For some reason the term consent is hard for some people to understand. Consent is a hot topic right now because of this lack of understanding. The most prominent cases in the media that display this lack of understanding are the Brock Turner case and the case of David Becker (aka the Massachusetts teen rapist). For those of you have been living under a rock and don’t know about the Brock Turner case, here is a little summary for you - Brock Turner, a freshman at Stanford, sexually assaulted an unconscious former student behind a dumpster at Stanford. He only got off her when two foreign exchange students came by on bikes. Brock Turner only received 6 MONTHS of jail time. He just got released after 3 months for good behavior. To read more about this case click here. To read the letter written by Brock Turner’s victim to him click here. David Becker was alleged to have raped 2 unconscious teens at a house party. He was only sentenced to 2 YEARS of PROBATION. There will be no recorded conviction and he will NOT be registered as a sex offender. To learn more about David Becker’s case click here. Both men were given lighter sentences so as not to ruin their “bright” futures. Brock took silence and a girl being unconscious as consent. David took the fact that the girls didn't say no as consent.
I bring up their sentencing as well as what they did as an example of how clearly people do not understand consent - which perpetuates rape culture. Why else would 1 in 5 college woman be sexually assaulted while at college. Consent is simple, but apparently I need to explain the term. Consent is simply asking every step of the way if what you are doing is okay and asking every time. If a person says no, is unconscious or is giving a non-committal yes, then you can NOT do ANYTHING WITH THEM. Just because they have done something before does not mean the person wants to do something again. You MUST ask every time if you can do something with someone. You MUST ask if you can take that next step. If they don’t give you an enthusiastic yes then do NOT do anything with them. Consent is not assumed, implied, coerced or convinced. Silence is never consent. Just because you have sexted someone does not mean they want to have sex with you. If you still don’t understand I have a few metaphors for you.
Metaphor 1: Consent is just like tea. Here is a helpful little video about Tea Consent.
Metaphor 2-6: Consent as a comic.(Property of Diksha of Akkar Bakkar)
If you didn't understand consent hopefully you understand now. Consent is simple. Sexual assault and rape are completely avoidable. Always ask for consent. Sexual assault and rape are extremely damaging. The survivors of sexual assault and rape are irreversibly changed. Be smart. Be kind. Obey the laws we have in place. Don't be a horrible human - ASK FOR CONSENT. NO EXCEPTIONS.