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College uses Snow White poster to teach students how not to rape

‘Sleeping people CAN’T say YES’

A group called Creating a Rape-free Environment for Students at Chapman University is using a timeless classic to teach students about consent and sexual assault.

The group installed a large poster display of Prince Charming kissing Snow White to wake her from her sleep, but with a twist — it also features a Prince Charming leaning in to kiss a sleeping prince.

“Sleeping people CAN’T say YES,” the poster states. “Anything but a yes is NO!” The poster also lays out a definition of consent: “conscious, freely given, and obvious.”

The poster is enclosed in a glass case and greets visitors as they exit the elevator at the popular Argyros Forum building at the private, Southern California-based college. The busy, three-story building houses classrooms, administrative and student government offices, a gift shop and other amenities.

Also in the case is a “sexual misconduct referrals/resources” flyer that lists contact information for the campus rape crisis counselor, a sexual assault hotline, the Title IX office, as well as phone numbers for public safety, the dean of students, residential life, health services, psychological counseling services, and the Irvine and Orange police departments.

Snow White and the notion of consent made national headlines a few months ago thanks to actress Kristen Bell, who voiced the Disney Princess Anna in the movie “Frozen.”

Bell sparked a debate after she shared her concerns about the scene in which Prince Charming kissed the poisoned and apparently dead Snow White. It turned out to be love’s true kiss, awaking her from the spell.

But Bell said every time she reads Snow White to her daughters, she asks them: “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”

The Washington Post reports Bell is not alone, that “scholars, activists and other parents have made similar arguments about the ‘Snow White’ kissing scene — saying that Disney’s adaptation of the German fairy tale fosters the wrong ideas about sexual encounters and consent.”

When asked by The College Fix if this national conversation sparked the creation of the poster, C.A.R.E.S coordinator Dani Smith said the Chapman poster was made about four years ago. She did not comment on what inspired it or offer other details about the display.

According to their website, C.A.R.E.S. is “a group of students who are committed to raising awareness regarding rape and sexual assault. The mission includes disseminating prevention information and stimulating discussion with the aim of impacting the rape mentality that pervades our culture.”

Chapman University did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comments.

Additionally, the campus offers students flyers from Planned Parenthood regarding consent. The flyers show the acronym FRIES and informs readers it means consent is: “Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, Specific.” The flyers are also distributed in the Argyros Forum.

Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request from The College Fix seeking comment.

According to Planned Parenthood’s Twitter, the flyers have at least been around since 2016. The group shared the image and an article about it via Twitter.

“So how do you know if you have consent from another person? Giving and getting consent is as easy as ‘FRIES,’” Vice President of Education for Planned Parenthood Leslie Kantor states.

MORE: Affirmative consent is like communism: ‘great in theory, a disaster in practice’

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About the Author
Michael Jones -- Auburn University