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momofkhm

The UK explained sexual consent in the most British way possible...

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I just saw this on Facebook.  This one doesn't have the nice British accent but it's the same video.

 

But I had to post it here.  I mean it's TEA!  (Oh, completely kid friendly.)

 

 

 

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And if they'd left one *teeny tiny* F word off, they could show that on college campuses and get a few kids unconfused too.  Well actually I was thinking christian college campuses.  Everywhere else, they wouldn't care or even notice.  

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And if they'd left one *teeny tiny* F word off, they could show that on college campuses and get a few kids unconfused too. Well actually I was thinking christian college campuses. Everywhere else, they wouldn't care or even notice.

We had a discussion in the car the other day about consent because youngest is involved with rape prevention at his college. Youngest said, "It,s exactly the same as a cup of tea..." and went through the same scenarios in this video. So - it is on some college campuses, anyway. All they have to do to get around the swear is to have someone run through the scenarios for the students verbally, the way my son did in the car, at freshman orientation and then periodically after that, preferably grin.

 

Nan

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Momofkhm, perhaps you could post this on the college board? It might be helpful to some of the parents there who want to discuss consent with their student before their student goes to college.

 

Nan

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Out of curiosity: would the swear word be a problem for many US universities?  I can't see it being an issue for anywhere except seminaries in the UK, and maybe not even there.

 

Brits are more foul mouthed than people in the US though, I think.  I remember reading an article written by a London journalist who moved to New York and was astonished by the low level of bad language in the news room.

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I wonder though how many of the scenarios that it covers are the ones where there is real trouble or controversy seeing what is the correct behavior?

 

Typically the scenarios that I hear where there are questions, particularly among students,  involve things like - how drunk is too drunk (there seems to be a wide variety of opinions on this,) what happens when both people are drunk, what about things like nagging or at what point is a person putting pressure on, what happens in, say, a long-term relationship when people are either putting on pressure, or drinking, or initiating while the partner is asleep, what happens when the accepted social signals in a group are confusing or someone misunderstands because they come from a different set of expectations...

Edited by Bluegoat
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I wonder though how many of the scenarios that it covers are the ones where there is real trouble or controversy seeing what is the correct behavior?

 

Typically the scenarios that I hear where there are questions, particularly among students,  involve things like - how drunk is too drunk (there seems to be a wide variety of opinions on this,) what happens when both people are drunk, what about things like nagging or at what point is a person putting pressure on, what happens in, say, a long-term relationship when people are either putting on pressure, or drinking, or initiating while the partner is asleep, what happens when the accepted social signals in a group are confusing or someone misunderstands because they come from a different set of expectations...

 

Or if one party starts off as a willing participant to a certain level of intimacy but then the other party takes it farther and the first party doesn't verbally protest or push the aggressor away but just "freezes". Is it still rape if the "victim" is capable of making a verbal or physical attempt to stop the activity but fails to do so?

 

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I wonder though how many of the scenarios that it covers are the ones where there is real trouble or controversy seeing what is the correct behavior?

 

Typically the scenarios that I hear where there are questions, particularly among students, involve things like - how drunk is too drunk (there seems to be a wide variety of opinions on this,) what happens when both people are drunk, what about things like nagging or at what point is a person putting pressure on, what happens in, say, a long-term relationship when people are either putting on pressure, or drinking, or initiating while the partner is asleep, what happens when the accepted social signals in a group are confusing or someone misunderstands because they come from a different set of expectations...

In the discussion with my son, he presented this explanation in combination with a few more simple-seeming concepts. My husband and I asked about a number of areas that we thought were grey and he quickly reduced them to one of his simpler ones. This tea thing alone might not be enough, but the combination of stuff they are teaching seemed like a pretty powerful toolbox. It won,t cover everything, of course, but it did appear to cover a lot. A lot is way, way better than nothing. And it was simple. Under these circumstances (college campus, frat parties, developing relationships, hookups, stable but not necessarily long-term relationships), simple is good.

 

Nan

 

Eta At any rate, it pulls the "This is ok" line way back from where it was with many guys (and girls) when I was in college.

Edited by Nan in Mass
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I wonder though how many of the scenarios that it covers are the ones where there is real trouble or controversy seeing what is the correct behavior?

 

Typically the scenarios that I hear where there are questions, particularly among students, involve things like - how drunk is too drunk (there seems to be a wide variety of opinions on this,) what happens when both people are drunk, what about things like nagging or at what point is a person putting pressure on, what happens in, say, a long-term relationship when people are either putting on pressure, or drinking, or initiating while the partner is asleep, what happens when the accepted social signals in a group are confusing or someone misunderstands because they come from a different set of expectations...

Uh, basically all of those scenarios are covered by the video.

 

A long term relationship doesn't give anyone anymore right to pressure or nag their partner into drinking the darn tea. Same deal with intiating while the other person is asleep unless there's some prior consent and if the person says, um yeah, stop I just wanna sleep you don't pour the tea down their throat.

