I don’t know why the issue of consent is such a hot-button topic for me, but it is. Maybe it’s because I found myself a victim of sexual abuse twice in my life, once around age 13 or 14, another time when I was probably 9 or so. In both cases, it never occurred to me to say no or to tell the men to stop. When I was 9, I didn’t want to be rude to an adult. As a teen, I thought I had somehow led the guy on and so I had no choice but to follow through on what he wanted.
Maybe it’s a hot button issue because I have a daughter and I don’t want her to be victimized like I was.
Maybe it’s because as I get older, I realize how sadly common this experience is among women.
The issue of consent really should be pretty clear — the female needs to be old enough to understand what is happening, needs to be unimpaired to make clear decisions, contact needs to be acceptable to all parties involved, and anyone can stop the action at any time for any reason. Done.
But why is consent still a problem? Is it because women don’t speak up to defend themselves out of fear or submission? Sometimes. Is it because men don’t respect women and their decisions? Sometimes. Every situation is different.
So I leave you with links to some posts I have already written on this topic. Let’s all work to make sure everyone understands and respects consent.