No Means No
Interested in working towards a safer campus through the empowerment of students?
The “No Means No” campaign was created to raise awareness and to reduce the occurrence of rape and sexual assault on and off campuses. The “No Means No” campaign offers various resources, including but not limited to research on the incidences of sexual violence in Canada, buttons, stickers, posters and postcards. Through the No Means No campaign, we seek to educate our friends, families, co-workers, and strangers to have a greater understanding of their rights and responsibilities in sexual relationships, and to empower people to take back their bodies and respect others’ choices!
No Means No is a campaign of the Canadian Federation of Students. For more information about the Federation’s equity related campaigns visit CFS - No Means No Campaign.
If you or your group are interested in getting involved with this campaign, please contact our External Affairs Commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are ever in need of support there are many places on campus where you can go:
- Student Help and Advocacy Centre
- Location: University Centre, Level 2
- Phone: 519 824 4120 x58105
- Email: email@example.com
- The Wellness Centre
- Location: 2nd floor, J.T. Powell Building
- Phone: 519-824-4120 x53327
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Support Network
- Phone: 519-824-4120 x55002
- Email: email@example.com
- Counselling Services
- Location: University Centre. Level 3
- Phone: 519-824-4120 x53244
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity
- Location: University Centre, Level 1, Room 107
- Phone: 519-824-4120 x58559
- Email: email@example.com
The Consent Pussies (sexual assault trigger warning)
This initiative, independent from the Awareness of Sexual Assault Prevention Committee, was spontaneously created in the desire to engage students at large social events. The aim was to promote a culture of consent in spaces where alcohol is consumed, lights are dimmed, and regular campaign tactics such as tabling are not an option – settings in which rape culture is far more prevalent than consent. Orientation week falls within the time between the beginning of the Fall Semester and Thanksgiving, which is known as the ‘Red Zone’, when individuals are most at risk of being sexually assaulted on campus. For this reason, the two dressed in No Means No campaign materials, a nation-wide campaign designed by students across the country through the Canadian Federation of Students, to do non-confrontational consent based outreach with individuals who choose to freely approach them at dances and concerts amongst the crowd.
The Consent Pussies title was inspired by the popular ‘Cats against Cat Calls’ slogan, using a play on words to grab attention and start conversation. In the title the word ‘pussy’ represents firstly ‘cat’, a creature that is often seen as independent from power relations. Secondly, ‘pussy,’ represents – as both the external and communications commissioner most frequently identify as female – a reclamation of the strength in femininity. Consider how often individuals afraid to do something are addressed as, ‘pussy,’ yet individuals confident enough to do something are referred to as ‘having balls.’ The title directly refers to the cat-like appearance donned and a reclamation of a word associated with the weakness paralleled with the feminine. It does not refer to the women’s genitals. Moreover, as the CSA recognizes both sex and gender as autonomous from the other, equating femininity with strength does no refer to an individual’s sex. Students who have participated in outreach as Consent Pussies have been both heteronormatively gendered, queerly gendered, as well as non-gender identifying. Additionally, students who have participated in outreach of this nature have been able to choose what they wear, what they say, and how they would like to be addressed.
Asking for consent is sexy, and most importantly MANDATORY. In addition to speaking about the absolute need for consent in all physical and sexual intimacy, the Consent Pussies also aim to reclaim ‘consent’ so as to normalize – and make conversations around consent less intimidating. In a generation where rape culture is so prevalent, we believe it is essential to instead change the dialogue into one that speaks to a culture of consent that we can all participate in.
While the enthusiasm students have expressed to be involved with, and join the Consent Pussies has been overwhelming, this initiative was strictly an Orientation Week undertaking. Moreover, both the External Affairs and Communications & Corporate Affairs Commissioners recognize that although many students have felt empowered by the word ‘pussy’, for some survivors the term has been triggering, and to those we apologize.
Students are encouraged to contact the External Affairs Commissioner (firstname.lastname@example.org) with ideas on how together we can create a safer and healthier campus culture of consent. Also stay tuned as we unveil a new phase of our No Means No campaign in the weeks to come!