Manipulation and its Limitation

“This sucks. What am I getting out of this?” asked my frustrated classmate. In the generation and demographic that I’ve been born into, it is completely acceptable for people who are upset with something to look outward and question, “What am I getting out of this? And how can I get what I want?” Asking these questions leads to the idolization of those who are the best at getting what they what want, by any means necessary. And an easy way to do this is to manipulate, consequently many of the people who are deemed “best” at getting what they want heavily rely on manipulation of others. But it’s a sad truth, that this is only a quick fix. It looks good on the surface, but if you pay someone to be your friend, you won’t truly feel the power of friendship. If you convince someone that you treat poorly to stay in a relationship with you, you still won’t feel truly loved. If you force someone to do something that is to your liking, and not to hers or his, you won’t actually come closer to your goal. What does this have to do with Party With Consent, though? Thanks for keeping me on topic. Consent, in a relationship context or a sexual context, is not something that you pay for, persuade with, or coerce someone into. Consent, in the way PWC hopes to convey it, is bigger than the legal understanding. It’s a shared experience, not an exchange. It’s when both get more out than what they put in; it’s not a zero sum game. It’s something...

Theories on Party With Consent #3: Stopping it at its Source

The typical response of decision-makers, specifically at colleges, that notice sexual violence has become an issue in their community is hiring a one-time speaker or group to campus to discuss healthy sexual culture, sex positivity, how to ask for consent, and maybe stuff about orgasms. But we must consider the timing of these speakers/presentations. They are typically in the mid-afternoon on a weekday. We must consider the location of the speaker/performance. They are typically in a large lecture hall. But John, why do we need to consider that? Good question. Because the context when and where these presentations take place is not the context where sexual violence happens. Therefore, we must now consider, “Are these speakers preventing sexual violence in our community? Or are they simply talking about sexual violence prevention?” There is no doubt that we need to start somewhere. But, what are the chances that a student holds onto the message one month after the one-time presentation? What about six months? What about a year? We have become comfortable saying, “If we have a room full of 200 people listening and we get 5 people to really grasp the issue we’ve made a difference.” I agree. But what about the other hypothetical 195? That’s a 2.5% success rate. I don’t think I’m naive to say that we can re-think this and do better. I don’t think I’m naïve to say that one-time speakers don’t make a sustained impact. If they did, wouldn’t all of our academic courses be “one-class” courses, as well? This is the exciting aspect of Party With Consent, due to injecting the message that...