My name is Lane, the person and passion behind Cupcakes on the Third Floor. I’m also the person asking you to share very deep and personal experiences. Since we’re looking at seriously touchy topics, let me share my own story with you and how it led to the creation of The Third Floor.
When I was 18, I was assaulted by someone I trusted. That was in 2012. Truthfully, it felt like it was my fault – people who were there blamed me, his parents blamed me, the cops handling my case blamed me and my friends didn’t tell me I did nothing wrong. So I spent the next four years existing in a bubble of my own self-doubt, riddled with nightmares and constantly questioning my worth as a human. Rape is rape but also, what is rape? The concept of consent was semi-foreign to me; I’d never been in a situation where I wanted to be alone and I wanted to sleep while someone was forcing himself onto me. Since I didn’t outwardly say “NO” or fight back was it okay for me to wake up in the morning and feel violated? The answer is yes, but to me, it was a gray area that ebbed and flowed between “maybe” and “probably not.”
In order for us to believe rape is rape, we have to understand consent is a clear line. While no mean no, yes is the only thing that actually means yes. There isn’t implied consent or assumed consent, consent doesn’t carry over from yesterday to today, consent is not silence, consenting to a single act doesn’t include the whole package and for the umpteenth time: no is not a secret consensual term.
And then Cupcakes on the Third Floor was born. Mid-way through production, I sat in on a talk by Hannah Brancato where she discussed rape culture and how we need clear examples of what consent look likes; obvious analogies need to exist. Attempting to force feed people cupcakes was a shockingly effective way to outline what we do or don’t want. If you didn’t want dessert, would you take it? If you didn’t want sex, would you accept it? In both instances, with the perfect amount of coercion, yes.