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We're doing the Consent Workshop again!

Consent workshop:
Jan 6th at 6 pm at 5266 NE 15th Ave.
Due to the large turnout at the last one, and ongoing requests we are going to do the consent workshop again. This time it will be in NE and will be a benefit for The Born In Flames Conference, no one will turned away for lack of funds, but bring what you can to help the confernece. The Born In Flames conference will be a 3-day conference about sexual assualt. It will be at PSU June 24-26, for more info you can e-mail them at  borninflamesconference@yahoo.com

this workshop will cover what is consent and what it
is NOT, ways to understand people's sign's for
consent and ways to ask for consent, as well as
figuring out ways to reach the ultimate in safe and
healthy sex.

the workshop is brought to you by the hysteria
collective. the hysteria collective is an anarchist
collective of women and trans confronting sexual
assault and patriarchy within our communities. At all
our events we have the following safer space policy:
We work to address, confront and eliminate oppressive
behaviors and ways of thinking including but not
limited to racist, ageist, sexist, heterosexist,
transphobic, able-bodyist, classist and other language
and actions that perpetuate oppression. If and when
they occur individuals and groups participating will
be instantly removed from the event. known sexual
perpetrators are not permitted at any time.

for more info---------->  hysteriacollective@yahoo.com
question 19.Dec.2004 16:19

just wondering

wouldn't "known sexual perpetrators" be the ones who could most benefit from such a workshop?

don't know the answer but 19.Dec.2004 16:50

would like to have the conversation

If there really is any help for "known sexual predators," I doubt this workshop would be it. Many women would be uncomfortable from participating in a workshop with someone who has proven that he (or she) can't keep their hands to themselves.

hmmm 19.Dec.2004 17:17


Maybe less loaded questions would be who IS this workshop for, who IS invited to it, what ARE they expected to know already, what IS it okay to admit ignorance about, etc.

increasing the costs (above 50 shekels) 19.Dec.2004 18:48

Darwinian Left

a) Humans above the age of 2 generally don't need to attend workshops to learn how to interpret the meaning of the utterance "NO".

b) Rape is probably best deterred through strictly enforced severe punishment:

Is rape an adaptation? [read: adaptive ***conditional*** strategy]

No one knows, nor is there currently enough evidence to decide the question either way. A better question is whether or not a rape adaptation in humans is conceivable. Here, I think the answer is CLEARLY yes. That rape might be an adaptation is a reasonable hypothesis to pursue, and the proper framework is intersexual conflict.

Nature is
[not a beautiful and benevolent female godess of love and beauty, but is]
rife with violent conflict--conflict between members of different species (such as predators and prey), conflict between members of the same species (such as males competing for females), and conflict between males and females (such as the killing of offspring by unrelated males during harem takeovers). Further, many organisms clearly possess adaptations to successfully engage in violent strategies (e.g., fangs and claws). There is no principled reason why animal nervous systems could not be specialized for coercive mating, including rape. In humans, the BENEFITS of rape for males may have outweighed the costs during the EEA in the following circumstances:

* High status males may be have been able to coerce matings with little fear of reprisal.
Low status women (e.g., orphans) may have been particularly vulnerable to being raped because males need not have feared reprisals from the woman's family.

* During war, raping enemy women may have had few negative repercussions+. [** Rape is, in fact, a universal feature of primitive and modern warfare, and is codified in the Bible]

* Men who were low status, who were likely to remain low status, and who had few opportunities to invest in kin may have realized reproductive benefits that outweighed the considerable costs (e.g., reprisal by the woman's family).


If my 'genes made me do it', am I still responsible?

Yep. Sorry. If you tell the judge that your genes made you do it, she can tell you that her genes are making her throw you in jail. It is likely that humans possess a sophisticated suite of cognitive adaptations for negotiating social contracts. One aspect of social contract psychology no doubt involves evaluating the costs and benefits of violating the social contract, another involves detecting such violators (the famous cheater detection module), and yet another surely involves strategies for punishing such violators. In other words, each of us possesses the cognitive ability to break the law as well as uphold it. Not a very radical idea, actually. In fact, legal systems tend to be organized around just this principle. Laws are designed to prevent people from doing things that they might construe as being in their interest but which would impose costs on everyone else: theft, assault, neglect of important but onerous responsibilities, etc. Banks recognize that it is an enduring feature of human nature to take valuable things that belong to others, especially if they are strangers. But, just because it might be human nature to steal doesn't mean it's OK to do so. That's why banks spend a lot of money on vaults with massive steel doors, timed locks, survey cameras, and armed guards. If you're caught robbing a bank, you will pay a hefty social cost (e.g., jail time).

