So I began reading a book, that took me a couple years to start called “Yes means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape.”
I like this book because it is one where I can jump chapters. So I focused on Consent mainly because I am starting a local campaign to promote education around consent.
So Yes means yes. Just because you say yes to one thing, does not mean yes to all……but this goes much deeper than I even realized. Yes, “Consent is sexy,” but this is about gender equality. it is about empowering women’s sexuality where yes and no are equally valid and moral decisions. In history, women are/were told to be submissive. That basically women were used for the pleasure of men, to keep house, and raise children. No wonder when a girl grows up it is hard for her to be commanding in a sexual situation because if she did, she might come off as slut, or “too experienced.” And if your a woman that has been sharing what you want sexual and aren’t being listened to, it’s a problem. And I am not saying that this is only women, I am sure there are men out there that go through this as well. But it goes back to gender relations…..as I said women are raised to be submissive, that their prince will come and carry them off into the sunset to their castle, to clean house and raise children. Fast forward to 2016, women are now breaking barriers and soaring through glass ceilings. So consent comes up. Being a powerful female an dictating what you want can still be difficult.
I’m not saying that before you go on that hook up, you need to sign a release waiver to consent to sexual activity, but know what is considered consent and what isn’t. Some ways that are suggested to women to not get into situations is to protect themselves. Don’t go to parties alone, don’t put yourselves in a dangerous situation…..I know it, I say some of these things in my presentation because I should have not left alone with someone I barely knew. But this sends a false message that you can prevent rape. Certainly on an individual basis, self-defense and other forms of protection help women protect themselves. While helping these women protect themselves are invaluable for the women they assist, they place responsibility on the individual, on the women who use them. In other words, they are not the answer to dismantling rape. (Yes mean yes, pg 23)
Consent goes even deeper than sexual violence(even though that’s my focus.) Consent is about respect for people. It’s about equality and just being nice to each other.
So my project. The “Consent Coaster Campaign” is to spread awareness on consent. Although very briefly, I hope it sparks a conversation around consent and sexual violence. Because by having more conversation we can empower each other and change a culture.