Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Beyond Yes Means Yes: A Glossary of Terms Related to Consent

Rev. William and I had the opportunity to prepare a workshop for the upcoming Summerland Gathering. Summerland is an ADF festival that is typically held in Yellow Springs, OH. Due to COVID restrictions, this year's event has been moved online. 

One of the things that became apparent as we've been working through the material is the need for a proper glossary of terms. It is difficult to have a discussion if we don't have consensus on the meanings of the words we use to communicate such important issues and ideas. 

To help create a framework for building a culture of consent, including religious consent, I am sharing our glossary (so far) that we may all understand one another fully. Please let me know what words we need to add!

  • Boundaries: guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.
  • Cancel Culture: the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.
  • Coercion: the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force.
  • Consent: voluntarily agreeing to the proposal or desires of another.
  • Culture: the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.
  • Culture of Consent: a culture which normalizes the action of asking for consent and respecting whatever responses are given. It affirms that each individual has bodily autonomy and maintains that boundaries (a person's right to choose what is comfortable to them) should be respected unconditionally.
  • Dominance: individual, situational, and relationship patterns which attempt to control another party or parties; a personality trait which involves a motive to control others, the self-perception of oneself as controlling others, and/or a behavioral outcome resulting from these motives or perceptions.
  • Dominance Hierarchy: a set of implicit social norms that guide behavior according to social status.
  • Ghosting: the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
  • Horsing: a type of possession in which a practitioner allows their body to become a vessel, usually temporarily, for another being. 
  • Intimacy: close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
  • Mediation/Mediating: a dynamic, structured, interactive process where an impartial third-party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques.
  • Orthodoxy: “right belief;” the idea that there is a correct or true belief.
  • Orthopathy: “right feeling;” the idea that there are correct ways to feel with someone(s).
  • Orthopraxy: “right practice;” the idea that there is a correct way to do something.
  • Peer Pressure: influence from one’s peer group to behave in a specific way.
  • Power: latent possession of control, authority, or influence over others.
  • Privilege: a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a particular person or a restricted group of people beyond the advantages of others, often based on social identifiers or economic circumstances.
  • Professionalism: conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, and accountability.
  • Quid pro quo: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.
  • Sex: a collection of intimate physical behaviors that the individual(s) involved define as such (e.g. kissing, touching certain body parts, etc.).
  • Value: one's judgment of what is important in life.
  • Virtue: a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus identified as a foundation of principle and good moral being, moral excellence, traits that promote collective and individual greatness.