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Coalition for Consent group explores discussion of sexual assault and harassment



University of Oregon English instructor Avinnash Tiwari spoke to a crowd of about 20 students in Straub 145 on Wednesday night for the UO Organization Against Sexual Assault’s second Coalition for Consent event of the academic year, this one titled “Men’s Edition.”

Following in the strides of their first event in November, this coalition focused on recent pop culture sexual misconduct cases, this time analyzing Aziz Ansari and the role of social media in framing perception.

OASA Logistics Director and facilitator of this event Melinda Gonzalez said she saw this coalition as a follow up from their previous event.

“The viewpoint of males kept coming up in conversations we had during that event. I thought that since it came up so much it’s something that needs to be addressed, needs to be talked about in our next event,” said Gonzalez.

Tiwari broke Wednesday’s conversation into three facets and related questions: Personal Narrative, “What am I?;” Ideology, “How do I see the world?;” and Culture, “How do I want to live in the world?”

After 10 years in the marine corp, Tiwari said he has a very strict view of what masculinity was and felt the need to emphasize framing the question as what am I, instead of who am I?

As a former student and mentee of Tiwari’s, Gonzalez said she immediately thought of him after deciding on the topic of this event.

“I thought it was very important, since it’s men’s edition, to have a male speaker,” said Gonzalez. “And he already has such and interest and such a passion for feminism, as should everyone, but because of those two things I thought he was perfect for this event.”

OASA members (left to right) Anna Ritchie, Melinda Gonzalez, Gabby Farland, and Sophie Bange open the discussion. The University of Oregon’s Organization Against Sexual Assault hosted Prof. Avinash Tiwari for the event “Coalition for Consent: Men’s Edition” on Feb. 7, 2018 in Straub Hall. (Natalie Waitt-Gibson/Emerald)

Despite its titling of “Men’s Edition,” Gonzalez said she didn’t want that to deter any women from coming, saying she wanted to have an open conversation between genders. The attendance was split between men and women, which Gonzalez later called a “good thing.”

A sophomore who attended the talk, Silas Lobnibe said he felt this was a “much needed conversation, especially with this wider social backdrop.”

He said he especially appreciated Tiwari’s emphasis on intersectionality as a fellow man of color.

This was his first Coalition for Consent event, yet he said he’d definitely attend future events.

Gonzalez said OASA is hoping to have another event toward the end of the term while they gear up for their annual speaker series in spring term in which she said they hope to feature a transgender person of color.

Tiwari closed his speech by thanking everyone for engaging with him in the complexities of this issue, saying, “This doesn’t fit on a meme, it doesn’t fit in a tweet.”

You can find coverage of the November Coalition for Consent here.


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Becca Robbins

Becca Robbins

Becca Robbins is a News Reporter. She is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing. She loves to read and watch sports.