Building a Culture of Consent

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Revision as of 03:04, 12 November 2019 by Ericfg (talk | contribs) (minor update)
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introductions what are we asking here? what is accountability in radical spaces. how does consent apply to organizational structure

who are the presenters" organizers around issues of sexual violence; focused on prevention; what can be done earlier -- how does transformative justice apply (how do structures contribute to cause harm) how to respond to sexual violence without bringing in cops and prisons


discussion: when did you first hear of the term concent.

field trip forms

signed by parents

consent over your actions, parents own options

consent as a concept grows out of medicine and research.

contract to wave liability in case something bad happens

someone in power getting permission from someone in a lower position of power is the legal framework of consent

this was integrated by the feminist movement into how consent defines power and control. Marriage contact as consent, no individual instance consent. so consent was radical when demanded to be applied to all encounters and for there to be the idea of positive or active consent -- not just the absence of a no.

consent is generally

an actor that wants something

someone else that can say okay, I'll let you do that

this shows in organizations when the person in power then gets the consent for things from their staff/underlings.

"are you willing to do X" not "what is the things we should do together"?

another angle was the gay men's bdsm community in the 20s and they needed to define sets of rules about consent that were clear and explicit

positive models of consent come out of many different kink communities



not sure/maybe (depending on the context) ---- conditional yes

this an apply organizationally via onboarding and being given a chance to select which things that the org does the person is willing to do.

lack of consent comes out in demands for long work hours;

consent in tech comes from a formalistic legalistic formulation; low standard of consent;

culture of consent vs the technicality of consent

in an organizational context power dynamics and subtle cooersian are important factors that impact the ability to consent

what is power: influence over others decisions consideration given to their needs weighted input -- putting the opinion of those in power over the others

look into littlesis -- tracks funding and exposes big brother

littlesis makes power maps. the ability to express your will over other's opposition (coersion, assault)

good power vs bad leverage of power decentralized power/collaborative vs hegemonic power/empire

break out group to talk about power in our organizations.

report back: power in relationships is perceived very differently by different parties in the discussion difference between formal and perceived power can be different can't ignore that power is always there, don't ignore it or pretend it does not exist, how to bring it out into the light and acknowledge it

privilege is "capital to leverage" to become more in line with your values

helpful tool:


power dynamics vary decision to decision, issue to issue

is power a 0 sum game (see saw)

there are other models


positional power: supervisor staff (supervisor has much power)

gender power: woman man (in this example the man has power because it's a very gendered environment)

racial power black lighter skinned latinx (racial power moves towards lighter skin)

social power outgoing shy (power to the more verbose)

overall power might average out, but the differences are still there so this could be very volatile relationship

by sketching these different lines of power it can help a negotiation or mediation so each party can see the differences and come to respect each others roles and authority

getting people to see the different powers that exist in a relationship can be transformative

focusing on your own oppressions can be done to hide from accountability so simply getting people to acknowledge the dynamic and not feel shame about it and accept the dynamic can be an agent of change

some of the tools used :

formalizing decision making practices

naming which practice for each type of decision

3 tiered model of restorative justice

 cyclical (conversations)/ community building
 affinity group/focus group
 when there is an active ongoing harm

values are things you want to do; practice is how that is put into play in the community

intentionally designing your mission and values are critical to developing a healthy power dynamic