An Important Lesson On Consent
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Politics and Activism

An Important Lesson On Consent

Just in case there's some confusion on the matter.

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An Important Lesson On Consent
hercampus.com

In light of the recent Brock Turner case, there seems to be a question that needs to be addressed — what is consent? You would think by 2016 this wouldn't be something that actually has to be discussed, but here we are, still confused by this concept. So I just wanted to clear up a few things for those who just can't seem to wrap their head around the whole idea.

Let's start with Webster Dictionary's definition of consent: "permission for something to happen or agreement to do something." Seems pretty straight forward; it's permission or agreement, as in both parties have to agree to what's happening. Everyone involved has to be on the same page about what's going down. That's not too difficult to understand, is it?

Something that really seems to puzzle people about consent is that just because someone doesn't say no, doesn't mean the answer is automatically yes. Not saying anything still doesn't mean yes. Being too drunk to answer especially does not mean yes. Additionally, being too drunk to walk or speak properly but seeming "into it" doesn't count as consent either.

Alcohol is a mind-altering drug, a depressant, to be specific. So if the person in question is wasted, they are not thinking properly. Sorry, but drunk words are not always sober thoughts; sometimes they're just the stupid things you're not quick enough to stop yourself from saying. I'm not saying every drunk person that's had sex didn't give consent, but if the person is belligerently drunk, they most likely aren't aware of what they're saying.

Another thing that doesn't constitute consent is clothing, or lack thereof. A woman wearing a short skirt or low-cut top means nothing other than the fact that she feels good in what she is wearing. She is in no way asking to be raped because she's showing a little more skin than someone else. We live in a world where a woman can being wearing a turtleneck and skirt down to her ankles and be at just as great a risk as a woman running down the street naked. That's because the victim isn't at fault. It's the man who took it upon himself to rape an innocent woman that's to blame, no one and nothing else.

The problem is some people just won't take no for an answer. A woman in a bar getting hit on by a very persistent (read: creepy) man has a better chance of getting away if she pretends she has a boyfriend or doesn't speak English rather than straight up saying she isn't interested. If a woman is hooking up with a guy and doesn't want to go all the way, she has to make an excuse to stop it rather than the man respecting her for just not wanting to have sex. Something that needs to be understood is that you are not entitled to sleep with someone no matter what! You are not entitled to touch them in any way they do not want to be touched for any reason. It doesn't matter if they were "into it" a minute ago, if you've been together in the past or if they have a "reputation." Their body is their business, and what they decide to do with it is something you need to respect. End of story.

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