‘We Consent’ has hit the market in a tech-solution to rape culture among young people today. And it’s a bloody outrage.
Hot off the press today: an ‘anti-rape’ app for your smart phone.
At first, the idea is genius: using the omnipresent smart phone to protect yourself against danger. Is it a loud alarm you can set off if you feel in danger? Maybe a panic button that shoots off a ‘send help’ text message to your friends or family? Or a phone call directly to the police?
Sadly, it’s none of the above.
‘We Consent’ is a new application that instructs the user to record their potential sexual partner in a 20-second video consenting to sexual relations. Notably, they must say the word ‘yes’, otherwise the phone will encourage both people not to proceed.
One word, to solidify their involvement. (I don’t know about you, but jumping into bed with someone usually involves a little more than just saying, ‘yes’…)
It would be easy to explore the lighter side of this situation, pointing out that an iPhone can’t do much (read: anything) to prevent or discourage physical interaction. It could almost be a joke, expecting two people in the heat of the moment to stop, fix their lipstick, straighten their tie, and make a stony-faced confession on video that yes please, they would like to shag you, thanks.
But as a young female with an obligation to other young females and males who could one day potentially find themselves in an incredibly dangerous situation, where the possibility of rape is present, I need to say this instead: THIS APP IS OUTRAGEOUS.
Ignorant at best, dangerous at worst, We Consent is communicating to its users that rape is a simple misunderstanding – not a violent crime.
The We Consent website states that,
“Sexual encounters are emotional and muddled enough, without the added pressure of ‘what are the rules going to be tomorrow?’
One always has the ability to change one’s mind about what the event means: even after the encounter.”
First things first, We Consent: the rules have, and always will be, the same. Sex without consent is rape. That’s not emotional, or muddled – it’s really simple. And that fact remains the same regardless of whether one or both partners are drunk, high, dressed promiscuously, a virgin, or any other excuse for why consent was not given… or needed.
The more We Consent explains the purpose of their app, the more sinister their intentions are revealed to be.