Hey, George Lawlor.

When I first began reading your blog post about consent lessons, I was hopeful that you were going to make a point about why consent lessons are important, starting with a Buzzfeed-esque click bait title. Many college students receive those invites, and feel that thrill of excitement about a party with their fellow students… and then are devastated when it turns out that too many of their peers don’t understand consent.

I was immensely disappointed after getting to the end of your first paragraph.

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First, I have to point out – you were sent a Facebook invite. I am long done with college classes, and yet I still receive at least one invite a month for student events on my former campus. No one was targeting you, or trying to insult you by inviting you to sessions to educate young people on consent. You could have simply declined the offer.

From what I can tell, it’s a good thing that you were angered by that invite and decided to rant about it in your student newspaper. Hopefully potential dates will now stay away from you until you educate yourself.

I already know what is and what isn’t consent. I also know about those more nuanced situations where consent isn’t immediately obvious as any decent, empathetic human being does. Yes means yes, no means no. It’s really that simple.

No, George. Consent is Not. That. Simple.

You have proven that you would benefit from quite a bit more education on the subject of consent. You also proved that you know nothing about how serious rape culture is in today’s society. Awareness and education on this issue are extremely important, and you are the one who needs to “get off your fucking high horse” as you are one of the worst “self-appointed teachers of consent” out there.

One of the things that caused me to realize just how uneducated on the subject of sexual assault and consent you truly are is the photo you posted of yourself holding a sign that reads, “This is not what a rapist looks like.”

Do you really want me to answer that question?

Do you really want me to answer that question?

I agree with the people stating that it is impossible to define what a rapist looks like. A rapist could be a dark, intimidating man on the streets; a handsome gentleman, offering a young lady his arm; an unassuming young man sitting next to you in class; or even the woman who works in the office across the street.

Sadly, in today’s world, you can not decide after simply looking at someone if they will harm you or not.

I, personally, would not look at you, George, and automatically think of you as a trustworthy person…

Your hair may be a different style, and you aren’t wearing glasses, but other than that, you look almost exactly like the man who raped me when I was in college 6 years ago.

If I happened to see you on a street somewhere, I wouldn’t automatically run away. On today’s college and university campuses, there are many male students who look and dress much like you, and I’ve gotten to a point in my healing process where I am not triggered by seeing men who look similar to my attacker. But you are incorrect when you tell people that you do not look like a rapist.

Even if you believe that you do not need lessons on consent or sexual assault awareness, go and support the Campaign for Consent. Even if you believe that you know all there is to know, there is always a chance of learning something new.
According to your blog post, there is much that you still need to be educated on.

Signed,
Taralei Griffin
A Survivor