Change is possible

October 2, 2018 | Campus Life
When I start a conversation about consent, the very first thing I say is that it’s okay to feel like it’s new or awkward or scary – because it is!

In our culture, we don’t see examples of consent in relationships. The movies that people find funny, entertaining and sexy don’t show the characters asking for consent. That can make normalizing consent challenging because it’s not something we can mimic. But I want people to know that change is possible, and we get to lead the way.

How do we get there? First, we need to make sure people are not perceiving the consent message as a threat – “You better do this or you’ll get in trouble.” I would hate for someone to practice consent out of fear. At first it might seem awkward, but when you actually start to communicate – whether it’s offering an invitation, voicing a desire, rejecting or accepting an idea – it will set you free! Yes, consent keeps you safe, but more than that, it gives you the freedom to experience sex and sexuality in a healthier, more positive and more enjoyable way.

– Karen B.K. Chan

B.K. is a sex and emotional-literacy educator from Toronto, and is leading workshops as part of MacEwan’s second annual Sexual Violence Awareness Week, including:

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