggering.)

This is the first time I have seen that word used non-ironically. The statement concludes penitently:

In order to ensure the safety of others, I will be taking a number of steps:

i) I breached NUS’s safe spaces policy, so will not be attending future NUS events.

ii) I am resigning from all the political positions I hold – from NCAFC’s National Committee and from the NUS’s Black Students’ Committee, and as editor of the No Heterox** zine and as the People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer at Wadham SU, Oxford.

iii) I will be stepping back from prominent campaigning in other forums, including #RhodesMustFall and rs21.

iv) I commit to getting help with how I consume alcohol. It is clear that I lack self-awareness and become sexually entitled when I am drunk. This does not excuse my actions, I am wholly responsible for the damage that I have caused.

v) I commit to educating myself properly about consent by reading zines and other materials which have kindly been made available to me.

vi) I commit to seeking help from perpetrator organisations – for example, I have taken steps to establish contact with RESPECT and will be seeking out organisations who specifically deal with sexual violence.

I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused.

That was the statement that the Oxford University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign found insufficiently self-critical.

As you might expect, Teriba is an across-the-board leftist. In this video, filmed apparently at an Oxford debating club, she asserts the proposition that the United States is “institutionally racist.” (Why the United States? Maybe they debated the U.K., a topic much closer to home, on another occasion.) Teriba argues poorly, basically spouting the cliches of the day along with made-up facts. Her first claim is that there are more black men incarcerated in America today than there were male slaves in 1850, a false assertion that derives from Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, which Scott has pummeled mercilessly here and elsewhere.

So it’s a highly snarkable story. But when I googled Ms. Teriba’s name, I was stunned to find that in a matter of hours, the story has gone international. Newspapers from Tucson to Taipei, from Omaha to the Bahamas, from Nigeria to Lebanon, have joined in the ridicule. As have, of course, many conservative sites in the U.S. and elsewhere. Ms. Teriba seems to have deleted all of her social media accounts, and no doubt is reeling from the onslaught of publicity.

Annie Teriba is only 20 years old. She is a victim of false doctrine; it appears that pretty much everything she believes is wrong-headed. But when I was 20 I was a Commie. Happily, however, only my friends and relatives knew it. Most of us learn, mature, grow up. Likely Annie Teriba will too. I hope so and, in any event, while it is easy to say she is hoist by her own petard, the international ridicule to which she is being subjected (and in which, of course, I have participated) is disproportionate to the sins to which she has copiously confessed. So we wish her well. And, Annie, if you want to start learning about conservatism, drop us a line at [email protected]