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and LAY HOLD ON HER, and lie with her, and they be found;

Then THE MAN that lay with her SHALL GIVE unto THE DAMSEL'S FATHER FIFTY SHEKELS of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

2 Samuel 16:22
GOD is angry at David for having Uriah killed. As a punishment, he WILL HAVE DAVID'S WIVES RAPED by his neighbor while everyone else watches. It turns out that the "neighbor" that God sends to do his dirty work is David's own son, Absalom

2 Samuel 20:3
David shows unusual restraint and "went not in unto his concubines." Instead, he imprisons them as a punishment for being raped by David's son, Absalom

hey 19.Dec.2004 18:53

um darwin

yer a fuckin nut case

How Science Works 19.Dec.2004 19:01

Darwinian Left

thanks for the constructive abuse!





Do YOU need a workshop to understand how to interpret the word "no"?

Thanks 19.Dec.2004 21:42


Thanks. I went to the last workshop. It was really great and informative. All of hysteria's events are wonderful and they always have a bunch of really great stuff to read. I can't make it to this workshop...good luck!

Is Hysteria doing movie nights anymore?

Consent 19.Dec.2004 21:55

consenting adult.

It all seems pretty straightforward to me, although our cultures shame in talking about sex makes it difficult. Every parent should take their male child aside (as I am planning to take mine aside) before they think they are sexually active, and say "Son, I know the seems like something you don't need to know right now, but pretty soon you are going to be interested in having sex, and when you do, this will be the greatest lesson I can teach you. Every one has to risk a first kiss, and the possabilty of getting the cheek, but before you go much beyond that, ask, in clear terms. You can say "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I want to make love to you." or "do you want to fuck" or anything in between, but you need to be that clear. Then you need to wait for a POSATIVE VERBAL response. Not a come hither look or a sigh. It has to be something that if you wrote on paper would be just as clear as "yes". If you dont get one, stop. It can save you and your girlfriend a lot of pain anger and hurt. Sometimes people feel the need to equivicate or get circumlocutious when it comes to sex, but you cant let that happen the frist time. You have to be clear and use simple words, and you have to get clear, simple words back. It sounds unromantic, but the right woman will live you for asking. As you develope a relationship, these rules will bend. You will learn their body langauge and looks, and youll know what they mean, but dont assume to much, bacause both her feelings and your honor depend on it."

Id probably say pretty much the same thing to a daughter, but phrase it a little diffrently because men are (traditionally) the ones who attempt to initiate sex, and women the ones who choose (I believe that ny Grandfather said "Men propose but women dispose" or something). I am not sure, I have a boy and have had years to think about the above lecture. Maybe it sounds hokey, but my kid likes the "father-son talk tone" I also know that he wont ask questions right away, but hell come back for more information later.

uummm 19.Dec.2004 22:28

lee hunter

this is an interesting thread of questions and comments.

question, just wondering,
known sexual perpetrators definately need to work consent and a whole variety of other things...if you would like to create a workshop that is taliored to the needs of perps, by all means do so, i do believe that you would recieve a great amount of support for that work.

darwinian left, your message is exactly why we talk about consent, you are propagating ideas of a culture that i want no part of and happly work to dismantle. thanks for illustrating our need for dialogue about rape in this culture...i guess, kinda wish you hadn't.

consenting adult: that's great that you are discussing these things with your son, start them early...you raise another interesting point about male socialization and men always "asking" for sex and women "giving" sex. certainly that is a stereotypical norm in the heterosexual arena, but not everyone is a hetero, morever, women ask for sex as well, it's not 1950 anymore. i guess i am trying to get to the idea that everyone, regardless of socialized gender should be discussing sexual consent with their partner(s). in additions part of being able to consent is the ability to have healthy communication skills, something that isn't always valued in this culture.

glad to see the dialogue that is starting, it's long overdue.

Life before the sexual revolution 20.Dec.2004 06:49

(male) American in china

Its interesting how you don't realize how American you are until you leave America. Back in the day when I was in the states, I thought that is was simple common courtesy to make your intentions known. No means no, and even lack of yes means no. In China it is completely differant. You must NEVER EVER tell a girl that you want to sleep with her. Especially not if you want to sleep with her. Girls don't find it manly or macho to ask permission, and they don't expect it.

I went through a fair number of girlfriends when I first got here trying to figure that out. I would find a girl who obviously liked me, take her home, and she would apply the brakes at the last minute. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. Naturally, I went to a Chinese boy friend of mine and explained my problem. Thus, I learned the Chinese mating dance:

Jin Yi: Wait, so you stopped when she said 'no'?

Me: Well, yea! I'm not about to rape some poor Chinese girl.

Jin Yi: (Laughing) If she let you take off her clothes, I am sure she wanted to.

