A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just Ask!

Yes means yes and no means no. This is not only true when we’re talking about consent culture but true in every aspect of our lives. But what do we mean when we say consent culture? Consent culture is the basis of human interaction and is in no way limited to sexual activities. It comprises all interactions through communication. It is approval, it is permission, and it is agreement. Most importantly, there are absolutely no blurred lines when it comes to consent. Again, it is either a yes or a no.

Today, I will focus on what consent culture is in terms of sexual relationships. According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), someone in the US is assaulted every 2 minutes, 60% of sexual assaults are unreported and approximately 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Campaigns and education around consent culture helps to decrease these numbers.

Consent culture and activism surrounding the topic has become a popular topic of discussion particularly among college students.  Through education, activists hope to expand the conversation and understanding of what consent really means.

Currently, the Feminist Initiatives Task Force at Saint Catherine University is exploring options for what would be the first consent workshop on campus. They are looking into workshops held around the country to see what works best and how to best utilize these techniques to fit St. Kate’s audience. The Task Force is working to implement the workshop during first year orientation. During first year orientation universities tend to focus on their adopted values and practices as an institution. Incorporating consent culture workshops into the orientations will help new students understand the importance of consent and also prepare them to advocate for consent culture throughout their daily lives.

While we’ve been hearing more about Consent Culture these days, it is crucial to understand and encourage simply communicating that message to the student body year after year. Consent is sexy and is a topic that everyone should embrace! 

Simge Okut
MPIRG Communications Intern

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