Consent is the only way

By Ian Donovan Hyland, senior television writing and production major

Before I say anything on this event, I want to take the time to contextualize my history. I grew up being educated on how devastating rape can be. My mother was raped by a “friend.” She was neither drugged nor drunk. It was forced. He was a serial rapist and was arrested after dozens of girls came forward. His sentence was not long enough. Saying “rape” flippantly or jokingly in my household is a crime. But I was also taught the importance of understanding how to support victims of rape. The necessity for compassion, consent and looking out for those around you. I cannot express enough how deeply I care about this issue.

Ian Donovan Hyland

Ian Donovan Hyland, senior television writing and production major

After listening to Chief of Police Tom Kisela’s speech during Orientation Week, I felt the need to compose my thoughts, because beyond my experience with my mother, I’ve talked to more than 15 women about their rapes and one man about his molestation. I am not, myself, a victim of assault and I certainly cannot speak for them, but I can say how those conversations have impacted me.
Many of them were close friends. Some were virtually strangers. They all deserved to be heard, believed. It didn’t matter if they were drunk or how they were dressed. It doesn’t shift the burden of the attack onto their shoulders. I love and stand by every one of them to the best of my ability.

Here’s some advice: If someone is drunk, do not sleep with him or her. Simply put, do you want to risk being someone they regret waking up to? Is hooking up worth it if everyone doesn’t feel good about it the next day? Any sane person’s answer should be no.

Sex is great. It is one of my favorite activities and I am a frequent participant. But c’mon, sex is better when everyone is having a great time. Consent and incapacitation are not complicated. If someone is too drunk to give a firm and enthusiastic “YES!” do not have sex with them. Even if they say yes, but don’t really seem into it – don’t. Only a fool cares about the number of people they’ve slept with. Do not have sex without consent.

Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, a man I have met several times and believe worthy of respect, said in The Panther’s article about Kisela’s victim-blaming speech “understanding the definitions of consent and incapacitation, that’s a tough message. It’s not one that you could probably convey in a 10-15 minute talk.”

There’s a great video about comparing consent to offering tea. That video is two minutes and 50 seconds long. Dean Price, start there. The fact that you are dancing around formally denouncing Chief Kisela’s stance is unworthy of you. Let the women, men and LGBTQIA community of Chapman know the school’s stance on what happened. Let them know that, despite a chief of police undeserving of his position, Chapman cares. Make that your position and actually follow through on supporting the victim when rape occurs.

I want to close by saying this: To anyone who’s been hurt by sexual predators, I am sorry that you have gone through this. I am here for you if you need someone to talk to. If you need someone to cry with. If you need someone to sit with you in silence, I will be there for you, should you ask. And to anyone who agrees with me in this, if you see someone who might need an advocate, speak up. If your friend asks for your support, Netflix can wait a night. We must put supporting each other first. We must put compassion first. We must put having great, consensual sex first. And we might end up making the world a little better.

Read The Panther’s editorial on Kisela’s speech here.

Read another guest column about victim-blaming here.


  • Things I learned from this article:

    Ian Donovan Hyland is a caring, sensitive person!
    Ian Donovan Hyland is there whenever you need a shoulder to cry on!
    Ian Donovan Hyland has soothed the agony of over FIFTEEN rape victims!
    Ian Donovan Hyland is morally righteous!
    Ian Donovan Hyland has LOTS of sex!
    Ian Donovan Hyland has MET the Dean of Students MULTIPLE TIMES! Wow!
    Ian Donovan Hyland is an ally to LGBTQIA community!
    Ian Donovan Hyland is NOT a rapist!

    I suppose it’s fitting that an article about sexual consent read like the author aggressively jerking off on the reader’s face. What is Ian Donovan Hyland’s reason for publicly regurgitating the cultural zeitgeist on an issue which he has ZERO personal experience with? This is self-congratulatory navel-gazing at its finest. This is indignation as grooming.

    • yes because a man making an argument for consensual sex is sooooo self-righteous. what an awful human being he must be for calling attention to women he knows personally, including his own mother, who have been sexually assaulted.

      sounds like someone is self-projecting their own guilt.

      • I’m not sure what you think I feel guilty about. Are you accusing me of being a rapist? Please explain in detail.

        Despite what you seem to believe, my grievance with this article is not related to its definition of consent or its condemnation of Chief Kisela’s speech. This article is terrible because it isn’t even about rape. It’s about Ian Donovan Hyland. It is a gratuitous, masturbatory advertisement aimed to depict its author as compassionate, caring, and righteous.

        “I cannot express enough how deeply I care about this issue.”

        This is literally the thesis sentence of the article—that Ian Donovan Hyland is a good person. This article contributes nothing to the dialogue about collegiate rape culture, offers no meaningful call to action for the administration, and provides no nuanced insight or perspective whatsoever. Instead, we get Ian unskillfully reciting the legal definition of consent, bragging in equal parts about how often he has sex and how often he consoles rape victims, and that this is all making him really, really upset.

        This type of faux-empathic narcissism is absolutely despicable, but even more disturbing is the fact that you’re all eating it up.

        • And he fe;t compelled to say

          “Sex is great. It is one of my favorite activities and I am a frequent participant.”

          Odd statement in this conext.

  • This article is great, refreshing and honest. I grew up in a society were rape wasn’t a thing, if the girl was drunk or was flirting with the guy then she couldn’t complain if he insisted in having sex with her. I was a victim of this scenario more than once and it hurt me to see how my friends never realized the seriousness of the events. It feels great to read an article like this that makes us realize there are more people out there that have been victims of similar situations and that we should speak up and stop this from happening.

    Thanks a lot Ian for this article !!!

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