NOT Good2Go

by Shaker masculine_lady

[Content Note: Sexual assault; hostility to consent.]

Good2Go, reviewed by Amanda Hess in the Ladies Area at Slate, is a new app that is ostensibly supposed to aid in the oh-so-awkward communication about sex that happens in so-called hook up culture. It is also supposed to somehow reduce sexual assault because it makes sure consent is present.
Here's how it works: After deciding that you would like to have sex with someone, launch the Good2Go app (free on iTunes and Google Play), hand the phone off to your potential partner, and allow him or her to navigate the process to determine if he or she is ready and willing. "Are We Good2Go?" the first screen asks, prompting the partner to answer "No, Thanks," "Yes, but … we need to talk," or "I'm Good2Go." If the partner chooses door No. 1, a black screen pops up that reads "Remember! No means No! Only Yes means Yes, BUT can be changed to NO at anytime!" If he or she opts instead to have a conversation before deciding—imagine, verbally communicating with someone with whom you may imminently engage in sexual intercourse—the app pauses to allow both parties to discuss.

If the partner—let's assume for the purposes of this blog post, partner is a she—indicates that she is "Good2Go," she's sent to a second screen that asks if she is "Sober," "Mildly Intoxicated," "Intoxicated but Good2Go," or "Pretty Wasted." If she chooses "Pretty Wasted," the app informs her that she "cannot consent" and she's instructed to return the phone back to its owner (and presumably, not have sex under any circumstances, young lady). All other choices lead to a third screen, which asks the partner if she is an existing Good2Go user or a new one. If she's a new user, she's prompted to enter her phone number and a password, confirm that she is 18 years old, and press submit. (Minors are out of luck—the app is only for consenting adults.) Then, she'll fill out a fourth prompt, which asks her to input a six-digit code that's just been texted to her own cellphone to verify her identity with that app. (Previous users can just type in their phone number—which serves as their Good2Go username—and password.) Once that level is complete, she returns the phone to its owner, who can view a message explaining the terms of the partner's consent. (For example, the "Partner is intoxicated but is Good2Go.") Then, the instigator presses a button marked "Ok," which reminds him again that yes can be changed to "NO at anytime!"
There are approximately 8 million things wrong with this, and it's even worse than the rape "prevention" nail polish that came out a few weeks ago. At least the nail polish didn't actually give rapists a method to manufacture a record of consent.

Good2Go guides users through a somewhat arduous process (I mean, if I was "totally wasted," I couldn't follow it) to determine if everyone is game for sexytimes and is more sober than drunk. If everyone is good to go, then they proceed to the sexytimes WITH A PERMANENT DATA POINT ABOUT THE CONSENT CREATED.

Rape isn't a misunderstanding about consent. Rapists don't rape because they aren't clear if their chosen victim wants to have sex or not. They don't actually care about consent. They want to dominate and control another person explicitly without consent. They don't forget to get consent, they don't misread the signals, etc. All of those excuses are made in the rape culture in which we live, and inherent to all of them is the belief that rape is about sexual desire and/or rapists are really nice guys who make mistakes.

Rapists who rape women do so because they want to rape women. Rapists who rape men do so because they want to rape men. Consent is irrelevant, until the rapist is in front of a judge... "Per the data from the kind folks at Good2Go, we can see that the witness consented to sexual intercourse at 6:47 PM on August 23rd. The defense rests."

Consent is a process, and isn't ever a done deal. Consent at 7 PM isn't consent at 11 PM. Consent for a kiss isn't consent for oral sex. Consent for one sex act isn't consent for another. This app structures consent as a contract, without options or process. Good2Go is like the worst sort of rape joke. It will embolden rapists and isolate and blame survivors.

The app we need is one that builds respect for women and girls as human beings and fosters empathy for survivors.

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