On Tuesday, April 27, Antioch College held a virtual Community Meeting and were joined by guest speaker Megan Garrison, YWCA’s Dayton Preventionist, who engaged us in a conversation about Sexual Violence Prevention, Gender Identity & Sexual Violence, and Consent & Boundaries.
Morine began the dialogue by asking “what is biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation?” She explained that biological sex is the gender that a person is born with, but the concept of gender itself is far more complex than the labels of male or female.
Gender expression is how a person publicly expresses or presents their gender—this includes one’s behavior and outward appearance, and can also include a person’s chosen name. Gender identity is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female or a blend of both or neither. And sexual orientation is a term used to refer to a person’s pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to people of a particular gender.
Furthermore, Morine spoke about gender stratification—a sociological term that refers to a system in which groups of people experience unequal access to basic, yet highly valuable social resources. She explained that there are gender biases that exist in our society—positive qualities attributed to men and negative qualities attributed to women—that make it harder for marginalized groups to succeed in life.
Morine explained that in order to remove gender bias, it’s important to focus on community building by supporting and showing respect for one another; by avoiding stereotyping; and by providing inclusive sexuality education. Morine also spoke about consent and boundaries and encouraged us to become prosocial bystanders—if we witness sexual violence or gender stratification, to step in and speak up.
As the presentation came to a close, Antiochians were quick to contribute links in the chat to Antioch’s SOPP mentions in The New Yorker (“The Politics of Bad Sex“) and The New York Times (“The Reinvention of Consent“) reminding each other that Antioch’s pioneering affirmative consent policy was initiated in 1991 by a group of women of Antioch, and came to form the basis for policies at colleges and universities nationwide.
On Antioch College’s Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (SOPP) & Title IX page is stated that “education is key to understanding and utilizing Sexual Offense Prevention Policy. In realizing the severity of this issue, Antioch College is committed to offer education and training activities through the Office of Student Life at least twice a year, and during orientation of incoming students every Fall term.”
Support: Antioch College is committed to offering support to survivors of sexual violence, sexual harassment and domestic violence. This support is provided through Counseling Services and linkages to local resources through the Office of Student Life, Human Resources and by the Title IX Coordinators. Support includes immediate response and advocacy for survivors, individual counseling, linkages to health services and advocacy. Options will be reviewed including criminal, civil and SOPP complaint processes. Services are also available to those seeking support who have been involved in a sexual violence, sexual harassment or domestic violence situation but are not the survivor.
* YWCA is a nonprofit organization on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen our community. Visit YWCA.org to learn more.