Consent Culture – A Manifesto
This is a draft authored by Jenny Wilson in March 2019… amends and updates will follow soon
Consent Culture is a movement for social change.
Consent is transformative.
Consent is a human right.
Consent culture shifts our cultural beliefs away from entitlement, privilege and assumptions, and towards empathy, respect, communication, kindness and love. Consent is the foundation for building a better world.
CONSENT must be:
• FREELY GIVEN – all parties must have full capacity to consent, and nobody must be pressured, manipulated or coerced
• REVERSIBLE – consent may be withdrawn or retracted at any point, and it must be clear to all parties at what point a consensual transaction is completed
• INFORMED – all parties must understand fully what they are consenting to, and any risks relating to it
• ENGAGED – clear communication and positive agreement to proceed and continue
• SPECIFIC – with limitations and boundaries understood by all parties
Consent is not just about sex. Consent should be present in all human interaction – from the intimate and inter-personal, to the social and the cultural.
Nobody is too young to begin to understand consent as part of the way they interact personally with other humans, and to be treated with respect for their personal and bodily autonomy.
Consent is essential for many forms of human interaction, including sex.
Sex not fundamentally different from other human behaviours. It’s important to be able to discuss sex, with consent as context. When sex is shrouded in secrecy, guilt or shame it becomes more difficult to recognise and express boundaries and to address consent violations.
Consent culture challenges the culture of entitlement that prevails in many human societies today.
Building consent culture involves celebrating human diversity, whilst not categorizing difference as ‘otherness’ – we can be wonderfully different, and search for our points of connection together.