It also looks like our interdisciplinary range of experts developing a signature definition of consent; ‘Consent is OMFG (ongoing, mutual and freely-given).’ This definition originates from a long process of examining Irish law on consent, alongside our own findings about passive and often highly gendered consent practices (where individuals frequently report expressing consent by simply not saying no, or stopping their partner, rather than actively or affirmatively communicating, and expressing different beliefs about gender roles in progressing sexual encounters). Throughout the process, we consulted with young people in our classrooms and focus groups.
The phrase, ‘Consent is OMFG’, is intentionally pithy, playful and multi-layered yet clear. We crafted this definition to be memorable (to spring to mind when you might need it most) and accessible (“consent” being the only specialised term).
Creating a research-backed and socially relevant phrase is an interdisciplinary team effort. In order to increase skills and understanding of positive and active sexual consent, we must apply traditional research skills—reading, writing and consultation with stakeholders—and secondly, an openness to creativity as an intuitive, rigorous and open-minded process. The result is a phrase that accurately represents our message while also exhibiting what U.S. theatre director and theorist, Anne Bogart terms ‘resonance’, an energy that “ripples and radiates.”(2) We all agreed and knew intuitively that it worked, that it landed.