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What is Consent?

Back in the late 80’s the focus on my university campus was on getting males to understand that when a female said no it meant NO.  Of course, that point in the social evolution of the understanding of consent was driven by people who had grown up post the sexual revolution; but in a society where sexism was still prevalent.  So the burden was on the recipient of advances to fend off unwanted ones by clearly stating NO.

Times have changed and now across the western world definitions are not gender specific, and the responsibility is now squarely on the person making advances to be SURE they are wanted before proceeding.

The Thames Polices defines it here

Project Consent's videos on the subject are here

Disrespect Nobody has a plethora of videos here

#itsonus did this video to drive the message home

Canadians developed this leaflet to walk people through NO MEANS NO

It is actually a worldwide concept 30 years on, and No Means No Worldwide does work to empower people to refuse unwanted sex

and even John Oliver covers it in his sex education piece here (skip to minute 19:31 if that's all you want to watch)

Here are some interesting thoughts from some health educators about the move to a culture of consent.

There are also a lot of videos on line - posted primarily by what to me look like snotty arrogant fools – detracting the validity of campaigns aimed at raising awareness.  They talk about social escalation, generalised consent and teases who push the line.  I think they are either trying to make themselves feel better about things that likely cause them unease if they think on them too long; or they just aren’t intelligent enough to have grasped the point that if your potential partner isn’t actively engaged they probably aren’t fully on board.

 

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