 

You are finding exceptions and loopholes where none actually exist.

 

Active consent requires stopping in the absense of consent, not proceeding to the absense of an objection.

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The video has been around for a while, and personally I ABSOLUTELY believe the original idea initiated on WTM!  I am often struck by items that I see here first popping up in the mainstream media a bit later... as if journalists and other media types spy on us.   :laugh:   We're very avant-garde.

 

 

When I showed it to a year or two ago to my then 15- or 16-year old son, he'd already seen it -- one of his female friends had mass-circulated it.  I can't even express how pleased that made me, on a number of levels.

 

 

 

In the discussion with my son, he presented this explanation in combination with a few more simple-seeming concepts. My husband and I asked about a number of areas that we thought were grey and he quickly reduced them to one of his simpler ones. This tea thing alone might not be enough, but the combination of stuff they are teaching seemed like a pretty powerful toolbox. It won,t cover everything, of course, but it did appear to cover a lot. A lot is way, way better than nothing. And it was simple. Under these circumstances (college campus, frat parties, developing relationships, hookups, stable but not necessarily long-term relationships), simple is good.

Nan

Eta At any rate, it pulls the "This is ok" line way back from where it was with many guys (and girls) when I was in college.

This.  A million times, this.

 

And does so by putting so-accessible language on "THIS is NOT ok," which is what many young women in my college days struggled to find words for.

 

Uh, basically all of those scenarios are covered by the video.

A long term relationship doesn't give anyone anymore right to pressure or nag their partner into drinking the darn tea. Same deal with intiating while the other person is asleep unless there's some prior consent and if the person says, um yeah, stop I just wanna sleep you don't pour the tea down their throat.

You are finding exceptions and loopholes where none actually exist.

Active consent requires stopping in the absense of consent, not proceeding to the absense of an objection.

 

... and that concept -- that consent must be ACTIVE, that submission does not equal consent -- is one of those well, of course things that are obvious once they're obvious.  The video does a good job in making that point, particularly to young people.

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So, since we,re discussing this, two more of those toolbox items my son relayed are:

-You have to ask and the other person has to say, "Yes." If you don,t hear a clear verbal yes, you don,t proceed.

-You practise saying, "Stop." You randomly say stop, giving no reason, and the other person has to stop immediately, no questions asked. If they don,t, then it is huge red flag. In a good relationship, anyone should be able to say stop at any time.

 

In what I probably unfairly think of as the football team culture, there is the tradition thinking that women are "asking for it" by dressing or acting a certain way. There is also a tradition of some women wanting to be able to say no and have it mean yes, either because they have fun acting coy or because they don,t to take responsibility for their actions. There is a tradition of people using alcohol to excuse bad behavior. In order to implement the above, you have to give up these traditions.

 

Nan

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re additional consent-related tools in the box:

So, since we,re discussing this, two more of those toolbox items my son relayed are:
-You have to ask and the other person has to say, "Yes." If you don,t hear a clear verbal yes, you don,t proceed.
-You practise saying, "Stop." You randomly say stop, giving no reason, and the other person has to stop immediately, no questions asked. If they don,t, then it is huge red flag. In a good relationship, anyone should be able to say stop at any time.

 

______

In what I probably unfairly think of as the football team culture, there is the tradition thinking that women are "asking for it" by dressing or acting a certain way. There is also a tradition of some women wanting to be able to say no and have it mean yes, either because they have fun acting coy or because they don,t to take responsibility for their actions. There is a tradition of people using alcohol to excuse bad behavior. In order to implement the above, you have to give up these traditions.

Nan

Both good tools.

 

______

 

Re: bad traditions: each one of the traditions you listed is a form of not-taking-ownership for decisions, of shifting blame to somewhere other than the person involved.  Time to give such traditions up.

 

 

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Active consent requires stopping in the absense of consent, not proceeding to the absense of an objection.

 

MORALLY, this is absolutely the case. But we're talking LEGALLY. Are we really okay with sentencing someone to years in prison for rape when the "victim" made no effort to stop the s*x?

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I think it's a sad commentary on our society when I'm hearing from younger people I know that guys are now often requiring their partners to text message consent in order to protect themselves against false accusations. I would've personally found it a total moodkiller if the first time that my DH and I were together, he'd felt the need to stop things and require consent-via-text due to a lack of trust.

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Uh, basically all of those scenarios are covered by the video.

 

A long term relationship doesn't give anyone anymore right to pressure or nag their partner into drinking the darn tea. Same deal with intiating while the other person is asleep unless there's some prior consent and if the person says, um yeah, stop I just wanna sleep you don't pour the tea down their throat.

 

You are finding exceptions and loopholes where none actually exist.

 

Active consent requires stopping in the absense of consent, not proceeding to the absense of an objection.

It doesn't cover if both parties are drunk. In a situation where there is a rape allegation on the basis of "I was drunk, so I couldn't consent."--but both parties were drunk and willing in their intoxicated state. If any sex with a drunk partner is rape, then that situation would be mutual rape on both sides, wouldn't it?

