I have seen versions of this video circulate around YouTube and Facebook off and on throughout the years and going back to school reminded me of my first experiences in College.
My first years out of high school I was in a Sorority at Minnesota State, Mankato, every fall and spring we would have a section in our meetings about social conduct at parties. The line between consent and rape was blurry, our presidents and leaders would stand and talk for 30 minutes about how we should just avoid parties. Not exactly practical if you ask me. We would spend so much time trying to eradicate the evils of college culture instead of educate.
We never really listened to these conversations, the speakers were uncomfortable, somebody was always offended at the topic. Sex is taboo, as a society we don’t talk about safe sex, the logistics of sex, or when to have sex. As a result there would be an incident at least once or twice a year where the lines of consent were blurred; a rape happened, a student was to scared to speak up, or there was a fight because a person just plain said no.
This wasn’t limited to Greek organizations, in fact, my experiences with the above situations were before I joined. My sorority was about bring change to campus, specifically sex violence education and awareness. we knew the topic at hand tended to fall on deaf ears. YouTube was new, everybody was on Facebook, MySpace was still relevant, and a Motorola Razr was the phone to have. We started with events like Take Back The Night and had our own fundraiser on campus for our local women’s shelter. With the rise of Social Media our events gained popularity each year we were able to add more, we started with the ability to invite the campus to our events through Facebook and with the addition of linking videos. Toward the end of my tenure at Mankato, we had some videos and photos that would circulate with our annual fundraiser. It may not seem like a major technological achievement now but in the land of the first generation iphone, this was a massive step up.
Take a minute to reflect on the video, the content teaches us about the importance of consent with humor, we are now open to the ideas instead of closed off because it was boring or felt like a lecture. This starts a dialogue; so start a dialogue with your teen, peer, or friend about the importance of consent.