In this day and age, we need to relearn what consent is. In the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, one of the main characters (Bryce) said: "I could tell she wanted it and she didn't exactly say no." That's such a young guy way of thinking, and some men never grow out of that. They can't wrap their minds around why women don't want sex with them all the time. Men also don't understand why women don't want sex to be the focus of a relationship. You will not die if you don't get sex when you want it. Not every girl is going to want you... shocker, I know. Now I know not all men think the way I just described. There are decent men out there. It's not just men that need to learn about consent either, we all do.
Hello Boys. I think I get you more than ever. These past couple of years must have been horrible for you. I mean this. I’m assuming I’m talking to men who are completely flabbergasted at how many of their peers have had to learn not to rape, assault and overlook women for work. No, I’m not being facetious. I know more decent men than I know indecent men. A very decent, funny and smart man raised me. I’m the sister of one of one of those decent, funny and smart men. I’m talking to those men, right now. I’m talking to the guy who, even by the recent discovery of what women have known forever, still don’t fear going on a date, because if he was wondering about his past own behavior on dates, maybe he shouldn’t be dating, at all. If you’re a man who says that you don’t want to date now, because you don’t know if you might do something wrong, don’t date.
Rape culture is a toxic set of beliefs that are commonly held about the way the world is. It is a culture that normalizes sexual violence and just sees rape as inevitable, unavoidable, and a totally normal thing. Rape culture supports and encourages male sexual aggression as well as violence against women and other groups. It ignores the problems around sexual assault. Victims are blamed for the act and encouraged to take precautions to avoid being raped. This is a more dominant attitude than teaching people not to rape others.
Your first experience with anything dictates your feelings subconscious and otherwise. My first sexual experience was a rape. I didn’t want to be scathed in any way. So I decided I wouldn’t be. I was young, I still had time to have impactful experiences. I’d just make an effort to do a bunch of other stuff and effectively knock this one out of the ring. I was desperate to have a sexual experience that could replace the assault. I wanted a first time story I could tell in drinking games. It had to hold up while reminiscing with friends, laughing about how short it was, how uncomfortable, how I had grown frustrated with fumbled buttons and clasps and done the damn thing myself. Unfortunately life and I weren’t on exactly the same page on that front, so I would create one.
Sexual assault can take many forms. The legal definition will change a bit from place to place, but it is generally defined as any action that is sexual in nature and violates the sexual integrity of the victim. It is an unwanted and non-consenting action performed by one person on another. In many cases, sexual assault is defined by its lack of freely given consent. It is used as more of an umbrella term that includes a wide variety of unwanted actions.
When is it okay for consent to be withdrawn in a given situation? Is there a point of no return where a person must simply follow through? No matter who you speak to, everyone will have a different opinion about this aspect of consent. There are a lot of different opinions based on people's experiences and their upbringing, but the truth is that most people haven't really learned about consent. Most people have not taken the time to learn about and explore the topic. They feel they have a good understanding just because they have a basic understanding. Research actually shows that most people aren't able to correctly identify the finer points of consent. This is why it's important we continue to have the discussions exploring the different aspects of consent. So when can consent be withdrawn?
As conversations about consent continue to become more commonplace, more and more people are looking at sexual consent in new ways that they never have before. Consent is about more than just desire. We are constantly analyzing a number of factors, even subconsciously, to determine what our consent will be. Our answers may change based on the specifics of the situation or the person or people involved. Sometimes we consent to things and find out extra information after. This can be upsetting if we feel that information would have changed our choice before the activity. Being able to make an informed decision is an important piece of the consent process.
So after moving to London almost two years ago, I had long dreamt of 'The Commute.' The hustle and bustle of busy London life that excited the young Essex girl in me. The thing that no-one really tells you? The HARASSMENT you will be subjected to on that train.