 

And then you get in to questions of how drunk is too drunk for consent, and if one party was more drunk than the other.

Edited by La Condessa

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Are we talking legally? That is a good question. In my the discussion with my son, legality never cropped up. Morality was what was trying to be taught, how to decide what is ok and what isn,t, both on the receiving and the initiating side. Decision making tools for at the time, not for how to judge what to do legally about what happened at some previous time. I,m not saying they wouldn,t work out to the same thing in the end, but the purpose of the video, I think, is the prevention of problems. For that, I think it is great. I was relieved to know that there was a way to explain simply something that I had tried hard to explain when he was a young teen but hadn,t gotten further with than "you have to clearly, verbally ask and the other person has to say yes, clearly and verbally". (The no half was already covered by a longstanding family rule.)

 

Nan

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It doesn't cover if both parties are drunk. In a situation where there is a rape allegation on the basis of "I was drunk, so I couldn't consent."--but both parties were drunk and willing in their intoxicated state. If any sex with a drunk partner is rape, then that situation would be mutual rape on both sides, wouldn't it?

 

And then you get in to questions of how drunk is too drunk for consent, and if one party was more drunk than the other.

 

Well, no.  It seems as though, in that case, the boy would be the rapist.  Apparently there was even a poster about that displayed in colleges:

 

http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/anti-rape-poster-reddit-conversations/ 

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The video isn't drawing a legal line.  It is a video on the Internet.  

 

The video is not the basis of LEO or judiciary decisions; it's a teaching tool for (well-needed) conversations about social and interpersonal norms.  

 

It aims to reduce the incidence of sexual coercion going forward by raising awareness, not to define a legal standard (which can sometimes be difficult within a certain zone... but the excuse "but she said yes last week!" as in the video, and as college classmates of mine actually were befuddled by a generation ago, is nowhere near that zone).

 

As Nan said upthread, the more that young people (male and female) of the rising generation are able to grasp the basic principles of active consent, the better able LEO and judiciary will be to deal with remaining tricky bits.

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MORALLY, this is absolutely the case. But we're talking LEGALLY. Are we really okay with sentencing someone to years in prison for rape when the "victim" made no effort to stop the s*x?

 

If our young people follow the right path MORALLY, which largely involves focusing on the experience of the other person instead of their own, and erring on the side of caution if they don't know the other person well enough to accurately discern what they are feeling, then they are unlikely to encounter legal issues.   There is no need to skate so close to the line that you're vulnerable to legal action.  

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It doesn't cover if both parties are drunk. In a situation where there is a rape allegation on the basis of "I was drunk, so I couldn't consent."--but both parties were drunk and willing in their intoxicated state. If any sex with a drunk partner is rape, then that situation would be mutual rape on both sides, wouldn't it?

 

And then you get in to questions of how drunk is too drunk for consent, and if one party was more drunk than the other.

Being drunk doesn't exonerate someone from beating the crap out of their kid or spouse or from operating a motor vehicle. So why would it exonerate a rapist?

 

In general I tend to assume that if a male isn't too drunk to be unable to perform, he's not too drunk to ascertain if the other person is passed out or too drunk to consent.

 

Yes, there are murky grey areas. But to a great degree those murky gray areas come out of people not understanding the difference between enthusiastic, affirmative consent and fear based submission to the will of another.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Yeah, I'm thinking legally. My dh is a DA and has had to personally make agonizing decisions based on these scenarios.

Hugs, Michelle. And to your husband. Of course you would be thinking legally. I am hoping this video changes the culture. It probably won't ease your husband's burden, but hopefully it will reduce the conflicts that never reach your husband.

 

Nan

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All this stuff being taught at my youngest's school comes with lots of information about how alcohol affects one's judgement and how voluntarily drinking alcohol is a DECISION, and the first step down the path of decisions which follow.

 

Nan

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re alcohol & judgment:

All this stuff being taught at my youngest's school comes with lots of information about how alcohol affects one's judgement and how voluntarily drinking alcohol is a DECISION, and the first step down the path of decisions which follow.

Nan

 

Yes.  And one of the messages that my older children report hearing in the stuff they are getting in high school & college, that is a different nuance than what I got (Just Say No) a generation ago, is a loud-and-clear message that you are legally liable for your actions even if you're drunk.  

 

 

I expect this shift originated with much tougher drunk driving legislation and social norms, but as a legal matter it carries over to other lousy decisions as well.  Drunk doesn't exonerate actions while drunk, any more than cocaine or meth does.  

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Being drunk doesn't exonerate someone from beating the crap out of their kid or spouse or from operating a motor vehicle. So why would it exonerate a rapist?

 

In general I tend to assume that if a male isn't too drunk to be unable to perform, he's not too drunk to ascertain if the other person is passed out or too drunk to consent.

 

Yes, there are murky grey areas. But to a great degree those murky gray areas come out of people not understanding the difference between enthusiastic, affirmative consent and fear based submission to the will of another.

