Consent continues to be promoted on college campuses, and this time, it’s not a hoax. College students from across the country (and even Ireld!) entered to win the CONSENT REVOLUTION AWARDS on Monday by posting on facebook photos and tidbits from promoting consent at their schools. The Grand Prize Winners are consent super stars today with national media attention from ThinkProgress, Bitch media, the Huffington Post, and others.
Two weeks ago, FORCE tricked the internet into thinking that Playboy had re-invented its annual party school list in response to the predominance of rape on college campuses. The re-invented “2013 Top Ten Party Commandments” chose to focus on consent, boldly stating, “A good college party is all about everyone having a good time. Consent is all about everyone having a good time. Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And f—- those people.” As has been reported by the Slate, NY Magazine, Salon and others, the party commandments were an elaborate hoax to promote consent.
And the party is not over.
The contenders for the “CONSENT REVOLUTION AWARDS” entered their consensual-sex promoting actions by posting photos and descriptions to FORCE’s facebook wall. Students from across the country posted pictures of everything from underwear designs to coaster campaigns, to how-to sex-talk videos. Fans and friends voted by clicking “like”. The posts with the most “likes” won. You can view all the contest entries at facebook.com/upsettingrapeculture. In additional to national media coverage, today’s winners are also being shipped prize packs that include consent condoms, temporary tattoos, bumper stickers and stencils for marking up T-shirts, sidewalks and drawers.
“The need for consent on college campuses is no joke. Pop culture is a huge influence on how people learn about sex,” says Hannah Brancato, Co-Director of FORCE. “While mainstream media outlets like Playboy are still promoting an undergrad life-style that treats college-aged women like commodities, college students themselves are busy promoting a more equal, open and consensual version of sexuality. Consent needs and deserves a bigger media platform.”
“Enthusiastic consent is so important to teach because it is so contrary to what many people are taught and expect when growing up,” says consent revolutionary Heaven-Leigh Carey from the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team at University of Oregon. “We live in, at best, a no means no culture, that teaches people to assume any lack of verbal resistance is equal to a full range of consent. Yes means yes and enthusiastic consent education attempts to undo years of negative media attention and patriarchal teachings, and encourages people to seek partners who not only want to have sex with them, but also who care about them wanting to have sex.”
Rebecca Nagle, Co Director of FORCE states, “The reason that the Playboy Party Commandments went SO viral is because the American facebook population is SO ready for the message. And they will keep clicking like whether that message is coming from magazines or their friends.”
With the blue-ribbon winner raking in over ONE THOUSAND likes, here are some winning campus actions to get you fired up for consensual sex and get your creative consent juices flowing.
#1: UCLA’s 7,000 in Solidarity
With a brilliant graphic, multiple-pronged approach, and over 1000 facebook likes, UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity takes first place!
UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity gets its name from the recognizing the reality of sexual violence. According to their facebook page, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will have survived sexual violence in college. That means 7,000 Bruins will be survivors of sexual assault by the time they leave the university.”
Students who want to stand in solidarity with their peers can pledge to
“1) Only Engage in Consensual Sexual Activities
2) Be an Effective Bystander in Preventing Others from Acting Without Consent
3) Support Survivors of Sexual Assault”
#2 All Students For Consent (aka ASC) at Whitman College
Students at Whitman college turned the victim-blaming phrase “asking for it” on its head to promote consent. “The purpose of the campaign was to put a twist on the insulting phrase that has often been used in victim blaming, such as, “She was asking for it by wearing that miniskirt,” in which the “it” is sexual violence. However, we wanted the “it” to mean “consent” so that when people are asking for “it,” what they are asking for is consent!”
On “Ask For it Day students chalked up sidewalks, poster-ed up bulletin boards and gave students consensual kisses (chocolate of course!). The event culminated in students sharing their consent stories and receiving “I ask for it” temporary tattoos!
#3 The Vagina Monologues at Connecticut College
A group of over 80 Connecticut College men were asked, “Why are vagina’s important to you?” The result is a video of V-men talking about healthy relationships, ending sexual violence, and, of course, vaginas! The final video will be released at the end of October. Stay tuned to the Connecticut College Vagina Monologues facebook page for the release.
#4: Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team at University of Oregon
SWAT is doing so much to promote consent, they couldn’t pick one action to enter. We pooled their likes to give the team fourth place. From coaster campaigns, to videos highlighting sex-positive communication these undergrads got it going on! Check out all they are doing at swat.uoregon.edu.
The “10 prevention tips guaranteed to work” were printed on coasters and distributed to bars and restaurants throughout Eugene as part of the ASUO Women’s Center’s Redzone campaign. The Redzone refers to the first six weeks of the fall term when sexual assault is statistically more common on college campuses. The coasters change the common message that tells people to avoid getting raped, and instead tells potential perpetrators to not rape.
“We know that is rare to actually see people having honest conversations, and we wanted to show our peers that getting consent and talking about sex doesn’t have to be awkward!
A variety of ways for college students to negotiate sex can be seen on SWAT’s website.
The “That’s What She Said/ He Said” social media campaign was created in order to reclaim a derogatory joke and display the necessity of communication and consent. These posters aim to show that consent is not only sexy but also necessary.
#5: I Always Get Consent at ASU
According to their entry, “For the past four years, this program has educated the largest campus in the country about what sexual assault is, how to prevent sexual violence, and the importance of defying rape culture.”
Last year, “I Always Get Consent” got over 1,000 college students like consent in person with consensual cardio classes, movie screenings, T-shirts, an interactive presentation about challenging rape culture.
They say, “Consent is sexy, and we’ve made it our job to spread the word.”
As the first place winner, Savannah Badalich from UCLA had this to say about the contest:
"This campaign [7000 in Solidarity] means the world to me, so I cannot thank you enough for the publicity and help with spreading the message of consent."
Consent enthusiasts at Whitman College mobilized their peers for the contest to take second place. “I was able to get about half of my entire college campus to “like” our photo,” said Sayda Morales from All Student For Consent. Because Whitman is a smaller school their nearly 1,000 “likes” is actually over half of the student population. While the school took second in the national contest, at Whitman, consent clearly wins the day.
“When that student pointed out that she had mobilized over half of her campus, I thought ‘THAT’S AMAZING!’” says Brancato. “That at one college campus, not just consent, but the effort to promote consent and make it mainstream is so important to students that over half of them clicked like on one single facebook photo. It gives me so much hope that consent not only can, but will be popular. And that our culture will see the day when sexual pleasure and empowerment is more common that sexual violence and coercion.”
In addition to the CONSENT REVOLUTION AWARDS, the Playboy hacktivists also published their own magazine titled “CONSENT: A Good Time For Everyone”. The slick online mag offers talking points about consent, a quiz to rate your school and ideas for consent-promoting actions.
Force: Upsetting Rape Culture is an art and activist effort to upset the culture of rape and promote a counter culture of consent. The group has projected RAPE is RAPE onto the US Capitol Building, pretended to be Victoria’s Secret promoting anti-rape, consent-themed thongs, and floated a rape survivor’s poem in the reflecting pool of the national mall. In summer of 2014, they are blanketing the mall with a GIANT quilt made of survivors’ stories.