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McGill U.’s new rule on campus sexual assault: No means no–and yes also means no

March 4, 2014

Because practically everything men do has to be rape:

On Wednesday evening at McGill University in Montreal, a group of students and community activists assembled to discuss when “yes” doesn’t actually mean yes. The Forum on Consent, which was also open to the public, featured several panel participants who spoke to the question of what we understand as “consent.” The theme was similar to a campaign launched by a Nova Scotia coalition earlier this month — the More Than Yes campaign — which contended that “sexual consent is more than just a yes.” According to that campaign, and echoed by the forum participants at McGill on Wednesday, real consent “must be loud and clear. Sex without enthusiastic consent is not sex at all. It’s sexual assault or rape.”

***

At McGill, campus advocates launched a petition after learning that three of the university’s football players were facing sexual assault charges. Though the players quit the team after the news of their charges was made public in November, members of McGill’s Union for Gender Empowerment blamed the university for failing to take an active role against “systemic forms of rape culture” on campus.

Despite all the alarm about McGill’s “rape culture,” the actual turnout for the Forum on Consent was, uh:

About 75 students and staff showed up to engage in a discussion about the thorny issue of consent, and to listen to keynote speaker Abigaël Candelas de la Ossa, a PhD student at Queen Mary of London University, who does research on consent.

McGill has 39,000 students.

Here’s another telling demographic fact:

Joey Shea, one of the co-chairs of the event and vice-president of student affairs for the Student Society of McGill University, said it was frustrating that not a lot of men showed up despite outreach attempts by the organizers.

I wonder why.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. pabarge permalink

    Joey Shea? Of McGill? Did someone say Joey Shea?

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