Theories on Party With Consent #2: Making the Message Fun and Repetitive

Every freshman at my college is obliged to go to five “wellness seminars” throughout the course of their first year. Many of these speakers address the issue of sexual assault, gender inequality, and male entitlement. This is a great initiative. However, through a skeptical lens, I must ask does this make a difference? How much can having a 30 or 40-something speaker talk to a bunch of 18 year-olds about sex for an hour on a Tuesday afternoon do? I’ve compared these seminars to going to the dentist. After I have a dentist appointment, I have my dental health at the forefront of my mind. I’ll brush, floss, rinse, two times a day, everyday for about a week. But then the next weekend will come, and maybe I’ll just brush one time before I go to bed, maybe I’ll just stop flossing, and this lazy trend typically continues until the next time I go to the dentist. I find wellness seminars to have the same effect. Communities pay a lot of money for experts to come check the sexual health climate of communities and remind us what we’re supposed to be doing (as a dentist does). And these messages resonate with us with a couple weeks afterwards, but slowly start to fade as we are not consistently reminded of the messages and the significance (similar with going to the dentist). Party With Consent gives up the educational lessons that a speaker touches on. Party With Consent does not directly address gender inequality. Party With Consent does not directly address male entitlement. Party With Consent does not even directly address...

Is Consent Given and Gotten?

Below is an article that Party With Consent founder, Jonathan Kalin, wrote for The Colby Echo. It had been brought to my attention that a couple “Colby Crushes” (the anonymous crush sharing facebook group at my school) were directed towards me. Jersey John (my conceited alter-ego) would like to thank the anonymous posters for feeding his ego, and Colby John (my shy and considerate persona) is extremely humbled by these flattering anonymous advances. Due to my work founding and leading the Party With Consent movement, each one of these advances mentioned ‘consent’ (i.e. “…you have my consent” or “…give me your consent”). After the warm and fuzzy feeling of being liked wore off, I asked myself candidly, “Can someone give me their consent over Colby Crushes? Can I get somebody’s consent over Colby Crushes?” In the same week, a group from Arizona State University contacted me and asked if Party With Consent could collaborate with their consent-based movement. It seemed like the perfect marriage, their group is called, “I ALWAYS get consent!” Again, after the excitement of the recognition and the potential to grow PWC further wore off, I asked myself candidly, “Is consent something that you get? Is consent something that you give?” The questions continued, “Do I own my consent and then give it away? Is there a consent point system where those who get consent gain a point and those who give it lose a point? Is consent something that one person always wants and the other person holds on to until they feel comfortable or are potentially coerced?” Consent is something more than what can be...

Theories Behind Party With Consent #1 Positive Prevention

It’s time to put pen to paper. What does Party With Consent do? Why does it work? How does it work? I might need a whole book to answer these questions sufficiently, but in the meantime I’ll share all of my theories behind Party With Consent — 1st is Positive Prevention. This starts as a story. In the fall of 2011, there was a attention-grasping sexual harassment case that expelled a number of students and suspended others from my college. This left the community confused, frustrated, angry, and mad. Sexual harassment is an extremely emotional issue, and rightly so. Taking advantage of another human or treating them as an object is wrong and should never be tolerated. Not only is it wrong, but how fulfilling could it truly be? (Will answer that in later post!) Yet, this emotion quickly turned into anger that blurred the minds of the brilliant problem-solvers of my community. Public forums were extremely well attended, however comments were less than productive. I recall a professor exclaimed, “From this day forward, why don’t we all pledge that we won’t touch anybody in a way that they don’t want to be touched!” I turned to my friend and satirically snickered, “Well, looks like we figured out that problem…” But obviously it was not this simple. I also remember reading a passionate article in the student newspaper from an alumni of my college telling women to have their boyfriends beat up other guys who stock them or to use their teeth if they felt coerced or forced to perform oral sex. The message was clear. In a heteronormative, gender...