Battling abuse and harassment with Green, Yellow, and Red Cards…my two cents on this popular solution

Today I was looking through my Facebook newsfeed and I saw Cosplay in America’s status update, and it was really cool…and usually they give me pretty interesting things to look at anyhow, like conventions for different interests that I have. But anyway…

consent cards

They posted this link to a blog, and a post on this blog talks about a project they do where they give out stacks of red, yellow, and green consent cards to people so when the people who get the cards meet people at conventions, they can give feedback about their interactions.

The idea behind this being that they can use it as a teachable moment for the creepers to learn not to creep so hard (or at all) and they can congratulate people who aren’t creepy when they approach others.

It’s better explained by the people who started the project, so here’s the link:

I think this idea also applies to other situations (places other than conventions). If you’re at a crowded bar/club, or a crowded party where you don’t know lots of people, or you’re going to some other crowded area (a concert, perhaps), or you’re part of a group or club, or you just go to a huge college and you meet creepers every day who bother you…you can hand out these cards and walk away. Maybe put them in labeled envelopes so they have to work to see what they are, and you have more time to get away before they have time to get angry and react. Just walk away, and later on maybe they’ll think twice about saying such things. Maybe it’ll shame them into acting better, who knows. Just use them responsibly.

I’m not in any way telling you that there won’t be any consequences. There could be. Like I said, just use them responsibly and put safeguards in place so you have less chances of making matters worse. If you think they could be a threat, act accordingly, report them if you deem it that sort of situation. Also, if they think they’re being smooth but they’re really being creepy, and they don’t seem to know it, they may actually act differently next time.

Just know that you never have to tolerate abuse, sexism, creeping, racism, homophobia, or harassment (or any other similar behaviors). Never should you ever tolerate that, whether you’re male or female or in-between or undefined, whatever your race/class/creed, no matter your sexuality or lack thereof…you deserve to be treated with respect.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are scared or uncomfortable, seek help and get away if you can. Even if they’re your best friend, it’s not right, and you deserve better.

These cards are a good start for battling these issues. However, definitely contact the proper authorities if you are afraid for your safety.

That’s my two cents on these cards. But for sure, I’m going to get some of these and hand them out. I’ve encountered a lot of creepy folks at conventions and concerts, and I think this is a splendid idea.

consent cards with detail

Look at the pictures of the cards for more information on what each color means. In a nutshell, though, Green means, “thanks, you’re not a creeper, you seem to be a nice chap, keep it up,” yellow means, “warning: you seem to be creeping, try to hold back and think about what you say before you say it, man,” and red means, “please just stop, you’re creeping me out and you’re lucky I’m not going to employ more extreme methods to teach you a lesson.”

The site has contact info for the person who makes them, and a donation link if you want to help them make more. It says if you email her, she may be able to mail you some for free, which is awesome!

Anyway, I’ve got a birthday cake to make…here’s another interesting idea to chew on until my next post:

The Backup Ribbon Project


(picture source: )


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