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There was 'no means no'. Then 'yes means yes'. Now, we have notions of 'enthusiastic consent' and 'continued consent'. Sexual consent might seem like a simple thing to understand, but the continued prevalence of harassment and sexual assault tells us it's anything but.
Is our culture sending mixed messages? Can the tricky terrain of consent ever be reduced to a simple slogan or a straightforward set of principles that are universally understood and applicable? How can we get better at teaching, and practising, reciprocal respect in all sexual encounters?
In this discussion, we'll explore these questions and more. We'll look at sex education in schools and discuss how we can teach young people not just about biology, but also about desire and respect. We'll look, too, at how power differences can affect the context in which consent is given, denied or withdrawn. Finally, we’ll talk through the principle of enthusiastic consent and discuss ways we can convey these ideas to young people.
Presented in partnership with Archer Magazine.
Amy Middleton is a Melbourne-based journalist and writer, who founded Archer Magazine, Australia’s first journal of sexual diversity, in 2013.
Anne-lise Ah-fat is a community organiser, mother of two, facilitator and educator who is passionate about transformative justice. Anne-lise is a co-founder of Undercurrent Community Education Project, also works as a Training Coordinator – Practice in men's family violence, a men's behaviour change practitioner, family violence consultant and trainer. Anne-lise is passionate about accountability, prison abolition, and malleefowl and co-ordinates Incendium Library and IRL Infoshop. Anne-lise works with persons of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and believes that social change can only occur collectively.
Bexx is a Maori/Ghanaian women currently residing in Melbourne. Her passion for inclusion has seen her curate and develop events as big as conferences, all with the aim to platform communities that are often forgotten. Ranging from club nights (Box Oceania in Aotearoa, Alterity collective MELB) to corporate and council spaces (Darebin Feast 2017–18, LISTEN conference 2016, Melbourne Fringe), she ensures as an event producer that spaces are as safe as possible for those attending. Prioritising young people, people of colour, people of faith, those with accessibility requirements and those who aren't out as queer, she understands the various ways in which consent plays in these spaces.
In partnership with Archer magazine, we’re presenting a series of events throughout 2019 which will explore sexuality, gender and identity – with an emphasis on the lesser-heard perspectives for which the magazine is known.
How do sex and gender relate to our bodies, our partners, our communities and our rights? And how do we make sense of our unique experiences? Join us for a set of frank, generous conversations about intimacy.