 

What I worry about are cases where both parties are intoxicated, both parties enthusiastically consent, but one of those people can end up being charged.

 

What has changed now is that if a girl is drunk, even if she's enthusiastically consenting, that consent doesn't count because she had too much to drink.  I'm not talking about her being passed out or unaware of what is happening. 

 

And the boy is the one who is responsible, even if they were both equally drunk.  

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Being drunk doesn't exonerate someone from beating the crap out of their kid or spouse or from operating a motor vehicle. So why would it exonerate a rapist?

 

In general I tend to assume that if a male isn't too drunk to be unable to perform, he's not too drunk to ascertain if the other person is passed out or too drunk to consent.

 

Yes, there are murky grey areas. But to a great degree those murky gray areas come out of people not understanding the difference between enthusiastic, affirmative consent and fear based submission to the will of another.

So if two equally drunk people enthusiastically consent, and the next morning the girl regrets it, the guy is a rapist? Same actions, mindset, and level of intoxication?

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I think it's a sad commentary on our society when I'm hearing from younger people I know that guys are now often requiring their partners to text message consent in order to protect themselves against false accusations. I would've personally found it a total moodkiller if the first time that my DH and I were together, he'd felt the need to stop things and require consent-via-text due to a lack of trust.

Smart or them! It is sad but that's the culture we live in. I'm really appalled by the casual, social, non-married sex but it's reality regardless. So vids like this become useful instead of ridiculous. Edited by Arctic Mama

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re drunk as exoneration, versus false allegations

What I worry about are cases where both parties are intoxicated, both parties enthusiastically consent, but one of those people can end up being charged.

 

What has changed now is that if a girl is drunk, even if she's enthusiastically consenting, that consent doesn't count because she had too much to drink.  I'm not talking about her being passed out or unaware of what is happening. 

 

And the boy is the one who is responsible, even if they were both equally drunk.  

 

So if two equally drunk people enthusiastically consent, and the next morning the girl regrets it, the guy is a rapist? Same actions, mindset, and level of intoxication?

 

If I'm following this correctly (please tell me if I'm not), the concern is that one of the people involved makes a false allegation -- makes an after-the-fact claim that there was no consent when there actually was.

 

While false allegations certainly do occur in all sorts of realms, the size of the "false allegation" problem is much smaller than the sexual coercion problem.  And clearer lines around consent will help frame clarity and over time help both parties be clearer about what they do and don't want at the appropriate time.

 

 

Drunk-as-excuse is a separable issue from false allegations.  If a drunk guy goes out and robs a bank or (more likely) takes a swipe at a LEO, nobody suggests leniency, aww, c'mon, he was drunk!  Whaddya expect?

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I think it's a sad commentary on our society when I'm hearing from younger people I know that guys are now often requiring their partners to text message consent in order to protect themselves against false accusations. I would've personally found it a total moodkiller if the first time that my DH and I were together, he'd felt the need to stop things and require consent-via-text due to a lack of trust.

 

On the other hand, it's generally good practice not to bang people you don't trust, regardless of consent.  And that's a message young people can benefit from, mood-killer or not.  There are ever so many things that could go awry, false rape accusations being only one of them.

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MORALLY, this is absolutely the case. But we're talking LEGALLY. Are we really okay with sentencing someone to years in prison for rape when the "victim" made no effort to stop the s*x?

 

I'm certainly not. I like the idea of active consent and think we should be teaching it to boys in high school, explicitly outlining exactly what it means to have consent, what he should say, what she should say, etc. But I also am not willing to call a guy a rapist who thought she was just fine with it, because she made absolutely no verbal or physical signal to stop it.

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I think it's a sad commentary on our society when I'm hearing from younger people I know that guys are now often requiring their partners to text message consent in order to protect themselves against false accusations. I would've personally found it a total moodkiller if the first time that my DH and I were together, he'd felt the need to stop things and require consent-via-text due to a lack of trust.

 

Mood killer, yes, but I get why they're doing it. People say that stopping to put on a condom is a mood killer. Do it anyway.

 

The text thing probably isn't actually that helpful. It shows that you started the encounter with consent but consent can be withdrawn at any time, text or no text.

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MORALLY, this is absolutely the case. But we're talking LEGALLY. Are we really okay with sentencing someone to years in prison for rape when the "victim" made no effort to stop the s*x?

Yes. I am absolutely comfortable with putting people in prison for rape if the victim made no effort to stop it. Too often rapist have used the oh it was consensual arguments because the victim wasn't beat up or beat up enough. Or the victim was passed out, sometimes by being drugged and then gang raped at a frat party.

 

I teach my son's that no means no, maybe means no, and yes means are you absolutely sure.

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Yes. I am absolutely comfortable with putting people in prison for rape if the victim made no effort to stop it. Too often rapist have used the oh it was consensual arguments because the victim wasn't beat up or beat up enough. Or the victim was passed out, sometimes by being drugged and then gang raped at a frat party.

