Our world today breeds differing opinions when it comes to respecting ones rights. Consent culture has become a household name, yet the question is, are people fully given the rights to freely express themselves and uphold their values?
Consent culture is often linked to people having absolute rights to their bodies and sexuality without intimidation or force. What then is consent culture?
Consent culture has no definite definition, however, consent culture is a culture of respect for one’s right of response to an action. It is apparent to ask for consent before an action is taken or stop when you are told to. Therefore, if it is a YES, consent has been given, and if it is a NO, consent has not been given. Consent culture opens a broader perspective of believing in someone’s worth as human, respecting his or her rights without any form of intimidation and showing love to the person, just as you would love yourself.
Most incidences of sexual assault like rape, defilement, sexual harassment etc, are initiated as a result of one going contrary to another’s rights. Consent culture embodies; having total respect for a person’s sexual rights and freedom. Everyone is entitled to his or her body and as such, there should exist a mutual understanding when one does not give in his or her consent.
In our part of the world, most partners fill entitled to each other’s bodies. Whether married or not, there emanates a sense of pride of owning your partner’s body as long as there ever existed some sexual acts. This gives room for abuse in different forms. Ignorance of consent culture has often resulted in ‘sexual assault’. Consent by sexual partners is where both parties agree on the same decision, and either person has the right to at any time to draw back consent if interest is lost. In the aspect of those who are in no form of sexual activity yet where one party wants to take advantage of the other, as long as there is disinterest from the other, consent should be regarded. Yes means yes and No means no!
Some aspects which undermines consent culture are:
- Patriarchal roles.
- Perception of women as vulnerable.
- Lack of respect to one’s rights.
Consent culture is understanding what is right for someone and accepting his or her decision. I believe that, if people are able to;
- Understand each other’s feelings
- Respect each other’s rights
- Have a mutual dialogue
- And be open to discuss your interests and disinterest
- Stop when you are asked to stop
- Ask for consent
- Not sexually assaulting anyone
it will go a long way of creating a ‘safe space’ for everyone. When you are comfortable with your decisions and choices without any form of coercion or intimidation, there is peace and harmony.
Your consent is your power! Do not trade that for cheap gain.
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