CONSENT: The College Issue

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Consent Revolution Awards Enter to win!

Rate Your School

Find out what your campus needs

“Yes Means Yes!”


The College Issue

Poster by Badgers Get Consent, University of Wisconsin, Madison





er 7,




REVOLUTIONARIES We are at the beginning of a revolution that will replace sexual violence and coercion with sexual pleasure and empowerment. And we need you to carry it forward. In these pages you will find some inspiration and motivation to spark a consent revolution on your college campus! What’s the inspiration? The piles of awesome sauce that college students and consent enthusiasts are doing across the country. What’s the motivation? We’ll make you a star!! Plus we’ll send you a box of prizes!! We present you with...

Consent Revolution Awards!

HOW TO WIN 1. Think of a Brilliant, Memorable, Inspiring Action to Promote Consent on Your Campus. For ideas and tips flip through the pages of CONSENT: The College Issue. There you will find a quiz to guide your campus needs, things to try and practical tools. 2. Post a Photo of Whatcha Did! On Oct 7 between 9am and 9pm EST post a photo of your consent action on FORCE’s Facebook page at UpsettingRapeCulture. Be sure to include a brief description of the action, the name of your school, and the name of your group or campaign.

Co-designed by

3. Get the Most Likes! The consent campaign that gets the most likes on Oct 7 wins! (Hint: telling your friends to like and share your post helps).

Whitney Frazier

That’s right, all of the consent revolutionaries that put their just SCREEN cause into action will be eligible for the PROOF PRINT grand prize. What kind of action are we looking for? Any kind of action! Client: Badgers Get ConsentSOME DISCLAIMERS: • The posted photos will be shared far and wide! Order #: 186966 Get consent from the folks in the photos to use Yours could be a consent themed cheer at the their pics before you upload. Date: homecoming game’s half time! 5/6/13 It could be a compellingDue: poster campaign. 5/10/13 • FORCE can reject photos that don’t fit with the It could be an instantly viral hash-tagged meme! Dave Peterson goal of creating a consent revolution. Such It could be something Artist: you are planning to do, photos can include things that are sexist, haven’t thought of yet, or have already done. Boxer Shorts Item: Robinson Adult Jersey Knit racist, homophobic or otherwise propagatory of Item Color: Black oppression. GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL GET... Left Leg Placement: Consent Super Stardom! • Facebook is not affiliated with this contest and Your AMAZING action will be featured on Bitch 5” Wide Imprint/Size: is officially off the hook for everything! Media, Think Progress and Huffpo. Plus FORCE will 1 / Neon Blue 298 (#)/Colors: pump our PR machine into publicizing your campus activism, for whatever worth. purposes only. This is forthat’s proofing

Size, placement & color may differ slightly on final product.

A ShipmentSizing of Goodies standard for an adult large t-shirt Each winner will also receive a prize pack that includes consent condoms, temporary tats, bumper stickers and stencils for marking up T-shirts, sidewalks and drawers!

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WE LOVE DIRTY TALK! CONSENT IS SEXY and communication is the key to good sex. One of the main reasons that sex remains taboo in our culture is that we are not supposed to talk about it. Although sex is EVERYWHERE, discussing sex openly and honestly is still rare. People who are having sex need to be able to talk about it with their partners. But somehow, many of us are more comfortable sleeping with someone than talking to the person that we are sleeping with about sex! This is nobody’s fault- it is ingrained in our sex obsessed/sex-negative culture, leaving many people horny and confused. To move ourselves towards more healthy and selfactualized sex we need to set boundaries and practice consent. Good sex is about good communication. Communicating is hot! We need a sexual revolution that makes consent as ubiquitous as using a condom. Condom use was promoted to young, sexually active people in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 90’s. Today, communication needs to be promoted among young, sexually active people in response to the epidemic of rape, assault and sexual violence. Just like pausing to put on a condom prevents STDs, pausing to check in with your partner prevents unwanted sexual experiences. 4 CONSENT ACTION PACK


CONSENT TALKING POINTS: • Sex should be empowering and pleasurable, rather than coercive and violent. • Consent should be mainstream. • Consent is for everyone • Consent is a verbal agreement between two people about how and when they are comfortable having sex. • Communication makes sex better!