 

I'm not talking about victims who are unable to say "no, stop" or put up a physical protest because they are drunk or unconscious. I'm talking about people who are perfectly capable of making their feelings known but for whatever reason fail to do so. When we are talking with ruining someone's life by sending him to prison for years, then there needs to be an actual crime, not just a failure to communicate.

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Or if one party starts off as a willing participant to a certain level of intimacy but then the other party takes it farther and the first party doesn't verbally protest or push the aggressor away but just "freezes". Is it still rape if the "victim" is capable of making a verbal or physical attempt to stop the activity but fails to do so?

 

If you come to my house and take my lambo in front of my eyes, with me silently weighing the value of my life vs the stolen item, as I watch in surprise, you have still violated me. If I protest verbally, and you continue your deed, you have still violated me. If I protest physically, and you continue your deed, you have still violated me. You do not have consent.

 

Two of my college friends got into bad circumstances. Long term dating, when the bf decided he had ow nership, and threatened death if no compliance. Both were shocked and silent. One protested physically, one did not. One has to realize that some young men want control of the relationship, and will go as far as they need to. So, yes, I have no problem with a conviction if the gal is silent. No problem with her decision to keep her life and get away.

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re drunk as exoneration, versus false allegations

 

 

If I'm following this correctly (please tell me if I'm not), the concern is that one of the people involved makes a false allegation -- makes an after-the-fact claim that there was no consent when there actually was.

 

While false allegations certainly do occur in all sorts of realms, the size of the "false allegation" problem is much smaller than the sexual coercion problem.  And clearer lines around consent will help frame clarity and over time help both parties be clearer about what they do and don't want at the appropriate time.

 

 

Drunk-as-excuse is a separable issue from false allegations.  If a drunk guy goes out and robs a bank or (more likely) takes a swipe at a LEO, nobody suggests leniency, aww, c'mon, he was drunk!  Whaddya expect?

 

No, what I'm talking about is the idea that a woman who is drunk is not able to give her legal consent to sex.  She may be saying, "Yes!" but because she is intoxicated that "consent" is not valid.  There's even a poster warning about it:  

 

http://www.redstate.com/uploads/2015/07/Jake-and-Josie-poster1.jpg

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Yes. I am absolutely comfortable with putting people in prison for rape if the victim made no effort to stop it. Too often rapist have used the oh it was consensual arguments because the victim wasn't beat up or beat up enough. Or the victim was passed out, sometimes by being drugged and then gang raped at a frat party.

 

I teach my son's that no means no, maybe means no, and yes means are you absolutely sure.

 

Ok but what if no "no" was said? I read an article from some guy who had no idea the woman involved had had a bad time till he heard about it later. She wasn't drunk or dugged or unconscious, and he misinterpreted what responses she had. He was stunned and did a lot of soul searching and thinking about ideas of consent. But according to you, he should be in prison. I'm sorry but if you're on a date sitting next to a guy watching tv and he makes a move (which was the scenario according to the guy in this article), I'm not sure I buy the whole "I was frozen in terror" excuse. I get that if the guy jumps out of nowhere or has a weapon or is in a position of power over you (boss, commanding officer in the military, etc), but c'mon. A little personal responsibility for saying "No, I don't want this," to someone who hasn't given any indication that he's trying to coerce you into sex. 

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Uh, basically all of those scenarios are covered by the video.

 

A long term relationship doesn't give anyone anymore right to pressure or nag their partner into drinking the darn tea. Same deal with intiating while the other person is asleep unless there's some prior consent and if the person says, um yeah, stop I just wanna sleep you don't pour the tea down their throat.

 

You are finding exceptions and loopholes where none actually exist.

 

Active consent requires stopping in the absense of consent, not proceeding to the absense of an objection.

 

No, I don't think they are, and it has little to do with exceptions and loopholes.  I would say it is more the case that most of the questions I brought up are about things that are widely accepted until they aren't, which is a problem in giving advice.

 

Nagging is really not assault, nor even convincing someone to do something against their better judgement -  otherwise telemarketers would all be in jail.  It could be rude or insensitive, but that is a different story, and sometimes it is a (probably not effective but understandable) response to someone else not doing their part.  People in long-term relationships do have legitimate expectations about sexual activity.  Of course someone can categorically say no, but then if breaking up isn't on the table we are into Dan Savage land where maybe the partner is not wrong to go out and have a meaningless affair.   Sexual contact is in relationships as much up for negotiation, and often involves much the same kind of problems, as household chores or decisions about who watches what on tv.  So - sometimes you get nagging, or people who feel hard done by and become passive aggressive, or they have arguments about it, or whatever.  These can all, if they are happening a lot, a sign of a relationship problem, but they aren't about sexual consent per se. (I'd also say here that people don't always agree on what constitutes nagging, even on mundane questions.)

