- give permission for something to happen
“my clothes do not determine my consent”
Consent is a tricky subject, and it isn’t always an outright ‘no‘. Sometimes the consent, or lack thereof, lies within the subtle prompts and non-verbal cues. It isn’t a black and white issue, nor is it a left and right issue, it goes way deeper.
CAUSE AND ANALYSIS
With the yesteryear’s beloved comedian Louis CK, admitting to the allegations of his sexual misconduct, left us in a shock horror situation.
But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly
– Louis CK
In this case, asymmetric power dynamics was key to the sexual assault. The women were people who admired and thought highly of Louis CK, which in turn, he used it to manipulate and coerce them. He systematically exerted his position and power, to benefit his own agenda; which in case, involves sexual favours.
Another notorious case of a comedian Aziz Ansari came into light recently, with allegations of sexual misconduct. At this point, we would be surprised by any person of authority, who isn’t abusing his power.
It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again,” she said. “It was really repetitive. It felt like a fucking game.” She said he then suggested they move to the couch, where he continued to attempt to initiate sex, though she wasn’t interested: “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.
– Grace (name changed), accused Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct
(excerpt from Vanity Fair)
In this instance, Aziz wants the woman to comply with his demands, regardless of her hesitation and reluctance. The constant badgering, to make her obey; and hence, he tries to convince her to take up his offer of getting in bed with him.
While we picture rape or a sexual assault taking place, we paint a disturbing and traumatizing image; we think of an atrocious and vile beast tormenting and harassing its victim, while the victim begs for his mercy. A man painfully pinning down a woman, twisting her wrists, forcing himself on her, who is crying helplessly, ‘to make it stop’.
But, that isn’t always the case, more often than not, these perpetrators are ‘woke men‘ who consider themselves feminists adroitly violate a woman’s choice and her body. They will try to charm your pants off, while purposely choosing to ignore the non-verbal cues, whether it is taking his hand off your thigh, questioning his motives or her unwillingness to comply; at this point, their coercion implies that they are actively engaging in perpetuating assault.
Taking a drunk woman to bed does not qualify as consent. We as a society, have come to justify and normalize this pattern of behaviour, in turn, enforcing and complying with rape culture and assault. So, these ‘woke men’ need to understand the difference between ‘consent‘ and ‘coercion‘; one being assault.