<::> ((: (> (*)(* (+)<::> ((: (> ( (+)(+)<::> ((: (> {}}}}}} (+)(+)<:: VV {}}}}}} (+)(+ (*) VV {}}}}}} ( (*)(*) VV {}}}}} Does Your School Get Consent?

Does you school get consent? a. Totally!

b. um…. kinda? c. Not at all.

People at my school think consent is… a. Necessary

b. Something we learned about at freshman orientation. c. Something you draft up with your lawyer

Who on your campus knows about consent? a. Every one!!!

b. Me and the other peer educators who teach the consent workshops…. c. Me. Just me. And only because I started reading this magazine.

How does your school respond to survivors of sexual assault? a. By supporting them.

b. They might be supported by their peers, but not the administration. c. She/he was drinking? Must be their fault!

How does your school respond to rapists? a. Rape is not tolerated. Rapists are held accountable. b. Rapists get a slap on the wrist.

c. There is little to no response to sexual assault besides the administration sweeping it under the rug.

a=0, b=1, c=2, d=3



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0-4: Preaching to the choir!

*) VV {}}}}}} (+ (*)(*) VV {}}}}}} > (*)(*) VV :> ((: (> (*)(*) +)<::> ((: (> (* (+)(+)<::> ((: (> }} (+)(+)<::> ((: Your campus is great at getting people talking about consent! Problem is, it’s always the same people. How do you reach people who don’t already know or, even worse, don’t seem to care about consent? Go to page 8 and read about how the Playboy Consent hoax got bros tweeting and blogging, “Thou shalt ask first.”

4-8: Consent is nice in theory, but gets lost in practice.

Students at your school have attended the workshop, read the handbook, and seen the informational poster. They know what consent is. But when it comes to asking first with their Saturday night smooch, they’re a little lost. Time to share some everyday examples of consent in motion. Go to page 10 and check out the “This is Consent” photo campaign.

8-12: Consent is… wuh???

It’s true. A lot of people don’t know what consent is. And with sex education and pop culture failing to promote consent in this country, who could blame them? Sounds like your campus needs a little consent 101. Go to page 12 for a step-by-step guide on hosting a consent workshop.

12-15: My school is a nightmare.

Unfortunately many college campuses fail their students by failing to administer information about sexual assault, support survivors or hold rapists accountable. These colleges are so bad they are often in violation of federal laws designed to protect college students from rape. Time to Know Your IX! Go to page 14 to read about what students at USC are doing to hold their school accountable.

If you’ve been preaching to the choir....

Bring consent to a new audience

In September 2013, FORCE collaborated with college students across the country, fooling the internet into believing Playboy reinvented the Top Ten Party School list as “The Ultimate Guide for a Consensual Good Time.” Students from over 25 schools across the country banded together to create this historic hoax: the Top Ten Party Commandments. Because of the spoof, FORCE got a whole new audience talking about consent.



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Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist.

The world is safe for bros to be feminists too.

Consent is good for everyone!

Andy Moore,

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If people don’t know how to practice consent...

Give them examples!


his Is Consent is a photographic series in which people are asked to think about consent and then write or draw (or both!) what it means to them on a dry erase board. College student and FORCE collaborator Brittney-Elizabeth Williams wanted to get people everywhere thinking about consent. So she created her own project to do just that!

What do you hope the project does? I hope it teaches everyone that consent is fun and in no way cumbersome. I hope that it shows people that consent is universal, and I want This Is Consent to remove any negative connotation from the word “No.” There’s nothing wrong with saying no or accepting “no.”

How did you come up with the idea? I was thinking of ways to better connect with FORCE’s audience through social media. I began to think of ways that I could explain what consent looks like, in people’s own words. This Is Consent was born!

How do you make people comfortable talking about sex? I’ve been getting in trouble for being too candid forever! So you see, it is easier for me to talk to people about sex and consent than it is to be quiet about it, and I think that the honest way that I approach the topic makes people feel comfortable opening up.

Who are you interviewing and why? I am interviewing everyone because consent is for everyone! Even children and those who are not sexually active should understand consent.

