Innovation is Awesome, but what Question are We Solving?

By Jonathan Kalin My inboxes have been flooded with articles on a new innovative nail-polish that changes color when it comes into contact with rohypnol, xanax, and GHB. There’s always excitement when new ideas enter the sexual violence prevention space. For far too long, sexual violence prevention has come with a considerable amount of paralysis amongst men. And the fact that men are entering the discussion is awesome, but below are a couple of the lessons I learned that make me concerned about this particular innovation. 1) Roofies aren’t the weapon of choice. In David Lisak’s “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”. His research cites that alcohol, not rohypnol, xanax, and GHB, to be the weapon of choice. As Lisak states, “Alcohol was the weapon of choice for these men…They didn’t think what they had done was a crime.” We often tell women to cover their cup to protect themselves from date rape drugs, but as serious as the threat of a date rape drug is, Lisak’s research shows spiking punches and pressuring women into binge drinking is the real issue. 2) Are we really going to tell women to change their nail polish too? As men, we often forget how different the experience of partying is for us verses the experience of women. Men can roam aimlessly from party to party on their own. Men can drink as much as they’d like. Men can pass out where ever they please. Tim Wise explains that privilege is the “…luxury of remaining oblivious.” Women are not afforded this luxury. The blindness that male privilege provokes allows us, as men,...

Everybody Wants To See a Fire

By Christopher Millman Recently I was with hanging out with some of my friends at a friend’s house one night. One of the guys had to go to his car in the parking lot across the street, so another one of the guys made one last remark as he was departing. He said, “If you get raped yell fire…everyone wants to see a fire.” This casual comment is alarming for a few reasons. First, the fact it was so casually dropped into conversation shows that the extent to which our culture takes the issues around sexual assault seriously is not as high as it should be. When I asked my friend why he thought to say that, he claimed it is a common saying. For this to be a common saying in our culture, then it is normalized to downplay the seriousness of occurrences such as rape. This comment was meant to be funny, and was meant to suggest that there is no way that that would ever actually happen. By living in a society where it is so normalized to joke about issues of sexual assault and assume it doesn’t occur, there is limited education and discussion of prevention methods. Another alarming point of the comment is the truth that comes hidden in the part, “everyone wants to see a fire.” By adding this part, it insinuates that the person should yell “Fire!” because people would not want to come if the person yelled “Rape!” Rape is construed in our society as such a confusing, violent, and dirty event, that people would not want to become involved as...

California’s “Yes means Yes”

By Fritz Parker Lawmakers in California have recently announced legislation that would enact a uniform standard for consent education at the state’s publicly funded universities. But the most notable aspect of the legislation has nothing to do with the political uproar it has caused, and everything to do with the impact that it could have on the way that consent is framed on college campuses around the country. For a long time, the idea of consent has been communicated to young people as a set of proscriptions against certain sexually aggressive behaviors. Those lessons are well-intentioned, but at their best they are an ineffective means of talking about something which is by definition an active exchange of communication. At their worst, the old methods of teaching consent create an environment of inaction and confusion in which young people often don’t even know where to start when it comes to asking for or giving consent. What’s different about California’s ‘yes means yes’ legislation (as it has been dubbed) is that it enables students to be intentional and proactive about their sexual interactions – teaching them what to do instead of telling them what not to do. This is an important lesson for educators across the nation, and one that will inevitably lead to more engaged discussions about consent on college campuses, both in the official venues which administrators control and the informal ones which they do not. юридические услуги днепропетровск pillsbank.net/ зубная...
“Nonconsensual sex”: Evidence that we must continue the conversation about the meaning of consent

“Nonconsensual sex”: Evidence that we must continue the conversation about the meaning of consent

By Sarah Hunter In the mid-90’s, Brett Sokolow, a legal consultant for higher educational institutions, coined the term “nonconsensual sex” to use as an alternative to rape and sexual assault in policy related to student conduct. Sokolow intended to introduce this stigma-free language in the hope that schools would go after perpetrators with more force than they were, as Sokolow observed that schools were hesitant to call their students rapists. This is all illustrated further by Claire Gordon of Al Jazeera America in her May 12th article that questions the efficacy and judiciousness of using “nonconsensual sex” to describe something as heinous as rape. For survivors of rape and sexual assault, labeling their experiences as an instance of “nonconsensual sex” feels disempowering. Perhaps this could even reinforce the tendency of victims to remain silent. Additionally, some have pointed out that even though labeling assault as simply “nonconsensual” may make it easier for an institution to go after a perpetrator without fear of litigation related to defamation, in the end, it may also make it more difficult for an institution to expel rapists. For activists, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to understand the damage done to one’s psyche when those in power do not fully recognize one’s suffering. As of late, this has been the story unfolding on seemingly every college campus in America. However, there’s something to be said for cases like the one Calvin Gross alludes to in “The Importance of Clear Consent”, a case in which the alleged perpetrator and the victim provide different accounts of the encounter. Sometimes intercourse and other sexual acts...