Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Teach affirmative consent during sex education in high school.
Affirmative, enthusiastic, and ongoing consent will finally be taught to California’s high schoolers during their public school sex education, if a proposal speeding through the state’s legislature becomes law. This would be an effective way of addressing and helping to dismantle rape culture. Demand that this proposal make it into law.
For years, high school sex education that has dealt with the topic of consent has relied on the phrase “no means no,” meaning that if an individual participating, or possibly about to be participating, in a sexual act actively does not consent to the act, their partner or partners should not force themselves onto them. While this is obviously a good thing to teach people, it is can also lead to trouble because it means that, barring an outright “no,” a person is assumed to consent to any sexual act.
Lawmakers in California are hoping to address this issue by switching the focus on high school sex education on consent from “no” to “yes.” Known as “affirmative consent training,” this education would teach young people to always receive enthusiastic, informed, and continuing consent in any intimate situation, instead of automatically assuming it if a person does not say “no.”
The sooner we can move our culture away from assuming sexual consent towards ensuring that sexual consent is always explicitly given, the sooner rape culture can be destroyed. Sign the petition below to demand that California Governor Jerry Brown sign the legislation that would do this into law.
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing you today regarding SB 695, a proposal that you will find on your desk in the very near future. This bill is a necessary one and you should sign it into law without an ounce of hesitation.
SB 695 will require high schools that teach health education to their students to also teach them affirmative consent. Affirmative consent training, to put it simply, means teaching that “yes means yes.” With this requirement, high schoolers would be forced to learn that consent to sexual activity cannot be assumed—that, before engaging in any sexual act with another person, they need to acquire affirmative, enthusiastic, and continued consent from the other person.
Though this would seem like the thing any decent person would do, young people are too often taught sexual consent from a “no means no” standpoint, which automatically assumes consent on the part of everyone. This, combined with the rampant rape culture we live in, leads to disgustingly high rates of sexual assault and predation of women.
This bill will help protect California’s young people and will ensure that they can grow up to have healthy, safe, and happy relationships. I demand that you sign SB 695 into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Juanedc