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English Police Force Explains Sexual Consent In Clear, Unambiguous Way. Tea Is Involved.

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | November 11, 2015 |

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | November 11, 2015 |

The Thames Valley Police force in England recently released a YouTube video explaining sexual consent.

The oh-so British twist to it? Tea is used as a metaphor for consent. Because of course it is.

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The video shows the interaction of two stick figures, one offering tea and the other a potential recipient of said tea, and it runs through several common scenarios that we have all either been through, or — this being the internet after all — have heard described.

The project is part of the Thames Valley Police’s #Consentiseverything campaign, which is attempting to help the effort of finally hammering home the idea that consent — when thought about properly for just, like, a second — is pretty black and white. And also fucking necessary.

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Because of the slightly chipper narrator, and the initially strange idea of tea-as-a-metaphor-for-sex, some of the lines in the video at first sound a little bit ridiculous.

For example:

Maybe they were conscious when you asked them if they wanted tea, and they said “yes”. But in the time it took you to boil the kettle, brew the tea and add the milk they are now unconscious … Don’t make them drink the tea. They said ‘yes’ then, sure, but unconscious people don’t want tea.

But it’s precisely the completely obvious nature of that statement, when applied to tea, that flips everything on its head and highlights just how bollard-spanked stupid any of that hateful, ‘ambiguous’, ‘blurred lines’ gibberish is. Because it’s 2015 and that shit somehow still gets regularly trotted out.

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It’s depressing that lines like, ‘If someone said ‘yes’ to tea around your house last Saturday, that doesn’t mean they want you to make them tea all the time,’ might be needed to elucidate the point of sexual consent to someone, but — as the internet so aptly demonstrates so often — that is the world we live in, and it’s better that this video exists than if it didn’t.

Or, in its own words:

‘They might say, “Yes please, that’s kind of you!”, and then when the tea arrives they actually don’t want the tea at all. Sure that’s kind of annoying as you’ve gone through all the effort of making tea, but they remain under no obligation to drink the tea. They did want tea. Now they don’t. Some people change their mind in the time it takes to boil the kettle, brew the tea and add the milk, and it’s OK for people to change their mind.’

Here’s the whole thing:

Actually, the ending line might also explain why the narrator seems to be in such a great mood:

‘And on that note, I’m going to make myself a cup of tea.’


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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.