The classmates seem to be discussing what counts as consent when it comes to sex.
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of rape that may be distressing to readers.
A new TikTok video is bringing up the issue of sexism in schools and colleges particularly in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The clip shows a young woman, where she claims to be the only female student present in a tech class. A group of boys can be heard discussing what counts as consent when it comes to sex. The video is a reminder about gender gaps in STEM as well as how men speak about women and sex and consent when they're with "the boys." Even though they seem to have forgotten "the only girl in the tech class.”
Nah this unacceptable that mfs actually think like this https://t.co/TFLOQUtVHb— DJ Konquer (@DKonquer) July 16, 2021
The conversation in the video goes like this: “No matter how big or small your d— is, they can’t feel it either way,” says one voice. “Or you could just find one that doesn’t talk when you ask them for consent, and it’s yes any time,” says another. “Or a blind one, so they don’t know where you’re at.” One voice questions, “So you’re saying silence is consent? That if they’re knocked out it’s consent?” The first guy responds, "Saying nothing means you give consent." The group roars in laughter before one of the students shouts, “Just so you know every single one of us in this room is going to hell. “We’re already there sweetheart, don’t worry,” replies another. While some people brush off the topic of consent, calling it difficult to understand or funny, the discomfort and fear in Williams’ eyes in the clip are far more relatable to women who have had to put with rape culture.
Because it's not just about the man who harasses or assaults women, and it's not just about the guy who jokes about it.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 15, 2021
It's about the men who laugh, and the men who say nothing.
The video has made its way to other platforms like Twitter and Reddit. Redditors pointed out how they've experienced similar situations where boys spoke like this when there were few or no female students present. "I was the only female in an Engineering course at college, and it was exactly the same. The teachers joined in as well sometimes," one person wrote, while another commented, "I took computer classes in [high school.] I was constantly harassed and had awful things said to me… these experiences are so common and yet the brigade of 'not all men' of course feels the need to show up in the comment section."
Yea, I notice the dehumanizing use of 'one.' 'just find one that's blind.' Not a person, just a thing to use.— Ishena (@ishenarobinson) July 15, 2021
"The challenges that women in STEM face often echo the challenges of all working women," said Cary Funk, Pew's director of science and society research, according to NBC News. Funk is also the lead author of a report which polled more than 4,900 workers in the U.S. which found that in the traditionally male-dominated fields of STEM, 50% of women said they faced discrimination. "What the study does is take a broad-based look at the issues facing the STEM workforce. I think they really speak to the complex issues surrounding diversity in the workplace." Stephanie Newby, the CEO of Crimson Hexagon, an artificial intelligence company wasn't surprised by the findings, saying, "We need environments where women can thrive, not be cornered about how they look or have to think about the kinds of things that make them worry about being different or trying to prove themselves, because so much energy can be expended on that instead of getting the job done," she said. "I think it provides a competitive advantage for us that we have women in senior positions."