 

In the case of initiating while asleep - yes, if someone says no thanks that is what they have said.  But I think you would probably find very few people in long-term relationships who would say initiating sexual activity - which is often not verbal but physical, while someone is sleeping, is a no-no.  It's quite different to try and feel-up someone you have no sexual relationship with while that person is asleep, and to do so with your wife, even if in both cases you are thinking they will wake up and carry on or tell you to buzz off.  It becomes more difficult if the person is someone you are not in a "relationship" with but have somewhat regular sexual contact with - at that point, differences in perception about the nature of the relationship can be really significant.

 

Then there is the situation the pp mentioned where someone feels pressured in some way but doesn't verbalize it - which is a fairly common thing to happen, but doesn't necessarily reflect much on the other person involved. (The idea that involvement must be "enthusiastic" which some advocate puts a pretty significant burden on people to interpret what others are thinking and feeling, and it makes some assumptions about their experience as well.)

 

I think that the model of active consent breaks down outside of fairly casual sexual relationships.  Once people have a series of interactions behind them, new ones always use those as a reference point.

 

And it still doesn't tell us how we manage in scenarios where everyone is drinking excessively and that is normative, or why there is such disagreement on what is too much.

 

The kinds of scenarios described in the video are never the ones where there is significant controversy. Controversies tend to happen where expectations were (or at least if people are telling the truth) unclear, where there was a more complex interaction between the individuals, or substance use makes what actually went on unclear or hard to assess.  I can't think of any of those scenarios where this would lend much clarity.

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Are we talking legally? That is a good question. In my the discussion with my son, legality never cropped up. Morality was what was trying to be taught, how to decide what is ok and what isn,t, both on the receiving and the initiating side. Decision making tools for at the time, not for how to judge what to do legally about what happened at some previous time. I,m not saying they wouldn,t work out to the same thing in the end, but the purpose of the video, I think, is the prevention of problems. For that, I think it is great. I was relieved to know that there was a way to explain simply something that I had tried hard to explain when he was a young teen but hadn,t gotten further with than "you have to clearly, verbally ask and the other person has to say yes, clearly and verbally". (The no half was already covered by a longstanding family rule.)

 

Nan

 

I am not sure that morally and legally would come out to the same thing, although they would be related.

 

But a simple example would be with drunkeness or other types of impairment.  While morally being inebriated wouldn't make a difference to the truth of an assault situation, legally being drunk makes a person an unreliable witness, just as they would be in any other case.  So if the environment is s drunken party, the quality of any witnesses is going to be poor, and that may include even the victim.

 

So - I might say that morally, having to much to drink or being at a drunken party has no bearing on a sexual assault case, but legally and effectually it could make a difference to the outcome.

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Being drunk doesn't exonerate someone from beating the crap out of their kid or spouse or from operating a motor vehicle. So why would it exonerate a rapist?

 

In general I tend to assume that if a male isn't too drunk to be unable to perform, he's not too drunk to ascertain if the other person is passed out or too drunk to consent.

 

Yes, there are murky grey areas. But to a great degree those murky gray areas come out of people not understanding the difference between enthusiastic, affirmative consent and fear based submission to the will of another.

 

But the main issue in the case of level of drunkenness is that the fact of being drunk makes even "enthusiastic" consent invalid.  So, how do you decide if the level of inebriation is too high?  If you are also drunk, does that mean it doesn't matter as long as both are willing?  Your view on how drunk a man has to be to be too drunk to make a judgement suggests that a women would have to be almost passed out to be too drunk to consent.  Which is more than many people would be comfortable with.

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re alcohol and capacity for consent:

 

No, what I'm talking about is the idea that a woman who is drunk is not able to give her legal consent to sex.  She may be saying, "Yes!" but because she is intoxicated that "consent" is not valid.  There's even a poster warning about it:  

 

http://www.redstate.com/uploads/2015/07/Jake-and-Josie-poster1.jpg

 

Do you know anything about the context of the poster?  Am I correct in deducing that it, like the video in the OP, is meant to serve as a teaching/awareness raising tool?  

 

In the US, the only way rape can be prosecuted is if a party with standing -- which, in the case of adults in a room alone, pretty much works out to be one of the partners -- presses charges.  So in the US, the only way Jake (in the poster) could be prosecuted would be if Josie pressed charges.  Prosecutors can't summarily chase down drunk people and press rape charges without a person pressing a complaint.  Is it different in Canada?  

 

 

 

It's hard for me to understand why such teaching tools generate the uneasiness they do.  

 

Doesn't more conversation and more clarity around consent REDUCE the risk of miscommunication and miscues?  Yes, women need to fully own their "yes" when they mean yes.  Yes, men need to accept that only yes means yes -- the absence of no does not mean yes; submission is not consent.  No, you shouldn't sleep with someone if you think there's even a teeny tiny chance that she might level a false accusation against you in the morning (and no, a text isn't going to do the job...).  

 

As a parent of one kid in college and another about to enter, I am really really GRATEFUL that such teaching tools exist and that young people are having these kinds of conversations.  I'm not under any illusion that either sexual coercion (a big problem) or false allegations (a comparatively tiny problem) will be eliminated entirely through such discussions, but I'll happily take "directionally correct."

