Alcohol has come up a lot in recent posts, both on this blog and on our Facebook page, so we wanted to start a conversation on the issue. Haverford’s sexual misconduct page states, “Voluntary consent cannot be given if a person is intoxicated or impaired.” Legal definitions aside, what are the consequences for us, real students, when alcohol is involved in a sexual interaction? We have been accused of “indict[ing] the hookup culture on campus (and as an extension, most men on campus).” As mentioned in a previous post, this is not at all our intention, and many of us have had great experiences in the Haverford social scene. However, this does not mean our campus social culture should be immune to thoughtful critique. The point remains that when people obtain enthusiastic consent from their partner(s), everybody wins. There is no confusion– so for those who have mentioned that this campaign has made them afraid to initiate sexual contact with others, don’t be! Our campaign seeks to promote active, enthusiastic consent, not finger pointing and fear (hence the title Consent is Sexy.) If we all commit to getting enthusiastic consent from every partner every time for every sexual act, the challenges posed by the presence of alcohol become much simpler. To more fully address this issue, we highly recommend this article from SAFER’s blog. SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape) is an organization that assists and empowers students to improve campus sexual assault policies nationwide.
“And so when we talk about alcohol and consent, it’s a conversation about open communication with your partner if they’ve been drinking—checking in with them, making sure they are enthusiastically, affirmatively consenting to whatever you’re doing together.”
It’s all about consent baby, because it’s so damned sexy.