The Importance of Consent: An Apology

(Trigger warning)

“I say we leave her on the main stage with a ‘spank me’ sign.”

This comment was made by one of our group at #EmuCon19, regarding a person who had passed out. Our group does not condone this at all, and we want to take this opportunity to address the serious issue of consent.

First of all, the comment was inappropriate, ill-advised, and not funny. Consent is not a joking matter, and we apologize.

It is Emu Supernatural RP’s intention to respect the importance of consent, and where we fail to do so, we choose to make every effort to correct that error.

We live in a different world today than even as little as a year ago, and like us, many people reading this were raised in an environment where going along to get along was essential for survival. Jokes like this have been a defense mechanism in a world where we never had permission to feel safe.

We remember enjoying films such as “Sixteen Candles” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” while also being made to feel vaguely uneasy and uncomfortable about the things we were supposed to find funny, and even cheer for, that featured stolen consent. 

We remember sleepers at parties subjected to practical “jokes” such as “kick me” signs, or marker drawings on faces. We laughed. We probably all did, because we had to go along to get along, but in our gut we also felt that creeping feeling of uneasiness. We all knew, without always acknowledging it openly, that it was wrong, and that far worse things happen to people who are not in a position to consent. 

Some of us, or (not at all unlikely), ALL of us, have experienced the trauma of having our opportunity to consent stolen, and seeing a joke like this can be triggering. If we have caused any of you to trigger, we are deeply sorry.

Ultimately, this is a promising time in our culture, because we now have permission to insist upon consent, and we have permission not to laugh at jokes like this, and we have an obligation to point them out, and to openly acknowledge that their time has passed. 

We also must be gentle with ourselves. This is a major shift in awareness, and our former reflexive coping methods are deeply ingrained. But we are finally free! Free to say consent not only matters, it is essential, it is mandatory. We get to decide, “no more.”

As fans of Supernatural, all of us are aware that consent is a major recurring theme on the show. The message is that it is wrong to take without consent, and that is what the bad guys do. We want to assure you that there is a difference between consent storylines where the good guys win, and comments that perpetuate the wrong kind of message in a social context, and we understand what that difference is. If our storylines play with the concept of consent, it is thematically appropriate and within certain boundaries, similar to the show.

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