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consent posters coming to some NYC clubs (and may become law)

Consent is Mandatory

Brooklyn Councilmember Rafael Espinal, who previously introduced bills to create the NYC Office of Nightlife and repeal the cabaret law, has teamed up with House of Yes founders Anya Sapozhnikova and Kae Burke to address the issue of consent in nightlife. As Bedford & Bowery reports, they’re starting on Halloween weekend with a website and posters (like the one above) that will be displayed in House of Yes and given out to other party spots and venues, including CityFox, BangOn!, and You Are So Lucky, to be displayed in “high traffic areas” like the entrance, bathrooms, and behind the bar. “It’s all about hitting people from every single angle possible. Signage in nightclubs is the kind of the easiest way to communicate, and [consent is] also something that people need to be constantly reminded of,” Sapozhnikova said to Bedford & Bowery.

Espinal told Bedford & Bowery that he is planning future legislation that would require businesses to post signage advising patrons on what to do if they’re experiencing harassment. “Having these posters will remind patrons they have the power to say no,” Espinal said. “It will keep staff more mindful to look out for situations they might find uncomfortable.”

House of Yes already has an official consent policy:

Behave with beauty, connect with intention.
We are obsessed with Consent.
If someone is violating your boundaries or harassing you,
please report them to a security guard or any staff member.
We have a zero tolerance policy for harassment.
If you feel something, say something, and we will help.

On their new website about consent, they advise other businesses, bars, and venues to create and enforce their own consent policies. They also offer this “consent 101 for party attendees”:

Know the definition of consent (aka You too might be a creeper): Most consent violators out there are NOT rapists or sociopaths. Sometimes people just don’t know any better, and sometimes people that do know better aren’t on their best behavior. Anyone can become a creeper under the right circumstances. So take a moment now to burn the following into your brain before things get swervy: Only enthusiastic, verbal Yes means Yes. No means No. The absence of an enthusiastic Yes means No.

Show up to rage with a script: Come up with exactly what you’re going to say when you feel uncomfortable BEFORE you go out. Now is the BEST time, not when you’re being creeped on as your LSD is kicking in. “Please don’t touch me” or “I’d like to dance alone right now” is a great start. Short, sweet, to the point.

Report creepers to security, staff, or bartenders, IMMEDIATELY. We must work together to create safer spaces. If you get groped at an event, please tell someone. You are not being dramatic. Regardless of your personal tolerance level for physical touch, there are other people at the event whose night may be ruined by unwanted touch. It’s everyone’s social responsibility to keep each other safe.

Read House of Yes’s full consent guide here.

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