Me: But, how do you know when 'no' means 'no' or when it means 'yes'?

Jin Yi: (Thinks for a moment) I think, when she crys. Yes, then you stop and give a gift and say 'I am sorry'.

Me: I'm either supposed to push her until she crys, or live for a year without sex?!

Jin Yi: (Completely serious) Yes, that is correct.

Me: China sucks.

Still I don't have the heart to do it the Chinese way, but if you are a boy you have to be a little more forceful here if you want to get laid. Girls will always put up some sort of meager defense, and you just have to guess what it means. I always err on the side of caution, but although I hate to say it, I can understand how a date rape could happen. (I would still advocate a moderate to severe ass whooping though. Legal action would be worthless here. Rape is still the fault of women in the eyes of the Chinese legal system).

I like the American way infinitly better. I feel like an asshole half the time. That is one reason foriegn (meaning not Chinese) girls here hate the Chinese boys so much. They're complete assholes to girls. And the boys are so pushy because if they aren't the Chinese girls won't sleep with them. It's a stupid little cycle.

I guess the point I'm trying to make in a round-about sort of way is that a culture of sensitive boys requires a culture of open minded girls. Of course come to think of it, a culture of open minded girls requires a culture of sensitive boys. Another paradox. I guess what we need is more open discussion. Damn. I'm more confused now than I was before I wrote this.

My two cents 20.Dec.2004 17:25

a studious person

Thanks for your perspective. It is important to realize that different cultures have different systems of doing things, and there is very little that is universal. In this country, it is undoubtedly best to wait for a definite yes. I also agree with you in that I would far prefer the consent system over the chinese system.
As to the Darwinian guy: While I agree with you that even assuming there is an evolutionary cause for rape and that that doesn't make it okay, I disagree with your assertion that a workshop is unnecessary. Usually, it isn't as simple as a "yes" or "no", and that's where a workshop could be a lifesaver. Lots of guys would probably consider "I don't know" "I guess so" "I'm not sure this is a good idea" etc. as a yes, and often the question isn't asked at all. Also, some guys would take "no" to mean "yes", and at least in this country, that is definitely not okay.

Who are the real savages? 20.Dec.2004 18:06


The best deterrent against rape is strong women who will fiercely defend themselves against attempted rape. Women shouldn't depend on the state to protect them, they should take charge of their own safety. A small knife hidden on the body ready to be jammed into the carotid artery would be effective for most situations.

I'm curous to know what evidence Darwinina Left has to prove this assertion:

During war, raping enemy women may have had few negative repercussions+. [** Rape is, in fact, a universal feature of primitive and modern warfare, and is codified in the Bible]

I agree that rape is a tool of modern warfare but I question whether primal cultures (pre european contact)practiced rape as a weapon. Look up the initial desriptions of primal cultures by early explorers (take later descriptions with a grain of salt when they had to rationalize genocide). "War" if it could be called that, as practiced by primal peoples, was ceremonial and ritualistic, casualties were rare and didn't involve women and children, the concept of total war, as practiced by europeans, was completely unknown to them. Rape is a common tactic is currently being used against the remaining indigenous peoples of the world by soldiers, miners, etc... who want to force these people off what land they have left. When was the last time an indigenous person marched into a city and raped someone?

two points 20.Dec.2004 19:30


first of all, to darwinian left, as well as some other people... consent does not mean 'they didn't say no', consent means two people capable of making decisions [not blacked out drunk, for example] deciding to do something together.

second point, to the parent who says they would take their male child aside and talk about it... you need to discuss this with any daughters just as much. Women are also, in this messed up society, prone to pushing things past consensual levels.
And unfortunatly, people in this culture are taught that men are always willing, and therefore heterosexual women are incapable or perpetrating assault. This isn't true.

I applaud the concept of consent workshops.

the taboo of exposing the innate 20.Dec.2004 21:51

Darwinian Left

"Darwinian left, your message is exactly why we talk about consent, you are propagating ideas of a culture that i want no part "

Religious people want no part of the rational and demonstrable theories of evolution, which:

"Like Gulliver tied down in Lilliput, is unbudgeable, not because of some one or two huge chains of argument that might - HOPE AGAINST HOPE - have weak links in them, but because it is securely tied by THOUSANS OF THREADS OF EVIDENCE anchoring it to virtually every other area of human knowledge. New discoveries may conceivably lead to dramatic, even "revolutionary" *shifts* in the Darwinian theory, but the hope that it will be "refuted" by some shattering breakthrough is about as reasonable as the hope that we will return to a geocentric vision and discard Copernicus."
(daniel C. Dennett, _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_ (1995)

And for those who have been decieved that parental pep-talks will alter their childrens lives, need I remind you of studies of the personalitites of identical twins seperated at birth?

