Consent: It’s Clear and Verbal

For the UAS Whalesong

We all know what consent means, right? Just in case, I got the Google definition: consent is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” And, as I’m sure we’ve all seen on the various stickers and flyers that have been making their way around campus, consent is two other things: clear and verbal. Both at the same time, not one or the other. If someone is intoxicated or incapacitated in any way, their consent is not clear, even if it’s verbal. If someone gives verbal consent but it’s not very clear if they really meant it, they haven’t actually given consent. And, perhaps most importantly, consent is something that anyone can revoke at any point in time – and neither you or anyone else can tell them they don’t get to do that.

The concept of consent is most commonly discussed in a sexual context. Usually, during new student orientation, there is a presentation given on sexual harassment, consent, and the ins and outs of such. (I only saw it once, but a particular favorite of mine was a video that compared consent to a cup of tea. If someone says that they like tea but they don’t want it at the moment, you wouldn’t force them to drink tea anyway.) That being said, it was recently brought to my attention that there is a video game in existence whose entire purpose is to drive home the importance of consent – specifically, sexual consent. Continue reading “Consent: It’s Clear and Verbal”