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Building a Consent Culture
Transcript of Building a Consent Culture
Keeping ourselves and our campus accountable
A Working Definition:
is: communicating an enthusiastic yes on your own terms, space to change your mind or say no at any point; participating fully in an ongoing exchange of shared desires and constant check-ins.
is: a culture in which mandatory consent is normalized. It is respecting the person's response even if it isn't what you had hoped for.
The most well known consent slogans are simple and catchy such as "Consent is Sexy".
These campaigns are important because they attempt to make the concept of consent more accessible to everybody and start a conversation. Although this is valuable, it is important to take the conversation further and talk about complex consent, addictions and consent, and mental health challenges and consent to name a few.
Consent= always checking in
The consent narrative we often see is that you have to say no for something to be non consensual and that consensual decisions are static. In reality, our feelings of comfort and safety change. These potential changes are why constant check ins are vital in practicing non oppressive consent.
Examples of this can look like: asking if the touch still feels good, revisiting set boundaries whenever needed, setting safe words, negotiating substance use with folks who live with addictions, asking what people like their body parts called, utilizing dirty talk to ask for consent, etc.
Consent is Sexy?
Thinking about consent only through the lens of sex and intimacy erases a lot of peoples experiences and identities who don't have sex, and/or don't want to have sex, and/or do not like or want physical touch. Sex is not an equalizer that connects all peoples' diverse experiences.
Consent should also translate into the non-sexual spaces in our lives. Consent should be part of our daily conversations, our friendships, our professional relationships, and beyond!
Some examples of practicing everyday consent:
-Can I pet your dog?
-Are you done with that grilled cheese? Can I have a bite?
-I'm sorry you are having a rough day, do you want a hug?
-What are your pronouns?
-Is it OK if I have a beer in front of you?
-Do you have the capacity for this conversation?
“Consent culture is a culture in which people aren’t afraid to ask for what they need and people are OK if other people can’t show up when they want.” – Staceyann Chin, artist, author and activist
"Living in a consent culture means not feeling weird or embarrassed to ask someone if they want to move forward. It means not feeling bad if you aren’t interested anymore. Open dialogue and mutual respect for your partner(s) and yourself will create a safe space for the both (or all) of you."
"Consent culture is understanding that each person knows what is best for themselves. You have no right to use your power against them for their decision not to participate."