George Lawlor, a university student in the UK, wrote a controversial article on why he does not need to attend consent classes, leading to a debate as to whether or not these classes should be mandatory.
Lawlor recently received an Facebook invite called “I Heart Consent Training Sessions,” which he said is “the biggest insult I’ve received in a good few years.” He explains that he knows what consent is and going to these kind of classes is “such a waste of time.” He has the empathy to know exactly when a person is consenting even in some of those complicated circumstances. He explains that most of his peers know this and should not be singled out as rapists.
He goes on to make an interesting point about who would actually attend this event:
“I’m not denying there have been tragic cases of rape and abuse on campuses in the past, but do you really think the kind of people who lacks empathy, respect, and human decency to the point where they’d violate someone’s body is really going to turn up to a consent lesson on a university campus? They won’t. The only people who’ll turn up will be people who (surprise, surprise) already know when it’s okay to shag someone. No new information will be taught or learned.”
This brings up the topic of whether or not consent classes at college campuses should be mandatory or not. As much as we would all complain about having to sit through them, maybe it should be a mandatory class — not just for men but for women too. What’s the harm in having an hour-long consent class for freshman and transfer student since sexual assault on campus has become a bigger and bigger issue each school year?
As someone who attends a college that sparked national controversy last fall for telling the freshman girls to practice their facial expressions in the mirror to avoid getting raped, this could be a much better solution to the problem than victim blaming classes.
Many students believed that Lawlor’s post was ridiculous because there is no specific look of a rapist. Maybe he understands what consent is, but situations can get complicated. Nessa Dinneen, a student at the University of Limerack disagreed with Lawlor and wrote a response in a blog post, “They don’t have to be convicted rapists to subject women to non-consensual sex.”
She then went on to explain:
“People who get insulted by being asked to attend a consent course feel a need to speak out about it and exclaim that they’re certainly not rapists and know full well what consent is. These men seem more concerned with protecting their pride than they do preventing sexual assault.”
Are you for or against consent classes on college campuses?