Friday, March 14, 2014

Tiny Talk - episode four: 'no' means NO - consent

So this week I want to talk about consent and how saying "no" means no, but also talk about indirect consent etc. This seems to be a pressing issue at the moment after some attention on Twitter and YouTube surrounding some YouTubers. It seems this is a pressing issue, and is a serious area for concern. 

I expect many of you think of rape when people talk about consent, but in my eyes this can also include sexual manipulation or anything involving alcohol/drugs etc. I am lucky enough that I have never been in this situation, but I do know people who have, and have had to deal with emotional stress ever since. 

Something that is often overlooked is that women can manipulate men in to having sex with them too. There is a clear main focus on the fact that men are the ones who are always doing the manipulation etc. but I find that I know a lot more females who have done this than I do males. Although of course that is just people who I know. For example, the issue on how big of a factor alcohol plays in a situation like this can be serious disputed. In a university/college setting it is no secret that there is an extremely high alcohol consumption rate, and people very often have 'one night stands' - this is just simple common knowledge - but where should the line be drawn? 

There is also the issue of emotional or psychological blackmail and manipulation. Someone, be it male or female, may blackmail the other in to something by saying that they might do something to them if they don't have sex with them. I think this is also overlooked as many people seem to think that in a relationship, you are obliged to have sex with the person. This is not the case whatsoever. The other person may feel like their actions are justified and that they feel they are in the right, but if you feel like you're being forced in to something then don't do it.

Also, if a woman, or even a man, is dressed provocatively it does not mean that they are asked for sex or even to be raped. How someone dresses is up to them and does not then invite another person for sex just by that. This is something that infuriates me in this debate and is often something that is posed by narrow minded people. A persons dress sense does not dictate this whatsoever, and I find the point posed about this being an open invitation as completely devoid of any relevance. 

Although this post is entitled "no" means NO, a lack of consent doesn't have to be that direct. If someone pushes you away, or says they're not sure, don't go through with your actions. They may be doubting what they originally thought was something they wanted which acts as a form of indirect consent. Just because someone doesn't directly say "no", doesn't mean that they want to go through with it.

Well I say you are not obliged to do anything you don't want to do. Don't let someone force you in to doing something, whether it be sexual or otherwise. You are your own person and you have control on what you do with your body, or what you do not do with it. If someone threatens to break up with you, or tell people about you, then just get rid of them. They are absolutely no good to you, and are quite clearly only after one thing. Don't ever be afraid to say no. A healthy relationship doesn't have sex as the focal point - there are many other things that, when combined, form amazing relationships. No one has the right to tell you to do anything - do what only YOU want to do. 

If you are having any issues with anything like this, or you think you know of someone who is, then click here to be put in contact with someone who can help.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for episode five of Tiny Talk coming soon.

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