We’ve been thinking a lot about the #MeToo movement and how to help young people navigate some of the tough conversations about sexual boundaries. Today we launched “To Be Honest”, an iOS + Android sticker pack aimed at helping users set expectations, explore sexual boundaries, and raise red flags when things go too far on a platform where these early intimate expectations are often set: text.
The stickers arm both parties with clear language to express and begin a dialogue around everything from “That was fun” and “Are you comfortable?” to “No nudes” and “Blocked and reported”. For Jenny Mauric and Christina Bull, the design challenge was moving beyond the text to bring real emotive meaning to these messages. The team paired phrases with relatable poses and expressions of classical sculptures – deities and powerful people from history that bring a humorous, yet serious element to every message. Rather than just the sender simply telling someone to back off, Poseidon is telling them to back off.
“Between #MeToo and the recent division swirling around the Kavanaugh hearings, consent and larger still, rape culture are areas we desperately need to be discussing more,” said Claudia Cukrov.
“Consent is an incredibly complex issue, and it can change in an instant. ‘To Be Honest’ isn’t designed to be a solution to these issues, but similar to reaction GIFs – provide a low-barrier tool to express boundaries we sometimes can’t find the words to say.”
Why a text sticker pack?
- It doesn’t matter how experienced, confident, outspoken or prepared a person of any age may be, consent conversations are hard to have, especially when it involves a power structure or a someone they care about.
- When it comes to uncomfortable conversations, text [through emails, messaging apps, and SMS] over face-to-face conversations offer the luxury of time and format to carefully consider and construct the words we use. It’s no surprise breaking up over text message is increasingly common these days – it takes the confrontation out of an uncomfortable situation.
- Digging deeper into the dating world where some of these expectations around sexual boundaries are set, we realized early conversations really do revolve around the text messaging space.