Where should consent go next? Though you may not look at your cousin or your professor and think that you have the right to do with them as you please, there are still places where peopleeven the best of us- forget that consent is universal. Those places- strip clubs, brothels, the red light districts of the world- are where I’d like to take this next. Interview by Brittany-Elizabeth Williams, FORCE collaborator and the creator of This Is Consent. 10


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If no one’s heard of consent..

Host a consent workshop

Activities to get you started. CONSENT IS and CONSENT IS NOT Invite participants to write what is, and is not, consent on post its. Organize the sticky notes into two columns. As a group, discuss as many of the points as possible. Use these discussion questions to guide a conversation: 1. Does anything stick out? 2. What comes up more than once? 3. Are any of the notes about what consent is, unclear? Why? 4. Are any of these notes in the wrong category? Why?

Try and address these main points in the conversation: • • •

• •

Consent needs to be verbal because body language can be misinterpreted. Consent must be enthusiastic! The absence of a no does not mean yes. There is never a “point of no return.” People are always entitled to say no if they become uncomfortable or want to stop at any time during a sexual interaction. If you say yes once, you haven’t consented for anything anytime. Always ask, no matter how many times you’ve had sex with the same person! If sex is not mutually, enthusiastically, clearly consensual, then it is rape. Consent is about communicating your boundaries and it is also about communicating your desires! It is as much about what you DO want as what you DO NOT want.

SAYING NO Saying no can be hard, no matter your partner or your experience. Invite participants to develop the skill with a low-stakes, conversational interaction with other audience members. (Do you like chocolate? No. Is it raining today? No.) Through repetition, humor, and variations in conversation, participants can get comfortable using the word and meaning it.

FORUM THEATER Since we learn best through experience, use an interactive and experiential skit to walk audience members through different scenarios in which consent is needed. Breaks into groups to organize a short skit based on prompts like the ones below. Once the skit is acted out in its entirety, participants have a chance to intervene and alter the series of events to make the outcome consensual and healthy, if they aren’t already. As the skit is performed a second time, the “audience” can call

Interested in bringing FORCE to your school? Email:




out FREEZE, and replace one of the actors, or direct the actors about how to make the situation consensual. After each skit, the facilitator should lead participants through analysis and reflection. Was the situation consensual? Why or why not?

Invite your participants to write a list of their own boundaries in the form of a “yes/no/maybe” list. People can write down acts or scenarios that they are definitely comfortable with, might be willing to try, and that are off limits, in sexual relationships.

DISCUSSION PROMPTS: Ask First: When might someone be afraid to ask for consent? When might someone be embarrassed about asking for consent? How can the fear of asking be broken down? Let’s Talk About Sex: Silence IS NOT a Yes. What is a situation in which body language might be confusing? Respect: Even if someone says yes, what is a situation in which the person consenting might not actually be ready or comfortable? No Means No: What is an example of a situation when saying “no” doesn’t work? What if saying “no” prompts the person asking to try harder? How can your “no” be heard in that situation?

STENCILING As a fun take-away from the workshop, invite participants to stencil t-shirts, panties, posters, tote bags, or whatever else you can dream of with consent themed slogans. Get people talking about consent everywhere!

THIS IS CONSENT Photo Shoot By the end of your workshop, everyone might agree that consent is a good thing. But what does it look like? Invite participants to write what consent is and how they practice it. Photograph people holding their statement in a photo booth, and post the images at your school or community center to keep the conversation going.


Everyone has different boundaries and comfort levels. Awareness of boundaries and the ability to communicate them is integral to consent.

“I wish I had this information years ago. It would have really changed my experiences. Everyone should be having these conversations!!” Brittney, Community College of Baltimore County

If your campus is awful at supporting survivors...

