Why are we waiting until college to learn about consent?

Annie E. Clark, one of the amazing women featured in our film and a co-founder of End Rape on Campus, argues in The Washington Post that education about consent should begin long before college orientation.

Here is an excerpt:

If you ask a college man if he would ever commit rape, he would probably answer “no.” He would most likely be correct, because even though most perpetrators are men, most men are not perpetrators. However, if you asked men whether they would have sex with someone who didn’t explicitly and verbally assent to sex, or someone who had been drinking or was otherwise incapacitated, their answer might change.

This isn’t the same thing as the “blurred line” myth, that consent is confusing or ambiguous. There is a clear line between sex and rape, but ignorance of that line is not an excuse to commit a crime. And that means we must teach our children better.

We need to educate young men long before they arrive on campus. We must stop the idea that just because she didn’t say “no” meant that her body was available. We must stop the idea that women are objects and are responsible for whatever violent behavior is acted upon them.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

New York and California have new laws on the books recognizing affirmative consent as the modern standard, and there’s a movement nationally to adopt similar “yes means yes” legislation.

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