In a college atmosphere, one of the most critical topics is consent. Making sure men and women are giving verbal, yes, and no when it comes to any circumstances, especially sexual intercourse. One of the tactics that colleges use is a video called Tea and Consent. The majority of those people who have participated in college have encountered this video. It expresses the idea of substituting sex for a cup of tea and goes through different types of scenarios. If you make someone a cup of tea and ask if they want a cup of tea and they accept it, then they want a cup of tea. If you make someone a cup of tea and they say no, do not force that person to drink the tea. As well as if you make the tea and the person says yes but later says no, still do not force tea down their throat. Finally, one of the last scenarios is if you are making a cup of tea, and the person is unresponsive. The video informs you not to make them a cup of tea and do not ask the question, “do you want a cup of tea?”. In no way can an unresponsive person answer “yes” or “no,” due to the fact they are unresponsive. Do not force tea down someone’s throat if they cannot speak for themselves; most likely, they do not want to drink the tea. Of course, at first glance, the video gives off senses of humor, and that is understandable. It is a cartoon video that substituting sex with a cup of tea to get the point of consent across. The stick figures, the black and white style, and extreme repetition introduces the humor effect. We understand the bases that “a cup of tea” is sex, and the repetitive idea is not giving a person tea if they say no. Also, not forcing tea down another’s throat due to them being unresponsive in some ways is humorous.
Not only is the video funny but informative. Takes a sensitive topic such as sexual abuse and lightens the mood. Not only is it compassionate with the subject, but it also simplifies the subject by using simple situations and connecting it with yes or no scenarios. Hence, the video has a positive impact on students, faculty, and anyone who needs knowledge about informed consent when it comes to sexual activity. Although, on the flip side, this video does not give the full effect of informed consent and the consequences for these types of scenarios. For example, the humor is celebrated in the sense of gaining one’s attention, but humor also can lead to the audience to not take the situation seriously. Saying do not pour tea down and unconscious person throat, may result in a small chuckle, but what about the notion of not forcing yourself on another? Also, there is no information about the repercussions of either person in the situation. Not only does the person who is taking advantage of or forcing themselves on another does not know the serious legal implications that follow those actions. Even so, what about the victim? They did not ask or expect the mental and physical harm that could/has been done to them. Lastly, the Consent and Tea video stereotypically gives the idea the situation is between a heterosexual relationship that the male is automatically forcing himself on the women.
When in cases, in this day and age, we have a variety of what a relationship is between two people. As a result, the video has beneficial meaning, but it leaves out an essential context for people who are involved in the circumstance. Similarly, in the novel, Clay’s Ark by Octavia E. Butler indirectly speaks on informed consent. Butler created a disease that has inhumane repercussions. Blake and his twin daughters Kiera and Rane, are kidnapped by a group that holds an infectious illness that can be transmitted by touch. Eli and Meda, the ring leaders of the group, explain to Blake and his daughters, that they will be given an organism that co-hosts with them. It is noted that the majority of the time, only younger and stronger people survive this disease. Due to Blake being an older man and his daughter Kiera having leukemia, there is a risk for them both dying.
When infected with the organism, a person gains heighten human abilities. For example, their ability to taste, smell, read body language, see in the dark, super strength, and speed. Nonetheless, with positives come the negatives. Some of the negative symptoms are excessive perspiration, hunger, and loosing of the skin, and compulsion. With compulsion comes the uncontrollable urge to infect someone without the disease. When it comes time to become infected with the illness, only one person gives full permission to take on the condition, which is Kiera. She develops a relationship with Eli, knowing he wants to touch her but cannot due to her having leukemia. She also understands that regardless of her leukemia or this disease, she may face death. Her father and sister are scratched without the decision if they denied it or not. With this novel, you can see where the Tea and Consent video comes into play, with informed consent. The rules of Tea and Consent video are entirely violated. The “tea” is being forced down Blake and his daughter’s throats consciously, even if one accepted it wholeheartedly.
Nevertheless, the difference is that they know the repercussions of the disease, unlike the people who watch Tea and Consent video. Blake, Rane, and Kiera all know there is a possibility of death; they understand the symptoms and abilities they gain with living with this disease. However, we have to follow the complexities of the disease and the signs of compulsion. Compulsion is an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes. Eli noted that his team did everything to crash the ship and destroy the disease before it landed on Earth. With compulsion on either side, no one can have consent. Eli’s human side does not want to continue this process, but the organisms will not let him. Including Blake, Rane, and Keira, they did not ask to be kidnapped or faced with a possibly deadly infection. The importance of Clays’ Ark and Tea and Consent video is that both of them together give a clear view of what knowledge they bring to the table about consent. Clay’s Ark has no permission; the only thing the characters receive is the repercussions. Unlike the audience of the Tea and Consent video, where the audience gets scenarios of what consent is and what consent is not. The video never shows you the outcome if you partake in those particular situations.
Furthermore, on that note, I am compelled to make myself a cup of tea.