Huffington Post College
10.25.15 | Katherine Ripley
I recently read a story about a college student in the UK who was so insulted by a Facebook invitation to attend a class on consent, he wrote a blog post where he tells consent educators to "get off your fucking high horse," and "have a little respect for the intelligence and decency of your peers."
Lawlor argues that consent classes change nothing because actual rapists won't show up to them. He makes the assumption that "no new information will be taught or learned" in such a class, and that consent educators are only "pointing out the blindingly obvious."
Let me break this down.
The one point that George Lawlor gets right is that people should already understand the concept of consent by the time they get to college. That lesson should be included with everything else students learn in sex ed in middle school and high school, as I discussed in another one of my blog posts a few weeks ago. However, the reality is that consent is often absent from schools' sex ed curriculums, and some students don't even get sex education at all, depending on where they go to school.
So it's entirely possible that a student never encounters a class on consent until they get to college. I imagine George Lawlor is experiencing a fair amount of cognitive dissonance when faced with this reality--"I've been having sex for years. And people want to teach me consent now? That means they think I've been raping people all this time."