With the Halloween weekend coming up, C.A.R.E. and Fuck Your Standards held the event #PledgeforConsent to condemn rape culture and prevent sexual assault
UCSB Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.) and members from the Facebook group “Fuck Your Standards” co-hosted an event titled “#PledgeforConsent” at Storke Tower Wednesday, during which guest speakers spoke on bringing an end to “rape culture.”
The goal of the event was to facilitate conversation about the definitions of consent and rape. Demonstrators wore bright capes, colorful clothes and coin skirts while holding up signs advocating for consent. Event organizers gave out candy, pins and hugs to attendees. The demonstration aimed to address and prevent sexual assault during Isla Vista’s Halloween weekend.
According to “Fuck Your Standards” founder and third-year global studies major Gabby O’Neal rape culture is a philosophy that promotes rape and victim blaming.
“This causes mistrust by slut-shaming and oversexualizing women,” O’Neal said. “Consent culture is a culture which respects an affirmative yes … it gives respect to people and their own bodies.”
O’Neal said her goal is to educate people on which actions and phrases contribute to rape culture.
“I would like to see more people take responsibility for themselves and what they say,” O’Neal said. “Like calling people out when they make a joke about rape … these things aren’t okay.”
Alumna Reina Durian said it is important to help victims and to confront people who may be taking advantage of others.
“If you notice somebody is at risk for something, be a friend and step in and get them out of that situation,” Durian said. “Let the other person know, like, ‘Hey, you’re in the wrong,’ and hopefully they can snap out of it.”
Santa Barbara City College alumna BB Barnett said men should also be active in fighting rape culture.
“Men hold a lot of power to say, ‘Hey, this isn’t okay,’” Barnett said.
According to Barnett, media has contributed to rape culture by promoting images and songs that oversexualize people.
“Rape culture has to be intolerable, but it’s the norm right now. Like in music, the way music hyper-sexualizes people, the way men feel entitled to women and to women’s bodies … Why is that okay?” Barnett said. “Why aren’t we talking about why people are raping.”
UCSB C.A.R.E. member and fourth-year feminist studies and sociology double-major Dalyla Meyers said O’Neal invited the C.A.R.E. office to join #PledgeforConsent.
“It was definitely something that aligned with our office and the different things we are trying to combat, such as rape culture,” Meyers said.
Meyers said students must discuss consent and rape culture to reduce sexual assault on college campuses.
Fuck Your Standards and the #PledgeforConsent event page on Facebook will be posting messages on consent and sexual assault to further educate students about rape culture.