Where does sexual consent start, and where does it end? Is sexual consent only valid when she’s covered from head to toe and meets you at a safe public place? Does he lose his right to refuse you just because his body has had an instinctive reaction to your touch? Do they automatically lose their right to say no because they are married to you?
Here’s a sobering statistic: one in four women have been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted.
The conversation around sexual consent deteriorates whenever questions like “what was she wearing?” and “wasn’t he aroused?” and “what was she doing in his house?” start to be asked. Whether cavorting naked or clothed in a burka, women have been molested, their right to saying “yes” or “no” forcefully taken away. Whether he was an inquisitive child groping the maid’s breasts or a drunk guy at a party, men have been used to relieve the lusts of other men and women just because they cannot say no. If you have taken advantage of an under-aged person or an inebriated person or someone in any physical or mental state where they cannot coherently say yes or no, you are a rapist.
The moral compass of our generation is in question here. Why is it that we punish the victims by immediately pointing fingers at their morality, their dressing, their decision-making process, their dating history? Why is there an inference that they must have done something to provoke such a senseless act of depravity? Why are the perpetrators walking free, cloaked in anonymity while the victims are shamed on social media, by religious leaders and by the adults in their lives?
No means no, whatever the circumstances. Sexual consent has to be freely given, continuing, mutual, given by someone of legal age, and can be withdrawn at any time. Any other attempt to dilute, twist, change or justify the lack of implicit sexual consent otherwise is an inadvertent advocacy for rape.