Hold them accountable The Student Coalition Against Rape (SCAR) is comprised of survivors and allies dedicated to advocating for victims of sexual violence at the University of Southern California. They say, “When an academic institution is informed that one of its students has raped another student, and the institution does not stand behind the victim and help the victim reclaim his or her sense of being seen, heard, respected, valued and safe, the institution is contributing to the act of rape––the university is enabling the continued de-humanization of a human being.” Hold YOUR campus accountable by contacting Know Your IX:



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Wesleyan University

Make It Sexy Underwear By: Students For Consent and Communication, Let’s End Survivor Silence, and the SART Intern



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Duke University

DIY T-shirt Party By members of Duke Women’s Center, Defmo, + Smart Home



Consent Condoms By PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment

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“Always use clear, captivating, powerful images. An image is worth 1,000 words, and will get 1,000 more likes on Facebook.�



Crafting the best message: The first and most important step in promoting your project is creating media that is easy to promote. When you have clear messages, captivating images, and a target audience, getting people excited is easy!

Goal: What is the change you want to see? What problem are you targeting? What solution are you working towards? When creating conversation-starters and mediagenerators, all decisions should go back to these questions.

Audience: Who is your target audience (and please don’t say everyone). You target audience could be people at your school, people that hang out at a local coffee shop, people that read your campus newspaper, or the viewership of Glee. The messages and media you use should match the audience and be accessible to them.

Message: You want to have a clear (and short!) message that is easy to understand. This doesn’t mean that you have to dumb it down. Sexual violence is a complicated issue. Spreading a message that is concise and accessible works best in our 140-character culture. Once you’ve got people engaged, you can lead them to more in-depth content.

Use images: Always use clear, captivating, powerful images. An image is worth 1,000 words, and will get 1,000 more likes on Facebook. Your image can be of a demonstration or art in progress, art that depicts the problem you’re addressing, your group members in action… be creative!

Hang-ups: Seemingly insignificant arguments can derail a campaign. People are easily confused and, especially on the internet, eager to complain, rant, and argue. You want the conversation that you create to stay positive and productive. Once you have your campaign ready, you need to get it out there! A lot of people think that getting media means that you are in the New York Times or on Good Morning America. And while that can be a big deal, there are a lot of outlets that get a lot of eyes that are more accessible. Just ask yourself how frequently you read the Times versus how frequently you read your Facebook newsfeed.

Before your launch, ask yourself: Is there anything in our messaging or the way we are presenting it that could be confusing? What will people who don’t know the background or history think when they first look at it? Is there anything people could argue with or be upset about?

Get it out there! For a very general list of media contacts, and more tips, go to: FALL 2013




DIA MEUZZ B Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for social change. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr have billions of users and can spread ideas and information like wildfire. Here are some tips on how to make your action go viral. Use Images! We just can’t say it enough. A captivating image gets 20x more likes than a captivating phrase. It stays in our newsfeeds and is fun to share. Post at peak time! If you post something at 3am it is going to cycle through people’s newsfeed, tweet list and blog roll while they are asleep. It’s best to post during the week at 11am, 3pm and 5pm and especially on Wednesday. Use conversation starters! The more people can engage with what you’re doing on social media the more you can grow your audience. Can you ask a question on Facebook? Can you create a hashtag for people to tweet with? Share with people who will repost/retweet! If you have a small following on Twitter or Facebook it doesn’t mean your posts can reach a bigger audience. Sometimes tweeting at people with more followers or sharing information on their Facebook page can garner attention. Pick carefully and only send messages to people who you think would be interested.



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Press Send out a press release! Whether you’re doing a poster campaign, throwing a party, making t-shirts, or having a workshop, you should let the media know! (For a basic guide to writing a press release, go to: http://www. Press release tips: Include strong images, don’t send attachments (news rooms HATE THAT!), use quotes from third parties, and remain objective. When you’re writing a press release you want to make journalists’ job as easy as possible. You basically want to write the story for them. It feels weird at first, but trust us. If you give news outlets strong content that easy for them to use, they will.

Where to send it? When figuring out where to send a press release, start local. It’s great to go after BIG MEDIA, but people in your community are more likely to write about what you’re doing. Is there a local paper, a campus publication or well-read blog that would like your actions? (One of the local Baltimore blogs that covered PINK loves CONSENT got over 500,000 hits!) Local means geography, but also interest or focus. If you’re using fashion, target fashion blogs. If you’re dealing with feminist issues, target feminist blogs. For a good list of blogs by topic, visit

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