Foreword Reviews

Ask

Building Consent Culture

The book’s powerful, positive message is much needed at a time when “just say no” isn’t enough.

Consent is sexy? No, it’s mandatory. Ask: Building Consent Culture is an empowering, informative anthology of essays to help young people define their personal boundaries. Focusing on respect, safety, and self-advocacy, Ask is required reading in a culture that often overlooks young people’s rights to make their own rules about their bodies.

Consent isn’t just protection from; it’s also freedom to: “freedom to express desire, to explore pleasure, to seek intimacy and adventure.” As a response to rape culture, consent is a necessity. The essays in Ask focus on important experiences with consent at home, school, and work; in a medical environment or in jail; and in relationships.

The majority of the essays are a critique of existing power structures and suggest alternative, more inclusive ways to live, work, and take care of each other. This is not a handbook, but a wonderful guide that suggests new ideas about social awareness and responsibility.

Ask is edited by Kitty Strkyer, founder of consentculture.com. Active for decades in the kink community, she tours internationally as a speaker on feminism, sex work, body positivity, and queer politics. Contributors include people of all orientations, backgrounds, and identities, giving a strong, diverse cross-section of opinions on consent.

From lawyers to educators to poets to sex workers to journalists, Ask’s list of writers is a council of smart, compassionate advocates. Their message? Learn what works for you. Ask for what you want. Empower others to do the same.

Although Ask may sometimes go over the heads of younger people, it’s thought-provoking material. Parents and adults who work with young people will find good resources here. The book’s powerful, positive message is much needed at a time when “just say no” isn’t enough.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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