Dear Survivors…

We want to apologize to all survivors for whom the Consent is Sexy postering campaign may have been triggering. The added stress of finals week made it a difficult time for everyone, and we’re so sorry if you’ve been triggered. Working on this campaign, we’ve been feeling much more prone to triggering, and stress and exhaustion certainly don’t help.

We started this campaign because it was important to us as survivors both to take action and to raise issues of rape and sexual assault here. Sometimes those conversations hurt, but we hope that they’ll help reduce the rate of sexual violence on campus.

We chose to run this campaign at the end of last semester for personal reasons, but it was short-sighted of us to plan it for right before finals. Again, we are truly sorry.


SOAR and the Consent is Sexy organizers

A post by an anonymous user, I am really angry, includes everything we would have said to non-survivors who are upset by the campaign. It’s an awesome post–please read it.

Survivors–regardless of how they feel about the campaign–are welcome to come to SOAR meetings. Email for more information. Consent is Sexy is no longer a part of SOAR.


3 thoughts on “Dear Survivors…

  1. The apology is nice, but I’m still waiting for one that admits the degree to which this campaign was wildly inconsiderate – to survivors, to athletes, to people who just wanted to get through finals, and to all the other people it harmed. I agree that people should be made uncomfortable. However, this campaign has been staggeringly thoughtless, and the discomfort it caused has not been productive. It has alienated people, caused undue stress, and generally been harmful to the community. This is a sensitive and important issue, and should be treated with far more care than you have shown.

    • I’m sorry that this has been your experience. It troubles me that you see the campaign as thoughtless and inconsiderate because significant thought and consideration did go into it. Based on interactions I’ve had with people both last semester and this semester, I maintain that some good has come out of the campaign. We can debate the balance, maybe, but I both participated in productive conversations and heard about others caring significantly more about consent, and I think those are intrinsically good. We wanted to raise issues and get a discussion started; the purpose of the campaign last semester was not, in fact, to deal with that discussion. That’s why this semester, Allied Students for Consent is carrying out the work of making awareness into something productive. We’re in the midst of organizing a film screening, an intimate partner violence training, and several awareness campaigns. Our future postering will take into consideration the feedback we’ve received from the first one, and we hope that it will continue to draw attention to issues of consent on campus. We will, however, be posting a list of the posters here and providing a trigger warning to campus before we put up the posters here. We hope that will help minimize harm while still providing a starting point for discussion.

      I’m sorry if this seems insensitive, but I still believe that the perceptions that the campaign was targeting athletes were unfounded–partially because I know that we were at no point targeting athletes. Several athletes were on the organizing committee, and the postering on athletic housing was intended to be comparable to that on other housing. The chalking in front of the GIAC was mirrored by chalking in front of Founders and in Stokes. We didn’t want to perpetuate any negative stereotypes, and we believe that athletes are (generally, just like most people) a good group. I appreciate your other concerns, but the campaign specifically treated athletes the same way it treated everyone else.

      If you have any suggestions for how ASC should move forward in a productive conversation with the community, I hope you’ll share them. ASC meetings are Sundays at 8 in the Campus Center Alumni Room, and you can get in touch with me or any of the other organizers via email or facebook.

  2. I am a survivor and was not a part of this campaign but I want you to know that I support it. It was triggering and at first I felt overwhelmed, but soon felt empowered. When I would walk around campus and see that yellow paper, I would smile, feel safe, feel like the campus was finally doing something. Maybe if this campaign had happened earlier, I wouldn’t have been assaulted because I would have had a well thought out definition of consent.

    I really identified with a lot of the posters and it was so important for me to see that my experience was not an isolated incident on Haverford’s campus. It also started so many conversations about consent and I think/hope that these conversations have already made a dent in Haverford’s rape culture. Oppressive culture gets its power by unspoken norms and starting conversations undermines those norms. While this one postering campaign is certainly not enough to eliminate rape at haverford (if that’s even possible) it was a very important start. I believe “enthusiastic consent” is now a part of Haverford’s vocabulary.

    I love that this post is directed towards survivors because the triggering nature of the posters is the one crique that I feel is very valid (or maybe I just feel that way because I’m a survivor). Most of the posters were not gendered (and of the ones that were, it was pretty equally split between male and female voices) and if people read them with a female voice, I think that is indicative of our society’s perceptions on rape – not anything inherent to the posters. In fact this campaign seemed like it when out of its way to be inclusive towards male survivors (my erection does not equal consent was one of my favorite posters). MAYBE (and that’s a strong maybe) some of the blog posts were gendered, but I’m not sure (and if most people who shared were women who were assaulted by men, that’s not Consent is Sexy being anti-man, that’s just survivors sharing their stories). I don’t want to think that every time I share my story I have to make sure to use gender neutral pronouns because I might offend a man. Haven’t I been silenced enough already?

    I also do not see any grounding for the “targeting athletes” claim. Unless you’re also targeting scholars, artists, people who live in Gummere, and people who work/party/spend time in Founders. If you hadn’t posted fliers on dorms were mostly athletes live (I guess I’m thinking of Drinker) wouldn’t that have been more targeting? That would be like saying “it doesn’t matter; you won’t listen anyway.”

    Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted you to know that even though critics are usually more vocal, I thought the consent is sexy campaign was great, empowering, and definitely helped me in my healing process. So thank you.

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