Consent kits given to Vancouver students
The Women’s Centre at Simon Fraser University is handing out pink “toolboxes” to spread the word about sexual consent. The kit includes a condom, lubricant, and a sexual consent form. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
Bright pink boxes created by the Women’s Centre at Simon Fraser University are being distributed to spread the word about sexual consent and counter what is often termed “rape culture.”
Louise Mapleston, who represents the centre, said the initiative is about “making sure that when people have sex, they are feeling comfortable and they’re 100% excited.”
The package contains a condom, lubricant and a sexual Mad Lib, in which students can fill in the blanks of what form of sexual interaction they would like to engage in.
Mapleston said project’s goal is to promote fluid conversation, using “I would like to” statements.
“That’s just disgusting,” said former madam turned anti-prostitution advocate Tania Fiolleau, arguing the university is promoting sexual promiscuity with this package.
“I think the idea of having more sex with multiple partners is wrong. It’s not something the university should be promoting.”
Hilla Kerner, a spokeswoman for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, said the program is a creative way to promote awareness about consent, adding that the women’s centre may be a little misguided with the statement “yes means yes.” She said more emphasis should be placed on the idea that “only yes means yes.”
Kerner said older campaigns with slogans such as “No means no,” only paint half the picture. She said consent needs to be clear, direct and verbal and that’s why students should be educated that only yes means yes.
According to Canada’s Criminal Code, consent is a voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.
Mapleston said this campaign is a fun, engaging way to encourage sexually active students to obtain that consent.
When asked about what a condom and lubricant have to do with consent, she said, “It’s all connected. I think that often when someone consents to sex I think that often we consent to being safe.”
The Women’s Centre is run by a collective of volunteers and staff. The group self-identifies as pro-feminist, sex-positive, pro-choice, trans and intersex inclusive and anti-racist.
Mapleston said the centre is always open and encourages students to come in for a chat or to take out resources.
“We have a whole lot of condoms,” she said.
Is it a good idea to hand out condoms and lubricants to university students?