I chose to do my activism project on consent as I have read articles and listened to conversations about how people were sexually assaulted or inappropriately touched. A few of the conversations that I overheard involved persons that I knew personally and professionally.
As far as we all can remember, there has been always been concerns with situations occurring without consent. For example, a young lady that goes to a party and has some drinks should not have to wake up to a man sexually assaulting her. She did not consent for it to take place and there for the man that committed the assault should be in prison.
While I was putting this project together, I conducted a google search on Men speaking out about sexual assault and the results it returned did not surprise me at all. It seemed like there was not many men that spoke out about sexual assault unless they were pressed about it. Many of the articles that I came across stated that men should recognize and speak out about sexual assault.
Reflecting back on this, I feel as though I should have made more of an effort to reach out to more men to get their thoughts on what they could to prevent sexually assaults from occurring. But in asking that question, the snakes in the grass will reveal themselves. By snakes, I mean those that will make excuses as to why said assault occurred and those not looking to make their fellow male friends accountable for their actions.
I named this #BeClear so that when presented with a situation where consent may be in question, you would want to be clear in making sure that person is safe and that you can lend a helping hand in any way possible. In designing the above photo, I wanted to make it crystal clear about what is consent, why consent is important, when consent is not being given and why speaking out is important. It is also imperative that we make sure that victims know they can be comfortable in making their voices heard.
This project has shown me that I can do more in a role to prevent sexual assaults from occurring. In the past, I would think about the consequences of speaking out. And now, I see that it is more about doing what is right and less about worrying about what people will say.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey