How young is too young to start talking about consent?
The movement to eliminate sexual assault and harassment may have gotten a long overdue jumpstart in 2017, but the conversation is far from over. And one activist believes this is a dialogue that everyone should participate in – even people who are too young to speak.
Eleanor Morrison is a mom, equal rights activist and author of a not-yet-released children’s book called “C is for Consent.” A presence in the entertainment industry, Eleanor was inspired by the conversations occurring around issues of sexual assault and harassment to create a book that could potentially educate and inspire the next generation to do better.
There are children’s books on the market that address issues like body boundaries and sexual consent. But these tools are generally geared towards children ages three and up. When it comes to educating younger kids – and more specifically, their parents – resources are lacking.
That’s why Eleanor, the mother of a nine-month-old, took it upon herself to create a book designed and produced with toddlers and their parents in mind. Unlike paperback books, which toddlers attempt to consume literally, rather than figuratively, “C is for Consent” will be manufactured as a board book. The physical book will be tough enough to withstand toddler teeth, but simple enough to make the message palatable for children that age.
Even though “C is for Consent” is a children’s book, Eleanor says the book is mostly for parents. She tells Morning Dose, “a lot of the conversation around this is actually about making the parents comfortable with allowing their kids to have body boundaries, to not be forced to hug grandma if they don’t feel like it, to understand they have some say over what happens to their body so then they can grow up to respect the body boundaries of others.”
A mom is working on a book that teaches kids about consent. (From Morning Dose TV)
Posted by Dose on Friday, January 12, 2018
For the story, Eleanor chose a male protagonist because “consent cannot be seen as a girls-only concern.” Throughout the book, the character of Finn (modeled after her own son) learns the power of physical boundaries while navigating a group of relatives and friends.
“C is for Consent” will be illustrated by artist and activist Faye Orlove. To cover production costs, Eleanor set up a Kickstarter and has since fully funded the project (if you’d like to donate, you still can – contributions will be used to print additional copies and extend distribution.)
So, if you’re looking for the perfect baby shower gift (that isn’t Sophie the giraffe) consider contributing to this project. After all, the only wrong way to talk about consent is to not discuss it at all.