Mapping Prevention: Consent Work
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past 14 years, it’s that there are very few “new” prevention concepts. Many initiatives come and go, and then come back again. It’s sort of like fashion. I never thought those leggings I wore back in the 80’s would ever come back around, and yet here they are again. Prevention ideas that were part of the foundational work of the civil rights and feminist movements many decades ago have made a comeback. Social norms change, community mobilization, engaging youth as agents of change are just a few of those initiatives. That’s not to say that these concepts haven’t changed or grown with time. But sometimes we embrace them like they are new ideas, without realizing that they were developed and fine-tuned by marginalized communities decades ago.
A prime example: consent work. This is a topic that many preventionists have embraced in the past few years. But much of the groundwork around consent was laid by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex (LGBTQI) community many years ago. Negotiating consent was a part of everyday conversation. These conversations continue today as the LGBTQI community embraces a sex-positive approach in discussing how to talk openly and honestly about healthy, respectful ways of negotiating consent.
I had the pleasure of talking with Dustina Hasse-Lanier of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (OCADSV) and Jessica Gilbertson, formerly of OCADSV, about this issue at the 2011 National Sexual Assault Conference as they prepared to lead their workshop titled, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Re-learning Consent from our ForeQueers”. This workshop was a huge hit, and you can find out why by watching the video of my interview with them in the 2nd installment of our Mapping Prevention video podcast series. Then let us know what you think by posting a comment.