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    From date rape jeopardy to (not) drinking tea: consent humour, ridicule and cultural change

    Serisier, Tanya (2020) From date rape jeopardy to (not) drinking tea: consent humour, ridicule and cultural change. Australian Feminist Law Journal 46 (2), pp. 189-204. ISSN 1320-0968.

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    This article traces a cultural shift in ‘consent humour’ by contrasting a Saturday Night Live skit that aired in 1993 mocking affirmative consent with the 2015 ‘Tea and Consent’ video produced by the Thames Valley police in 2015, which insists that ‘consent is everything’. By reflecting on the cultural contexts and the ‘humour ideologies’ that underlie these examples, the article rejects a simple teleological interpretation of cultural change. It asks who and what is subject to ridicule in these jokes, contrasting the figure of the disruptive ‘victim feminist’ in the 1993 sketch with the ignorant subject who is ‘still struggling’ with consent in the 2015 clip. The article argues that both rely on a class-based politics of cultural capital to defend ideological constructions of ‘appropriate knowledge’ about consent. Where the SNL skit insists that consent is marked by its complexity the ‘Tea and Consent’ video insists on its simplicity. The humour in both, however, rests on a sexually sophisticated middle-class subject laughing at those who do not possess the appropriate cultural capital in relation to sex and consent. In both cases, the ‘problem’ of consent is deflected away from normative heterosexuality and towards the ignorant other.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Tanya Serisier
    Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2021 10:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:04


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