I should not be lauded on my attitudes of consent. I should not think of my stances as militant even though I do so.
My thoughts and actions concerning consent should be so normal that to think anything else is to act outside the norm. It should be fringe and backwater, uninformed and brutish to engage in nonconsent.
I read accounts of women and men put through horror just because they were there. Just because they wanted a job. Just because they wanted a chance to do good work. Just because they wanted to see if there was a connection. And it fills me with rage.
How is this allowed?
How is this our culture, not just in the west but in the world?
Should people in power lose their positions because of their actions?
Yes. That is the least that should occur. They should pay with their lives and livelihoods, just as their actions forced others to make the same choices. They should be stripped of every good thing they ever acquired after their actions. No profit from the pain of others.
Informed enthusiastic consent needs to be taught from a young age. It needs to be a part of the curriculum. It needs to be enforced at home. If your child does not want to hug someone they should not be forced to. Do not normalize gritting your teeth and doing the things that make you feel aick. That make you feel bad. That make you feel used. Or as an object.
“No means no” is not enough. People freeze. People become nonverbal.
No is no is placing the onus of consent on the victim rather than the aggressor.
Only informed(non impaired judgment) enthusiastic(interested, nonforced) positive(yes, yes, yes) and ongoing(given throughout the encounter) consent is real true consent. If any of those criteria is not met then nothing should happen.
And I cannot stress ongoing enough.
Yes to kiss is not yes to fuck. Yes to a drink is not yes to a kiss. Yes to a hug is not yes to a grope.
Ongoing, every step or it all stops. And the initiator needs to be watching for any sign of nonconsent. It may “kill the mood”, (yes that’s been said to me), but better that than to physically hurt or emotionally damage someone.
And you the initiator…you have consent too. You can say no, stop, no more, break off contact, all of the same rules apply. Just because you started something doesn’t mean you must continue(yes it does happen that we kissed but I didn’t want to fuck)
We are leaving so much emotional, physical, and mental wreckage in our wake. This needs to stop. We need to stop it. Culturally we need to call out every action that does this. And we need to teach our youth not only what is Not ok, but what is. They must know what their responsibility is before they can be responsible.