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At Vidcon 2015, we sat down with Steve Zaragoza, Hannah Witton, and Lauren Fairweather to talk about coercion.

THIS WEEK'S CALL TO ACTION: We know that youtube and other spaces where creators are elevated creates a different power dynamic. How does that affect the ability for a creator to coerce a fan or member of the community? What role can we all play - either as creators or community members - to make sure that this power is used responsibly? Chime in with your answer using hashtag #EngageUplift.

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

Panelists:
Steve Zaragoza: https://twitter.com/stevezaragoza
Hannah Witton: https://twitter.com/hannahwitton
Lauren Fairweather: https://twitter.com/laurenmyrtle

Hosted by Kat Lazo: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheeKatsMeoww

Directed by Kelly Kend: http://kellykend.com/

Discussion questions by: Kelly Kend



Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
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Kat: Welcome to another episode of Engage by Uplift. We have with us Steve Zaragoza, we have Hannah Witton, we have Lauren Fairweather. So we'll be tackling coercion today. What is the difference between coercion and seduction?

Hannah: I think seduction's a two-way thing. Yeah, seduction's like a relationship. You seduce each other. Whereas coercion is just one-way.

Kat: Yeah, I never thought of it that way.

Lauren: Maybe coercion starts as seduction , but if it continues without that other person. Without the reciprocation.

Steve: Coercion is one-sided seduction, maybe. Maybe seduction is when two are very much both involved. Nailed it, next question. Nailed it. Done, done, episode over.

Kat: What about pressuring? Is that different?

Hannah: You get into these strange situations where someone is coming onto you and you don't want that attention, but I think just generally as women you're taught to be like polite and not be forceful with people and so you're like Or you're not gonna speak your mind and you're gonna be a pushover When you're in these situations it is really hard to be like, "No, back off, I don't want your attention."

Lauren: Or even in situations where this is maybe a friend of yours that you're not romantically interested in you legitimately don't wanna hurt their feelings by straight-out telling them, "No way, that's not happening."

Steve: I feel like a lot of guys take advantage of that, they take advantage of kind of this like easily coerced situation, you know, and that's wrong.

Hannah: But that's that whole thing about "Ah, she's just playing hard to get. And I'm gonna get it." No one plays hard to get, they just are harder to get. And you ain't gonna get it.

Steve: Or there's some sort of anxiety or some sort of underlying issue and there's no reason to take advantage of that and I think that that also comes from a learning area as well.

Kat: On that subject matter, what if you're with someone who is maybe shy, nervous - how do you know when it's OK to, like, take control?

Steve: Communication is the key.

Kat: Steve, I knew I liked you.

Steve: It's all about communication. You need to talk to each other! I would also add listening. Oh, of course, of course! Yeah. Talking is one thing, you're right, but it's a two-way street, communication, I've heard.

Lauren: If that person lets you know, "Hey, I'm into you, but I need some time, I need to come to terms with this and I need to become more comfortable with you before going forward."

Steve: There's always that the pressure of like, you know, do we kiss on the first date, do we have sex on the third date?"

Lauren: I think you have to achieve a level of comfort with somebody before that sort of discourse can even take place, you know, when something is fresh and new and you kinda like somebody and you're flirting with them but you don't - you don't want to chase them away, you don't want to say the wrong thing, and so they don't say anything at all.

Steve: It's almost like - there's that analogy for stand up comedians, you kind of have to play the room a little bit and find out where your boundaries are.

Kat: What if you had a friend who told you that she said yes to certain things but she didn't really mean it. What do you say to that individual?

Lauren: There are different levels of yes and there are also, you know, some people may say yes to something and then may not necessarily want to say yes to every possible thing.

Hannah: Well you might be really into it and you do say yes, and then you're like, actually nah.

Lauren: This is weird, I feel uncomfortable with this, even though I've already said yes to it.

Hannah: We still all just need to actually learn how to say, "I want to have sex with you. Do you wanna have sex with me? Okay, let's go." Like we need to be able to - articulate it.

Steve: Yeah. You shouldn't be afraid to speak your mind because this could be a very dangerous territory and it could lead to some very dangerous stuff so you know taking control of the situation by being very clear about what you're comfortable with is very important.

Kat: Being that we are at VidCon what happens -

Steve: is that where we are?

Hannah: We are!

Kat: what happens when there are power dynamics at play?

Lauren: There's also - especially in the YouTube community - the fact that this is new, that a lot of the people who are really famous on YouTube right now has skyrocketed in the last year or two, and this is new power for these people and do they know how to use it.

Hannah: And actually what we need to do is tell the creators and the famous YouTubers, "Hey, don't have sex with your fans."

Steve: They're probably telling their buddies, like, "Oh, this is an easy situation because I can kind of lead this and do what I want, and be in control."

Lauren: And, like you said, the person who actually has the power in the situation has to recognize that they do have the power, or else they might unintentionally abuse it.

Steve: I think the whole thing just boils down to just talking about it.

Kat: This has been a really great conversation - lots of honesty, lots of education. Thank you so much for your time, thank you for coming here. Really appreciate it.

Steve: Thank you.

Kat: Alright, that's a wrap for this week's episode. comment down below or if you're on Twitter use the hashtag EngageUplift. If you found this video helpful make sure to thumbs up and while you're at it, why not subscribe? for all the resources in this video or to learn more about Uplift make sure to check the description box down below. That's it for today! Bye.