Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Consent... Say It or Sing It... but Get It

Consent...we need to give the word more attention. Aretha took a word and gave it some great lyrics and an unforgettable melody... and made it memorable R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I wish someone would do the same for 'CONSENT'.

Some rapists quite knowingly sexually attack a victim against their will. Consent isn't even a consideration. But many sexual assaults aren't such blatant attacks. Instead they center on the issue of consent. Was one individual too incapacitated to give consent? Did she (or he) consent to certain acts, but not give consent to proceed further?  Was one individual not of an age to consent to sex?

You'd be surprised how often there's miscommunications... or no communications... about consent. Colleges have policies and trainings for students on obtaining consent as part of orientation... some even require partners to obtain written consent before sex. How is something that seems so basic so problematic?

 Today I watched a parenting video that talks about how even good parents can unwittingly teach their kids that consent isn't important. From simple things like tickling your kid even as they say no to expecting kids to hug relatives at family gatherings, in small ways we undermine their understanding of consent. Darcy Conway gives parents tips to encourage their children to be comfortable with saying no or yes... because practicing those skills when they're little will make giving consent more familiar when they're teens.

If you didn't get this message when you were 5 it's not too late. Here's a video of a young lad, with some entertaining and wise words about sex and consent. I love some of his words of wisdom, but what's even more fun is his honest engaging manner (so I wonder if he can sing?):

"Ask for consent.It kinda ruins the flow 
but it's the right thing to do"

"Just because someone says yes the first time 
doesn't automatically make it yes every time"

"Everybody always has a choice" 

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