The human brain is not a "blank slate", a piece of putty that you can sculpt to your wishes. It is a marvel of biological engineering: a machine for navigating, survival, and ultimately--even for homosexuals like myself--for reproductive strategies.

Every one of your ancestors succeeded to reproduce - many of your genes come from succesful rapists.

When asked by her dauther to identify the cause of her [misappropriated] intelligence, Margeret Meade explained that it had nothing to do with her upbringing at all - it was genetic.

to umm 21.Dec.2004 01:03

consenting adult

You are right, its not the 1950s, and I dont live in the 1950s, however it has been my expierence that usually I have done the asking (not always, but usually). Starnge as it is to me, women have from time to time persued me, it was more subtle, and again non verbal. (Lots of long smoky looks and "lets go take a walk on the beach" type stuff) and thats all good and I love it when everything happens perfectly, BUT at some point, I thik its important that if your a guy you gotta ask, in plain simple englisg EVEN if you feel that the woman is seducing you. It keeps the communication likes open and protects both parties.

Women, again in my exp., dont generaly ask for permission: its generally assumed that if a man wants a woman to stop, he will be physically capable of doing so. It is generaly not safe to assume that the other way around. It is in the mans bets interest to initiate verbal communication, because if there is a misscommunication then he is the one who will be blamed and bear the legal responsability for it.

It is an intersting point though, what to say to my kid is a girl initiates sexul contact? Probably something along the lines of "get her talking" Ill have to thnk about it.

Here is another concept I would like to throw out there. Several states have laws that say that legally intoxicated individuals cannot consent. Now common sense would dictate that if one party was incapacitated, and the other wasnt that there was something wrong, however what if both parties are equally drunk. I have had sex several times with women where we were both clearly beyond driving a car, but clear enough to have sex.

one more comment 21.Dec.2004 01:08

consenting adult

Rge reason I wouldnt talk to my daughter aboout this is that I DONT HAVE ONE. I thought that was pretty clear from my post, hopefully it is now.

Thanks, Margaret 21.Dec.2004 16:31


Thanks for pointing out that consent applies both ways, and that females can take advantage of men, also. This has actually happened to me. Although it isn't nearly as common, we do need to remember that all genders need to makes sure everyone is consenting.
Is your last name Pie? If so, see you in three weeks or so.

Please supply some sources of information! 21.Dec.2004 23:31


In regards to the graph - what is the source of this information? Who compiled this data? Are these tribes post contact with industrial civilization or pre industrial? Any primal culture that has had contact with "modern civilization" will have radically altered behavior. Miners, ranchers, settlers, kill, exploit, rape and exploit indigenous people, they are pushed into smaller and smaller areas of land, they gain access to guns and the concept of wealth acquisition, these pressures cause behavior that cannot be considered "normal", that is why early initial information regarding how primal people live is essential for a comprehensive understanding of how they lived. There have been many thousands of primal cultures existing on this planet (most of which have been destroyed), a graph showing the casualty rate of a half dozen or so is an inflammatory and misleading way of proving a point.

Capitalistic civilizations have a long history of portraying primal cultures as "savage" "barbaric" "ignorant" "cannibilitstic' "grunting savages squatting in the dirt" in need of civilization to clean them up, educate them, etc... It's essential for "civilization' to do this because people living lives of self sufficiency don't produce wealth for the wealthy! They must be removed or killed, not just because we want to steal their land, but the example they set: Why do we need governments, world trade, war, technology, taxes, etc.. when people can grow their own food, make their own clothes and shelter and govern themselves on a community level. Buying into and distributing misinformation about primal peoples contribute to the justification of the genocide of these cultures, it's distressing to see people who purport to be on the "left" of political ideology supporting the interests of the ruling class.

I would suggest checking out this website:

Look up John Zerzan on the internet and check out some of his writing. An excellent book to start with is: "American Holocaust - Columbus and the Conquest of the New World" by David Stannard

In regard to the 'point' of this thread: The commodification of sexuality by wealth acquiring societies has led to the mass exploitation of women and children, high levels of rape becomes a component of this horror. I agree that biology of males is a factor in sexual aggression, but only to a degree. Men have different impulses than women, but impulses can be guided. Raise men in a culture that worships power and control and they are likely to view women and children as beings that need to be "controlled".

How do you define consent 22.Dec.2004 01:53

consenting adult

I am curious as I think there are women redaing this thread, I would like to ask them: what kind of consent do you practice? What do you say when you are persuing a guy? What do you look for in a guy who is interested in you? Are there gestures, words, questions that you want hear in sexual situations? Or things that you have expierenced that made you uncomfortable?