 

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In the discussion with my son, he presented this explanation in combination with a few more simple-seeming concepts. My husband and I asked about a number of areas that we thought were grey and he quickly reduced them to one of his simpler ones. This tea thing alone might not be enough, but the combination of stuff they are teaching seemed like a pretty powerful toolbox. It won,t cover everything, of course, but it did appear to cover a lot. A lot is way, way better than nothing. And it was simple. Under these circumstances (college campus, frat parties, developing relationships, hookups, stable but not necessarily long-term relationships), simple is good.

 

Nan

 

Eta At any rate, it pulls the "This is ok" line way back from where it was with many guys (and girls) when I was in college.

 

I think the video is reasonable enough advice to give to someone you think might be in a position to have to decide if someone else is wanting or able to consent to have sex with them.

 

I think it's less useful in helping someone decide about his or her own responsibilities in giving concent, or whether he or she has in fact been assaulted.  I think that differentating being assaulted, from a bad situation, and what can and cannot expect a legal response, is important.  It sets people up for feeling doubly assaulted if they think they should have been supported by law when in fact that will not happen.

 

And it's less useful for helping people navigate consent in ongoing relationships.

 

My question would be whether a video like this is really being presented in such a way that it is clear that it's purpose is fairly limited.  I can't say my observation of student presentations on campuses gives me a lot of confidence.

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re alcohol and capacity for consent:

 

 

Do you know anything about the context of the poster?  Am I correct in deducing that it, like the video in the OP, is meant to serve as a teaching/awareness raising tool?  

 

In the US, the only way rape can be prosecuted is if a party with standing -- which, in the case of adults in a room alone, pretty much works out to be one of the partners -- presses charges.  So in the US, the only way Jake (in the poster) could be prosecuted would be if Josie pressed charges.  Prosecutors can't summarily chase down drunk people and press rape charges without a person pressing a complaint.  Is it different in Canada?  

 

 

 

It's hard for me to understand why such teaching tools generate the uneasiness they do.  

 

Doesn't more conversation and more clarity around consent REDUCE the risk of miscommunication and miscues?  Yes, women need to fully own their "yes" when they mean yes.  Yes, men need to accept that only yes means yes -- the absence of no does not mean yes; submission is not consent.  No, you shouldn't sleep with someone if you think there's even a teeny tiny chance that she might level a false accusation against you in the morning (and no, a text isn't going to do the job...).  

 

As a parent of one kid in college and another about to enter, I am really really GRATEFUL that such teaching tools exist and that young people are having these kinds of conversations.  I'm not under any illusion that either sexual coercion (a big problem) or false allegations (a comparatively tiny problem) will be eliminated entirely through such discussions, but I'll happily take "directionally correct."

 

 

The scenario is that while both partners were giving consent at the time, one later decides to press charges. 

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re alcohol and capacity for consent:

 

 

Do you know anything about the context of the poster?  Am I correct in deducing that it, like the video in the OP, is meant to serve as a teaching/awareness raising tool?  

 

In the US, the only way rape can be prosecuted is if a party with standing -- which, in the case of adults in a room alone, pretty much works out to be one of the partners -- presses charges.  So in the US, the only way Jake (in the poster) could be prosecuted would be if Josie pressed charges.  Prosecutors can't summarily chase down drunk people and press rape charges without a person pressing a complaint.  Is it different in Canada?  

 

 

 

Well, the police would press charges if there was enough evidence to suggest a rape occurred.  People don't press charges here. 

 

But, that's beside the point.

 

If Josie wakes up in the morning and says, "What the heck happened last night!  Oh, no - I slept with Jake.  I never would have done that if I hadn't been drunk!"  And then, she goes to the police and tells them she was totally intoxicated, so any consent she might have given was clearly invalid - well, then what?  

 

Here's another US site that warns that consent given when drunk is not consent: http://www.pamf.org/teen/abc/sex/consent.html

 

"For instance, if someone is drunk or high on drugs, then that person cannot give consent. This means that even if someone seems eager to engage in sexual behavior, doing so can legally be considered sexual assault or rape if he or she is intoxicated."

 

Clear now?  

Edited by Sarah CB

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My question would be whether a video like this is really being presented in such a way that it is clear that it's purpose is fairly limited. I can't say my observation of student presentations on campuses gives me a lot of confidence.

The parent presentation I went to was clear. The concept is respect. One does not automatically assume that accepting a date means an invitation to have sex has been issued, and an acceptance of the date invitation does not mean an offer of sex has been accepted. One may offer an invitation to engage in sex as part of the date, but the other party can decline at any time. And there is no magical time that a relationship has to become sexual....its up to both participants to mutually agree on the right time.

 

Its actually sad. My sons' gal friends have stopped dating due to the assumption that dating is a hook up, and has nothing to do with a relationship. They are being treated like prostitutes. Accept a date, and for the price of dinner they are now his property, and expected to take him to bed? Nope. Call girls charge more.

