Making tea for someone is a fairly straightforward venture, a polite tradition steeped in respect and often affection. You would never begrudge someone if they didn’t want tea or decided in the time it took to make it that they had changed their minds.
When consent in general is described using this analogy it points out how simple consent is to interpret and identify. Someone says ‘no’ and the other person no longer proceeds with the action, as it is not or no longer mutually agreed upon, right? Or in the instance where someone is incapacitated it’s fairly clear they are in no position to drink tea.
For many, these notions are understood and painfully obvious, yet using this in the context of tackling issues of sexual abuse and rape present some challenges. As respect for consent issues persist they stress the need for a new take on how we educate. The Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom are attempting to do this by using a viral video that uses tea to explain and define consent.
An animated video by blogger Emmeline May at rockstardinosaurpirateprincess.com and Blue Seat Studios is using this tea analogy and fast becoming a hit across social media channels for being ‘on point’. The video has done so well that the #ConsentIsEverything campaign, launched in October by the Thames Valley Police, with community partners, is using it to deliver their key message.
As people in the United Kingdom are the biggest tea consumers per capita in the world, it makes sense that a UK campaign would appropriate a much-loved cultural icon.