Consent Culture has a domain name (www.consentculture.org), a server and a sentence on its website. I have completed a grant application hoping to receive help with a computer, a projector and a few other things. Taurus development is giving me free office space for an unknown period of time ( Thank YOU!). I have had conversations with several people who are eager to teach the consent 101 and 201 classes in addition to myself. I have a meeting scheduled with Sar Surmick director of Seattle’s brand new organization Consent Academy (affiliated with the Foundations for Sex Positive Culture).I purchased and am really enjoying the book Pagan Consent Culture by Christine Hoff Kraemer & Yvonne Aburrow. I have an outline for Consent Culture’s process for receiving reports of consent violations: forms, a task/decision making flow chart, a mediation format, a conflict resolution format ( these processes were invented by myself, Shanya Luther of Among Friends and people who have been on the Surrender Guardian team for the last two years). I have obtained verbal permission to use Rain Crowe’s Integrity process which is designed to help people restore their integrity with those whose consent they have violated.
I will share all these resources with my communities as soon as I get some help loading them onto the website and ensuring the intellectual property and creative commons rights and all of that has been well thought through.
I need some help with the administrative work. So if you are interested or available let me know. Just call me at 206-612-3511.
Here is a brilliant article that expresses some of my beliefs about why “Call Out culture” does not provide justice or healing.
The Consent Culture Project is getting off to a rough start. I am uncertain about how much to share, as my drive and initiative to create a education business focusing on Consent Culture is fraught with traumatic personal and interpersonal experiences. Not only have I personally survived sexual abuse, sexual harassment, date rape and obvert and covert misogyny for much of my life; but the communities I live within are full of other traumatized individuals who then have interpersonal conflicts with me and those close to me. As I teach in Cascadia Holistic Peer Counseling, we are all trauma survivors but may or may not acknowledge this fact. We each struggle with our own violent impulses and lack of compassion. We each are at times authors of acts of violence who make decisions unilaterally without understanding or considering the impact of those behaviors on each being involved. We each have had experiences where our body sovereignty is interrupted (even if only when we were children and “for our own good”) and someone else’s will forced something that we did not freely choose upon us.
My work as a healer and the leader of Living Love Revolution calls me to take testimony and provide witnessing for survivors and authors of consent violations and domestic violence experiences on a regular basis. Counseling people exposes me to the internal psychology of both survivors of trauma and those who “perpetrate” or enact consent violations. All of these behaviors are human. All people need witnessing, a safe space to have feelings, a clear boundary for what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable in each social setting and sub cultural context.
Repeatedly in a longer external social cycle of at least one major incident every three years, one or more of the sub-cultures I am a member of explodes over “an incident of consent violation”. In 2016 however, there were so many of these that I literally lost track. It is also true that I have never known a presidential candidate to be so openly accused of consent violations before coming into power. I am honestly quite frustrated with, and openly opposed to the actions of those who are firmly entrenched in rape culture. It is also true that there are many people who do not wish to further rape culture but have no understanding of how they are unconsciously perpetuating it. Another source of community-wide conflicts come from the fact that there are no standardized grass roots (non-legal) frameworks for how to handle and resolve consent violations. So that when an incident occurs, and our communities explode, we have very little awareness of how to end the horizontal hostility, social competition and internal distress that keep us from coming together and honoring consent & body sovereignty. I truly believe that it is possible to actually embody and experience the respect, safety and communion that a true enactment of consent & body sovereignty. I experience this in small groups at my Aphrodite Temple experiences on a quarterly basis.
I assert that there is a need for clear, mutually understood and enacted guidelines and social norms regarding consent and body sovereignty. Growing up in a culture where my own body was subjected to regular acts of violence, and abuse and living in a family where physical and verbal abuse was normalized, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to refrain from violence. I authentically desire to generate and live in a culture based love and compassion. My own experiences of trauma and poverty lead me more often to act from a place of fear and a desire to avoid further oppression and violation. I need clear group guidelines and social norms where I know others will both: 1) help me keep my own violent and unconscious re-enactments of the oppressions done to me in check with compassionate loving attention and 2) allow me to interrupt the oppressive patterns and behaviors of others before they coalesce into an act of violence.
I’d like to think that Consent Culture will be able to create new standards of behavior in our communities and alternative sub cultures. Won’t you join me? Let me know.