Edited by Heigh Ho

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(I'm not pushing back on you Canadians, here, just trying for clarity on terminology...)

 

 

so here...

The scenario is that while both partners were giving consent at the time, one later decides to press charges. 

This scenario is an unambiguous false allegation, then, right?  No muddiness at all -- there is clear consent, then equally clear turnaround and to lie under oath? 

 

 

... and then back to Jake and Josie:

Well, the police would press charges if there was enough evidence to suggest a rape occurred.  People don't press charges here. 

 

But, that's beside the point.

 

If Josie wakes up in the morning and says, "What the heck happened last night!  Oh, no - I slept with Jake.  I never would have done that if I hadn't been drunk!"  And then, she goes to the police and tells them she was totally intoxicated, so any consent she might have given was clearly invalid - well, then what?  

 

Here's another US site that warns that consent given when drunk is not consent: http://www.pamf.org/teen/abc/sex/consent.html

 

"For instance, if someone is drunk or high on drugs, then that person cannot give consent. This means that even if someone seems eager to engage in sexual behavior, doing so can legally be considered sexual assault or rape if he or she is intoxicated."

 

Clear now?  

Well, sorry, I'm still not clear.

 

So in this one, Josie wakes up and regrets the consent she actually did give, and -- rather than chalking it up to OK Lesson Learned Won't Do That Again, she goes down to the police and tells them -- well, I did consent but I was drunk.  As you say - then what?  (Not rhetorical - from the US, I couldn't begin to answer, since here there would be no crime if she told the truth about her consent.)  Is this really a legal line in Canada?  Would the police actually pursue such a case?  If, as you say, LEO determine whether or not to pursue a rape based on "evidence," how would prosecutions of such a case go?  So long as Josie told the truth, what would constitute "evidence" ?

 

(and if Josie does not tell the truth, we're back to Bluegoat's scenario, which clearly is false allegation.)

 

 

FTR, just to make my personal perspective clear, I'm NOT an advocate of bacchanallian free love.  

 

I really do believe that while the bulk of the onus around reducing sexual coercion is on men's acceptance that only yes means yes, there is a piece of the issue around women taking full ownership of their own intentions.  No "I was swept off my feet in a fit of passion," no "I didn't know what I was doing because ___fill in the blank____," no coy murmuring no when you really want yes, and CERTAINLY no false allegations after the fact.  All of those head games that women were perhaps trained into in prior eras do muddy the waters around consent, and it is up to women to stop playing them.

 

I'm an advocate of grownups acting like grownups.

 

Clarity around explicit consent -- what it means to give it, what it means to hear it, what not to do unless it's there -- can only help, it seems to me.  

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I think the video is reasonable enough advice to give to someone you think might be in a position to have to decide if someone else is wanting or able to consent to have sex with them.

 

I think it's less useful in helping someone decide about his or her own responsibilities in giving concent, or whether he or she has in fact been assaulted. I think that differentating being assaulted, from a bad situation, and what can and cannot expect a legal response, is important. It sets people up for feeling doubly assaulted if they think they should have been supported by law when in fact that will not happen.

 

And it's less useful for helping people navigate consent in ongoing relationships.

 

My question would be whether a video like this is really being presented in such a way that it is clear that it's purpose is fairly limited. I can't say my observation of student presentations on campuses gives me a lot of confidence.

I,d have to ask my son, but judging from our discussion, the tea tool was presented in the context of deciding whether somebody at a frat party had consented or not. He used other guidelines when we got into the more murky situations. He was pretty decisive about sleeping people having to be woken up before they could say yes. I decided that wasn,t such a bad way to proceed and didn,t argue. Perhaps sleepy encounters should be approached with more care if the culture is to change. I,d be pretty upset if my husband cut my hair when I was sleeping. As far as I can tell, they are trying to fix the campus rape problem from two angles. One is changing expectations about encounters via cultural changes (tea video being one example of the initiating side of this), and the other is more focused on watching your drink, buddying up, not getting stranded, legal rights and responsibilities, and other more conventional stuff. Even in a family like mine where we,ve discuss such things, including the necessity for consent, for a few generations now, it didn,t occur to either my husband or I to address the simple issue of sleeping people. Which was totally stupid, in retrospect. I agree with you in hoping that these tools are not misused. And, given the variety between college campuses, i share your worries about these things being well taught. I think, though, that the tea video is still a good tool. I was inclined to think, well, these issues are murky but we (husband and I) eventually worked it out relying on the general rule of be-kind-and-don,t-hurt-anyone-and-forgive-and-forget-and-have-self-respect and I guess our boys will have to as well. I know people for whom that approach did not work out as well. We were lucky. Hopefully videos like this will change things so that more people are lucky.

 

Nan

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\snip  People in long-term relationships do have legitimate expectations about sexual activity.  \snip

 

No, sex should never be an expectation.

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