Disclaimer: I do not know the full story on Roy Moore. I do not know the full story on Al Franken. I do not know the full story to Louis CK other than what he said himself in his admission. I don’t even know the full story of Bill Cosby, or CeeLo Green. These are stories that I will purposely limit myself on listening to or reading about because they put me in a dark place.
What I do know is what it is like to not give consent. To say no. And to not be heard. To be touched, kissed and caressed by a monster in inappropriate areas and not be believed when I told my best friend, my mother, my sister and even my therapist. The monster in the situation was 20 when I was only 14. So do I have a personal story and feelings when it comes to consent? I do.
I woke up at 2:30 this morning because I had passed out with my light on. I turned it off and couldn’t get back to sleep. I decided to peruse Facebook a bit until I tired again.
This is what popped up first:
As long as we have people in the world, there are going to be jokes and slams on things they do not understand because it hasn’t and maybe won’t ever directly affect them.
Some will use this to say that’s what we grew up with, inappropriate conduct from cartoon characters like Pepe Lepew and Bugs, etc. They will either blame that as what makes these monsters think it’s okay to act that way. Similar to how one will blame Barbie for causing girls to have body dysmorphia or eating disorders. Some will say these cartoons are proof that it’s okay to act inappropriately toward others in the sake of fun or humor because it was obviously okay so many years ago. These are the same people that say the accusations came from “years ago” so how are they such a big deal. We can emulate the behaviors of the cartoons today, but if it’s been 20-40 years since the incident then it’s the past and shouldn’t count toward that monster’s character?
What is missing in all this is a major word. A word I will shout from the rooftops if I have to. A word that isn’t being touted enough. The word:
Simply put, a child under the age of 18 is a minor. She or he has not yet gained the ability to give consent. I understand that teenagers will have sex. I am pro-sex education that includes abstinence and protection because I am pro-kids not having babies or having to deal with what it is like to get an STD they are stuck with for the rest of their natural lives. But if you’re a person over the age of 18 trying to coerce or persuade a minor into having sex with you, she or he has not the right to consent to you. I hope you are catching my drift.
If a woman or a man says no or anything around that word, there is no consent. If that woman or man is inebriated by alcohol or drugs and are lacking any and all coherency, they have lost the ability to consent so there is no consent. If they aren’t vocalizing, but you can tell they don’t want it by their facial expression or body language, there is no consent.
If a man or woman comes out and says he or she has been assaulted, believe them.
Nothing irks me more when I am having a conversation with someone about consent and they begin to bring up stories about women or men lying or making it up or changing their mind after consenting at the end for some sick vendetta they have against that person.
It’s a deflection, it’s a rape culture provision that perpetuates the idea that victims of rape and sexual misconduct should not be taken seriously.
It makes it that much harder for victims to come forth.
Believe me. I am a living, walking proof of that.