When you hear someone describing exploitation in terms of “power imbalances”, you have probably encountered someone whose view of the world is profoundly conditioned by Marxism.
But even if that weren’t the case, the commentators’ response would be misguided. The law didn’t come out of nowhere. It emerged as a response to a status quo that has proved to be an all-too-powerful tool for sexual predators, because it enables them to claim to see consent in everything except continuous, unequivocal rejection. That status quo puts women in the position of having to constantly police their own behavior to make sure that they are not giving the appearance of passive consent. That’s not only exhausting; it’s limiting. It reinforces power imbalances that keep women out of positions of success and authority.
Amanda Taub, “‘Yes means yes’ is about much more than rape”, 13 Oct. 2014, Vox, 13 Aug. 2015 < http://www.vox.com/2014/10/10/6952227/rape-culture-is-a-tax-on-women-CA-yes-means-yes-dierks-katz >
Note the reference to “power imbalances”. Of course, if you are convinced that “power imbalances” are the cause of oppression and exploitation, then no amount of reasoning is going to convince you otherwise. It’s a belief about the way the world works. Beliefs are primarily changed by changing the belief-holder’s association. That is why proper Vaishnava communities — temple ashramas, grihastha ashramas, and so forth, are necessary for our own protection and for the upliftment of others. Otherwise, it is very difficult to save ourselves and save others. They are supposed to be safe-spaces to help us spiritually heal others and ourselves.