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This New Sexual Consent App Is as Sad as It Is Pointless

This New Sexual Consent App Is as Sad as It Is Pointless: Via ProtectEqualsRespect.com

Via ProtectEqualsRespect.com

Are you worried about being falsely accused of rape? Sadly, now there’s an app for that.

The We-Consent app bills itself as a “discussion app” that can “make a record of affirmative consent.”

Affirmative consent is the concept that when engaging in sexual activity, “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” must be made at every step. All parties involved need to agree to move forward, and silence or a lack of objection or resistance can not simply be interpreted as consent. In other words, waiting for “no means no” is not enough. Only “yes means yes.”

The We-Consent app is supposedly designed to deal with any possible confusion involving affirmative consent by having each participant verbally agree before engaging in sexual activity. As the app’s website explains:

WE-CONSENT™TAKES LESS THAN 20 SECONDS TO USE AND CREATES A SEVEN YEAR ENCRYPTED RECORD OF A MUTUAL “YES” AVAILABLE ONLY TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, UPON JUDICIAL ORDER, OR AS EVIDENCE IN A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY SEXUAL ASSAULT DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING. VIDEOS ARE NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE TO USERS.

THE APP ASKS THE FIRST USER FOR HIS/HER NAME AND THEN THE NAME OF THE INTENDED PARTNER. IT THEN INSTRUCTS THE USER TO FIND THE PARTNER AND POINT THE BACK CAMERA OF THE PHONE TOWARDS THAT PARTNER’S FACE. THE PARTNER IS ASKED TO STATE HER/HIS NAME AND IS THEN INFORMED THAT THE ORIGINAL USER DESIRES SEXUAL RELATIONS. THE PARTNER INDICATES “YES” OR “NO”. IN THE ABSENSE OF A DEFINITIVE “YES” THE APP WILL DESTROY THE VIDEOS AND ASK THAT THE USERS TRY AGAIN.

The app was developed by the “Affirmative Consent Division” (WTF?) of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence, which coincidentally has one of the least coherent websites I’ve ever visited. Maybe it’s a legitimate organization, but the site (which looks like it was made circa 2002) leaves you with the impression that the ISCE is being run out of someone’s basement.

While the app claims to promote the idea of affirmative consent, it has come under fire from advocates who should be natural allies.

Katie Russell, the national spokeswoman for Rape Crisis in England and Wales, told Newsbeat: “Someone saying ‘yes’ to sex on camera does not necessarily prove that they have given their consent.

"Consent must be fully and freely given by someone with the capacity to do so. Video footage might not capture whether someone has been threatened, bullied or intimidated into saying 'yes’ to sex and, if they have, then they have not fully or freely given their consent, even if they’ve said the word 'yes’ out loud.”

In other words, since affirmative consent is an ongoing process, someone saying “yes” on camera is not enough, especially considering consent can always be withdrawn. And many proponents of affirmative consent believe an intoxicated individual cannot consent, so the app is useless in that regard.

Basically, the We-Consent app doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of the very concept it’s supposedly trying to promote and simplify. Perhaps that’s why it’s vaguely referred to as a “discussion app” on its own website.

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate and unlikely position of being falsely accused, perhaps this app would help your case. But it alone will not meet the standard of affirmative consent.

(H/T: BroBible, Source: BBC)

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