Let's talk about affirmative consent!

A couple of days ago, someone posted some evil, rape-excusing statements on one of my college's student/faculty/staff mailing lists. I won't talk about it much here, because I have a policy of not repeating evil things on this blog. However, it inspired me to draw this!

A brief introduction to affirmative consent.

(That's a link to an image (I'm putting it behind a link because it's fairly large). Click the link to see it. A transcript of that image is below.)

Transcript: (show)(hide)
ELI: Hello, folks! Let's talk about affirmative consent, and the myth of a “grey area” between consensual sex and rape! Consent is actually fairly straightforward, but people don't always explain it perfectly. Here, I'll explain it with an image!

Panel: Two cheerful people.
PERSON 1: Want to have sex?
PERSON 2: Yeah! Let's do it!
This panel is labeled “CONSENT”.

Panel: A cheerful person and an idle person.
PERSON 1: Want to have sex?
PERSON 2: Yeah, whatever.
This panel is labeled “NOT CONSENT”.

ELI: This isn't very hard to understand. If you ask someone fifty times, and ze says no fifty times, and then you ask a fifty-first time and ze says yes, that is not consent. Compliance is not consent. Compliance means that someone has decided that the trouble you'll cause for zem if ze doesn't comply is greater than the trouble of being sexed up when ze doesn't want it. Which is exactly the opposite of the positive, mutually beneficial relationship you want with a sex partner. Is there a grey area here? Yes - it looks like this:

Wide panel: At the left end is a cloud of grey smoke. At the right end is clear blue sky. The left end is labeled “GREY AREA”; the right end is labeled “CLEAR AREA”.
PERSON IN THE GREY AREA: Oh, no! With all this smoke around, I have no idea if ze actually wants to have sex with me!
PERSON IN THE CLEAR AREA: Thank goodness! My partner and I are communicating well and we both know exactly what the other wants!

ELI: The grey area is the bad area. The grey area is the one you want to avoid at all costs. The clear area is the awesome area of super sexy fun. If you do sex to someone while you're in the grey area, you might not ever know whether you've committed rape. That would be an incredibly stressful situation to put yourself into. You'd probably have a lot of cognitive dissonance because you don't want to think of yourself that way. And that would be very bad for you as well as for your potential victim. But the point here is not “If you're in the grey area, don't have sex”; although that is important... the point is, “If you're in the grey area... get to the clear area.”

Panel: Two people talking.
PERSON 1: I'm having a little trouble figuring out what you're okay with - sometimes I don't know if you're protesting or just playing around... So, um... Are you interested in making out for a while, and then having sex?
PERSON 2: Oh, that would be wonderful! Sorry, I've just had a bad day and so I'm a bit snippy. I could really use some good sex right now!
NARRATION: They then proceeded to have the awesomest sex ever.

ELI: Clear, honest communication is the only weapon we have against accidentally hurting each other over and over for no good reason. And it's also the sexiest thing since vibrating dildos. Use it.

– Eli

Approximate readability: 4.04 (2514 characters, 597 words, 53 sentences, 4.21 characters per word, 11.26 words per sentence)