Trigger warning for discussion of rape and consent issues
This new consent app is the next in line of rape-preventative measures that don’t actually do anything to address the problem. It claims to address “pesky he-said, she-said rape cases” by recording mutual consent via this fancy new app. Aside from the fact that women’s voices in these cases are doubted and delegitimise often for no legitimate reason, the solution to which isn’t an app but rather a change of attitude, the app itself has a huge array of issues.
The app, whether intentional or not, actually does absolutely nothing for potential survivors of rape. Who it does work for is potential rapists and people accused of rape who pull the “false accusation” number. The consent given via this app is non-explicit, and naturally the app has no ability to record the withdrawal of consent. With the way our court systems currently treat sexual abuse cases, it’s more than likely that an initial “yes” via this app will be enough to convince any judge of continued consent regardless of either party’s actions after the app-mediated consent is given.
The app also doesn’t record any responses of non-consent or inability to consent, directly nullifying its usefulness for a potential survivor. It records “yes” responses in case of a “false accusation,” but doesn’t record “no” responses in case of an actual rape. That is, the app is useful to an instigator who may lose consent or believe they are not actually at fault, but not useful to someone who responds “no” via this app and is then subject to sexual advances or abuse regardless. With the rate of false accusations estimated at anywhere between 1-5%, and the rate of non-conviction for rape, why would the app work this way? To protect the masculine ego from evidence of being “turned down?”
Ultimately, this app provides zero protection for potential survivors of rape, and may actually even protect potential or actual rapists. After all, if someone is willing to rape, is it really that hard to believe that they’d also steal their victim’s phone to falsify consent?