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Tag Archive: consent

May 14 2014

Force vs. Nonconsent: The Fight to Redefine Sexual Assault

[Content note: sexual assault] My piece at the Daily Dot today is about efforts to legally define sexual assault. Like all laws, the legal definitions of crimes have changed throughout history in response to social, cultural, scientific, and political forces.Sexual assault especially is a crime that depends on social consensus for its definition. After all, while killing …

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Mar 24 2014

On Shaming People Online “For Their Own Good”

[Content note: online harassment and bullying] Online vigilantism in general is nothing new, but lately I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend of people trying to teach others that they “should’ve known better” by posting “embarrassing” photos of them online, and/or doxing them based on photos of them that were already online. Two examples I’ve come …

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Mar 18 2014

Surprise Weddings are Nonconsensual and Icky

Okay, I promise I’ll actually write something for this blog soon, but for now I have another Daily Dot piece, this time about “surprise weddings.” (It’s as icky as it sounds.) Here’s an excerpt: It’s incredibly ironic that an event meant to celebrate the joining of two people in marriage would be so one-sided, and …

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Sep 29 2013

Of Pranks and Playboy: The Pros and Cons of Online Hoaxes

Header for Playboy's fake party guide.

If you were online at all last week, you probably came across a Playboy article called “Top Ten Party Commandments.” The article was in Playboy’s usual style, but rather than emphasizing your typical dudebro disregard for women’s feelings, opinions, and preferences, it’s all about how you can’t truly have a good time without consent and …

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Jul 24 2013

The Importance of Centering Consent in Sexual Ethics

[Content note: sexual assault] A week and a half ago I gave a talk about sex education at the Secular Student Alliance annual conference. In the section on creating a better sex education program, I mentioned that we need to center consent in the way we teach healthy sexuality to kids and teens. Rather than …

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Jun 28 2013

“Women Just Want Men To Take Control.”

[Content note: sex/BDSM] One trope I often hear about women’s sexuality is that “women just want men to take control.”1 I encounter this everywhere–in pickup artist how-to’s, in pop psychology articles, in Cosmo magazines, in Sigmund Freud’s theories. At its best, it’s a harmless meme that simply reflects the gender roles that our society has. …

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Jun 25 2013

Touching People Without Their Consent: Still A Problem Even If It’s Not Sexual

Since I’m always blathering on about consent, including consent in non-sexual situations, I’ve noticed a common belief that a lot of people have. It can basically be summed up like so: If you’re interacting with someone sexually, you need their consent. (Duh.) If you’re interacting with someone of the gender to which you’re generally attracted …

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Jun 04 2013

[interview] Greta Christina on Writing Dirty Stories

Greta Christina's Bending! Get it from Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords.

[Content note: BDSM] Greta Christina has a new book of kinky erotic stories out. It’s called Bending and I read it and it’s great. So I interviewed her about the book and the process and ethics of writing porn. If you’re curious why I refer to them as “dirty stories” and not “erotica,” Greta herself …

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Feb 16 2013

“Consent Is Sexy” Is Useful But Also Kind Of Sketchy

Consent is Sexy poster

I’m at the University of Chicago’s Sex Week, where I’ve seen a bunch of great talks, including one by Cliff Pervocracy! So I have sex on my mind (well, as usual). I often write about very well-intentioned principles or campaigns that have blind spots and negative implications. Here’s another example. “Consent is sexy” is one …

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Dec 05 2012

Victoria’s Secret Doesn’t Actually “Love Consent,” But It Should

What sex-positive underwear could look like. (source)

This morning I discovered that Victoria’s Secret has a new line of underwear. It’s called “Pink Loves Consent” and features slogans like “Let’s talk about sex,” “No means no,” “Ask first,” and “Consent is sexy.” The models on the website have all kinds of different body types and they’re not all white. I immediately loved …

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