In France, street harassment has been raging for several years. HandsAway, an association that fights against sexist and sexual violence and street harassment, wanted to devote a large communication chapter to the subject of consent.
According to a study by IFOP, 86% of women declared to having been subjected to street harassment in France.
HandsAway determined that the subject of consent not only had to be discussed, but also taught to many men, as sexual assaults are committed under the pretext of misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
According to those men, women are too complex and mysterious, making it impossible for them to understand if they are consenting, which results in these “mistakes”.
We had the idea to write a manual – a bible of sorts for how to read women – containing everything these men needed to know about women to understand and seduce them. We called it: “Decoding Women”.
Except, when you open the book you’ll find it’s only composed of one sentence: “If it’s not yes, it’s no.” Because when it comes to relationships and intercourse, that’s the only thing you need to know.
The campaign was picked up on Twitter by the French minister of gender equality and conversations about consent on social networks increased by 73%. No less than 12 million media impressions linked to national and international PR coverage were recorded.
More than 500 books were sold in bookstores and almost as many were distributed in middle schools and high schools to raise awareness among boys.
The resonance of this operation has demonstrated once again the necessity of this action and the importance of talking about consent.