Talking About Rape Culture and Consent with McMaster Student Leaders

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Last year SACHA trained over 2000 Welcome Week representatives.

Our training included the dynamics and statistics of sexual violence, the common myths and lies that we’re taught, what is rape culture, and how we take action during Welcome Week and all year to create a culture of consent.

Today we met with student leaders, McMaster Welcome Week planners,  to talk about how the training went and how we are doing at ending rape culture at McMaster and creating a culture of consent.

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We answered questions like:

  • A year later, what is really sticking with you from SACHA’s consent workshop?
  • How did it feel to be in a workshop about consent?
  • What skills did you learn?
  • How did you take action to interrupt rape culture in the past year?

Quite often when we talk about bystander intervention, interrupting rape culture, or consent, we never get the chance to actually practice what those skills will look like in real life.

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One group of students would come up with an example of rape culture (someone saying ‘I raped that test’, an experienced Welcome Week rep trying to take a drunk first year home to have sex, a DJ playing the song ‘Blurred Lines’ at a Welcome Week event) and the other group had to come up with ways to respond.

Students talked about an event at last year’s Welcome Week where the DJ played the song Blurred Lines and everyone on the dance floor stopped dancing, made big X’s with their arms, and chanted ‘consent is sexy’ until the song was changed.

In our last activity we created art about what a world without rape culture would look like.

Friday’s workshop was just the first of many SACHA workshops happening over Welcome Week!

Follow SACHA on Twitter (@SACHA_tweets) for updates about our workshops.

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