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5 lessons on Consent

(via Sayfty)

Twitter NG is on fire today. Nigerian women are calling out their abusers and rapists, including names, places and dates. Most of these incidences happened in Lagos and England.

With all the back and forth, now is a good time as ever to discuss consent again.

Here are 5 things you need to know about consent:

  1. No means no:

No will always mean no and nothing else. Forget what you may have heard, that some girls say no when they actually mean yes. If a woman isn’t bold enough to say yes to sex, better to err on the side of caution and keep your trousers zipped. Its better to not have sex at all than to have sex when you aren’t sure if she wants it or not.

If she’s saying no, anything you do after that is rape.

  1. If she can’t say no, then she can’t say yes:

If she is in no position to say no, then she can’t say yes either. If she is inebriated, unconscious or passed out, she can’t consent and if you sleep with her, it is rape. There’s no other name for it.

  1. Consent can be withdrawn:

She can say yes, and later change her mind and say no. the same way you respected her decision when she said yes is the same way you should respect her decision when she says no too.

So, she may say she is ready to have sex but then change her mind at third base. The fact that she said yes 10 minutes ago doesn’t mean you have unlimited access to having sex with her.

In a relationship, consent is implicitly given but it can be revoked at any time by either party. So, while you don’t have to explicitly ask your girlfriend or wife for sex every time, they may say no on any of those occasions and you have to respect their decision.

  1. There’s no substitute for consent:

Consent is consent and nothing else can mean consent. A short dress isn’t consent. Presence isn’t consent; the fact that she’s in your house doesn’t mean she has consented to sex. Dancing with you doesn’t mean consent. Allowing you buy her a drink or take her out isn’t consent. Smiling at you isn’t consent.

Basically, NOTHING is consent, apart from consent.

  1. It doesn’t count if you had to pressure her into it:

If you used threats of any kind to get someone to have sex with you, it is rape. If you force someone into saying yes, it doesn’t count. If you badger and bully pressure her into giving in, it is rape. If she says yes because she is afraid you’d use force anyway, it is rape.

It’s like you rubbing your hands all over someone’s food, hoping they’d get tired and disgusted and let you have it, did they really give you?

Consent that isn’t given freely and willingly is not consent.

There are really no grey areas when it comes to consent, no matter how much some people try to act like there is. It is either yes or no, there are no in betweens. Know better, do better.

Written by Temitope Adeiye

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