The traditional perspective is helpful in analyzing the YouTube video, Wanna Have Sex? (Consent 101), by Laci Green. Explanation and evaluation are key concepts when approaching artifacts using the traditional perspective. The five components within this method are: recreating the context, identifying the audience, describing the source, analyzing the message, and evaluating the discourse. These components are significant to understand different aspects of the message as well as the level of rhetoric of the YouTube video.
Additionally these concepts help break down the video Green (2014) is communicating to unpack the main idea within her message to the audience. By analyzing the political and social context of the message, it can help further the explanation of what the source is attempting to convey. The political context refers to the source and the way that they advocate their message. In this case how Green (2014) gives examples of good and bad consent to help promote normativity around good consent.
She is a strong supporter of educating her audience on sexual assault so she wants her message to be heard and understood. The social context surrounds her target audience and the way she adapts her information within her message to fit with that specific audience. For example, how she weaves in the topic of alcohol into her video, which corresponds to the type of environment associated with college students. In addition, Green (2014) adapts her examples of good and bad consent to college age people thus creating a relatable dialogue.
Her style of communication is appropriate considering her audience and subject. Essentially by unpacking the descriptive elements in relation to rhetorical devices it will develop a better understanding of the message Green (2014) is communicating. Analyzing the video and its message by using all five components of the traditional method lead to an evaluation. The relationship between objectivity and the traditional method will be supportive when focusing on the internal structure of the speech, in addition to subjectivity that analyzes implications the speech has on the audience.
Critical Analysis Many times universities avoid the discussion of sexual assault with their students, however some universities implement programs to address this issue among their student body. Colleges and universities create mandatory seminars and programs to help teach students about prevention and tactics to avoid sexual assault. The YouTube video, Wanna Have Sex? (Consent 101), by Laci Green is a key part of the sexual assault portion of The University of Colorado Boulder’s orientation for freshmen and transfer students.
The university uses this video since it explains the basics of consent, including ways to ask for consent, and examples of right and wrong ways of giving consent. It is seen as informational and a way to teach in a light hearted way without lecturing students. Laci Green is a 26 year old who has become known by her videos on YouTube concerning topics such as feminism, safe sex, and of course sexual assault. Her YouTube channel currently has over 1. 4 million subscribers, in addition to 2. 2 million views on Wanna Have Sex? Consent 101).
She keeps her videos relatively short in addition to creating a happy mood, and comfortable environment so she can connect with her audience while keeping their interest. The video begins with Green (2014) explaining to the audience a situation where she is with another person that she has sexual tension towards, and they ask for consent to kiss her. She then states that she enjoys being in a similar situation because the other person, “respects [her] and they have some basic sexual communication” (Green, 2014).
Consent can be a fuzzy area for a lot of people so the idea of her video is to make that area crystal clear for her audience. Green (2014) tells her audience that consent is mandatory, and then gives real-life examples of what yes and no may sound like in a situation that needs consent. In addition to explaining how to give consent and examples of proper consent, she explores when consent is never a possibility. The main takeaway from the latter half of the video is when alcohol is thrown into the situation.
This is significant due to the fact that the target audiences of Green’s (2014) video are college students that are in an environment where alcohol can be a large factor. Her video comes together in the end to get her main point across: “cultivating a culture where good consent is the norm is one of the most powerful ways to prevent sexual assault” (Green, 2014). In this, Green (2014) is able to give definitions, examples, and facts to help her audience understand sexual assault and how to avoid or prevent it in the proper manner.
The audience that Green (2014) is directing her message concerning sexual oercion to is mainly college students. It can be an introductory lesson taught to those who are confused about consent, or those who need a deeper understanding and examples of what is right and wrong. In essence, Green’s (2014) target audience lies within the world of college attending young adults in this specific video. More in depth than age, her video message is not singling out one gender. She goes through the video without using gender specific pronouns such as, “he” or “she,” but uses gender-neutral pronouns such as “they.
The inclusivity of using gender-neutral pronouns and omitting gender specific pronouns is helpful in making the audience feel comfortable. Although gender-neutral pronouns are essential for including certain communities, they are helpful in sexual assault prevention programs to help break stereotypes. An article concerning colleges battling sexual assault states, “Traditionally, ‘we told men ‘don’t be rapists’ and women ‘don’t get raped. ‘ But the vast majority of men aren’t rapists” (Howard, 2015).
This relates to using gender-neutral pronouns due to the fact that it can create an environment free of attack for the audience. Both genders are more likely to listen and obtain information when they feel as though a situation applies to both groups. The specific examples and factual statements Green (2014) uses in her message support strong rhetoric in relation to her target audience. Since her target audience is college students, she uses real-life examples to help encourage and understand sexual consent.
Green’s (2014) examples for giving consent consist of, “yes please,” “oh man that feels so good,” “mhm keep going,” “why yes, I would like that,” among others. These examples appear when a green hue covers the video simulating a green light for consent. According to Green (2014) because the examples are a, “clear yes, enthusiastic, and out loud” they are giving consent. On the other hand, her examples of no were, “I don’t like that,” “can you stop,” “I guess if you want me to,” “can we slow down for a second? ” When she gives these examples of no the video has a red hue similar to a stop sign, which can correlate with bad.
In addition, she also discussed the meaning of silence in relation to the role of consent, therefore a lack of words does not mean the person is saying yes, thus consent is not given in this circumstance. The use of colors in the video helps the audience understand good from bad by relating green and red to yes and no. The examples given go further than just the words yes and no, they help the audience clearly grasp the concept of consent in a way that pertains to their lives. Giving relatable examples to the audience enables them to use them in real-life situations that may occur.
Furthermore, Green (2014) uses facts to back up her message. When discussing the types of situations where consent cannot be given she states, “Having sex with someone who is intoxicated or in a compromised state is against the law, you can be expelled and you can go to jail for it” (Green, 2014). By using the words expelled and jail she lays out the consequences of taking advantage of someone that has been drinking. The alcohol example is significant to the target audience of college students due to the fact that alcohol plays a large factor when analyzing sexual assault occurrences.
Armstrong, Hamilton and Sweeney (2006) expound on the results of their study, “we would expect to see lower rates of sexual assault on campuses characterized by lower alcohol use” (p. 495). In that, their findings directly correlate high rates of sexual assault with high rates of drinking among college students. Green’s (2014) facts within her message are important in creating a credible message that the audience can believe. Laci Green’s (2014) ability to persuade her target audience with an inclusive style displays a good strategy when addressing sexual assault and prevention methods.
The build up of her message from the use of definitions to relatable examples creates a strong claim that the audience can take away. Green (2014) adapts her supporting evidence to her audience, which also helps produce an understanding of her main concept. Her goal is to educate her audience enough to where they apply the methods she suggests to their everyday lives and spread their knowledge of sexual assault and consent with others. Green (2014) believes this is will help form creation of a culture where good consent is the norm.