Conversations on Consent
The Conversations on Consent launch event was organised in collaboration with Istanbul&I, Yabangee, Conscious Creation Collective, Warm and Fuzzy, the Philia Project, AB Sivil Dusun Programi, Swatch Social and the Womb on the 24th of May. Conversations on Consent is a campaign that encourages its supporters to sign their online petition for a more comprehensive legal definition of consent. It believes that “practicing consent is checking in as a continuous negotiation of boundaries on eye level,” teaching individuals how to have meaningful conversation about consent with everyone around them.
The event was moderated by Elisa Iannacone, a member of the campaign team, with guest speakers Sarah Casper and Muge Demirkir, who are both experts on consent. Sarah, consent educator and founder of the Instagram account @compehensiveconsent, discussed how to make consent mainstream while Muge, a lawyer working with abused women and children, focused on making it mandatory. Both speakers shared their journey with consent, tracing their personal experience to where their interest in it began and their motivation behind focusing their careers on it.
The panel discussed the importance of consent in our legal system and daily lives, where the guest speakers agreed that to create a better world where everyone is respected and protected, a discourse has to be created to integrate consent. Consent is an important factor when it comes to sexual relations, yet most legal systems fail to take it into consideration, which inevitably does not protect sexual violence victims from abuse. Muge believes that incorporating consent into the legal system is crucial and urgent. However, educating ourselves and practicing consent in our daily lives can help change social attitudes and knowledge regarding consent.
The speakers emphasized that consent is a continuous journey that allows room for growth through errors. While punishing the act is essential, it is equally important to open the room for corrective action. The participants of the event shared their own personal experiences with consent and how they communicated it with intimate partners, parents, and children as well. Consent is also about how to seek and practice solidarity.
Alexandra Borne and Nicole Borgott, the founders of the Conversations of Consent project, took the stage and provided a glimpse of their motivation in starting the project, focusing on its goal and vision. They encouraged everyone to sign the petition and help change the social narrative around consent. Sign the petition here and be part of the change!
Hiba Mansoor – 1/6/21