Consent is not as Simple as Tea

Student Activism against Rape Culture

in Girlhood Studies
View More View Less
  • 1 SUNY Cortland, USA brittany.adams02@cortland.edu
Restricted access

Abstract

In this article, I report on an action project undertaken by a group of young women (aged 18 to 20) to foster public discussions about the prevalence of rape culture on their university's campus. Students proposed this action project during a book study of a young adult (YA) novel that focused on rape culture and sexual violence. Discussions during the book study resulted in the women creating a video designed for university orientation events that addressed common misconceptions about issues such as consent, relationship violence, sexual coercion, and victimhood. Using case study and narrative methods, I recount my experience of witnessing unexpected activism in my classroom. Framed within critical literacy research, I consider the outcomes of making space for student activism and I discuss implications for practitioners.

Contributor Notes

Brittany Adams is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at SUNY Cortland. She teaches reading, literacy, and literature courses to pre- and in-service teachers across educational contexts. Her research focuses on using children's and young adult literature to teach critical literacy. Email: brittany.adams02@cortland.edu

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • Adams, Brittany. 2020. “‘I Didn't Feel Confident Talking about This Issue … But I Knew I Could Talk about a Book’: Using Young Adult Literature to Make Sense of #MeToo.” Journal of Literacy Research 52 (2): 209230. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X20915489

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Almukhtar, Sarah, Michael Gold, and Larry Buchanan. 2018. “After Weinstein: 71 Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Their Fall from Power.” The New York Times, 8 February.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alsup, Janet. 2015. A Case for Teaching Literature in the Secondary School. Milton, UK: Taylor & Francis.

  • Aukerman, Maren. 2012. “‘Why Do You Say Yes to Pedro, but No to Me?’ Toward a Critical Literacy of Dialogic Engagement.” Theory Into Practice 51 (1): 4248. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2012.636335

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bishop, Rudine Sims. 1990. “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.” Perspectives 6 (3): ixxi.

  • Bishop, Elizabeth. 2014. “Critical Literacy: Bringing Theory to Praxis.” Journal of Curriculum Theorizing 30 (1): 5163.

  • Bryden, David, and Erica Mador. 2016. “Patriarchy, Sexual Freedom, and Gender Equality as Causes of Rape.” Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 13 (2): 299345.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buchwald, Emilie, Pamela Fletcher, and Martha Roth, eds. 2005. Transforming a Rape Culture (2nd ed.). Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions.

  • Burnett, Ann, Jody Mattern, Liliana Herakova, David Kahl, Cloy Tobola, and Susan Bornsen. 2009. “Communicating/muting Date Rape: A Co-cultural Theoretical Analysis of Communication Factors Related to Rape Culture on a College Campus. Journal of Applied Communication Research 37 (4): 465485. https://doi.org/10.1080/00909880903233150.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Denzin, Norman, and Yvonna Lincoln. 2017. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

  • Dozier, Cheryl, Johnston, Peter, and Rebecca Rogers. 2006. Critical Literacy/Critical Teaching: Tools for Preparing Responsive Teachers. New York: Teachers College Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fine, Michelle. 2016. “Participatory Designs for Critical Literacies from Under the Covers.” Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice 65 (1): 4768.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Freire, Paulo. 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Trans. Myra Ramos. New York: Continuum.

  • Freire, Paulo. 2014. Education for Critical Consciousness. London: Bloomsbury.

  • Gee, James. 2017. Teaching, Learning, Literacy in our High-risk High-tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human. New York: Teachers College Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hartocollis, Anemona. 2019. “New Wave of Student Activism Presses Colleges on Sexual Assault.” The New York Times, 8 June.

  • hooks, bell. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.

  • Ivey, Gay, and Peter Johnston. 2017. “Emerging Adolescence in Engaged Reading Communities.” Language Arts 94 (3): 159169.

  • Janks, Hilary. 2000. “Domination, Access, Diversity, and Design: A Synthesis for Critical Literacy Education.” Educational Review 52: 175186. https://doi.org/10.1080/713664035.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lewison, Mitzi, Christine Leland, and Jerome Harste. 2015. Creating Critical Classrooms: Reading and Writing with an Edge (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luke, Alan. 2012. “Critical Literacy: Foundational Notes.” Theory into Practice 51 (1): 411. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2012.636324

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luke, Alan, and Annette Woods. 2009. “Critical Literacies in Schools: A Primer.” Voices from the Middle 17 (2): 918.

  • McLaughlin, Maureen, and Glenn DeVoogd. 2004. Critical Literacy: Enhancing Students’ Comprehension of Text. New York: Scholastic.

  • Meckler, Laura. 2020. “Betsy DeVos Announces New Rules on Campus Sexual Assault, Offering More Rights to the Accused.” The Washington Post, 6 May.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merriam, Sharan, and Elizabeth Tisdell. 2016. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Minister, Meredith. 2018. Rape Culture on Campus. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

  • Patton, Michael. 2002. Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

  • Peters, Michael, and Tina Besley. 2019. “Weinstein, Sexual Predation, and ‘Rape Culture’: Public Pedagogies and Hashtag Internet Activism.” Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (5): 458 − 464. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2018.1427850.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). 2020. “Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics.” https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reed, Amy. 2017. The Nowhere Girls. New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • Robert, Dominique, and Shaul Shenhav. 2014. “Fundamental Assumptions in Narrative Analysis: Mapping the Field.” The Qualitative Report 19 (38): 117.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rogers, Rebecca. 2018. Reclaiming Powerful Literacies. New York: Routledge.

  • Simmons, Amber. 2012. “Class on Fire: Using the Hunger Games Trilogy to Encourage Social Action.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 56 (1): 2234. https://doi.org/10.1002/JAAL.00099

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Merril, ed. 2014. Encyclopedia of Rape. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

  • SIECUS (The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States). 2017. “#TeachThem Campaign Advocates for Sex Ed that Includes Consent, Violence Prevention Education.” SIECUS, 9 November.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilhelm, Jeffrey. 2002. Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension. New York: Scholastic.

  • Women's March Global. 2018. “Look Back, March Forward: #Timesup #metoo.” Women's Medium, 12 January.

  • Always. 2014. “#Likeagirl.” Video, 3:18. Uploaded 26 June. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs.

  • May Emmeline [Blue Seat Studios]. 2015. “Consent: It's simple as Tea.” Video, 2:50. Uploaded 12 May. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 625 626 74
Full Text Views 71 71 9
PDF Downloads 92 92 9