By Nisha-Paris Murria

“Boys will be boys”, “you should’ve said no” and “what were you wearing that night” are all phrases which should not be uttered in this day and age. It’s 2021…RAPE should not be normalised!

When it comes to sexual violence, it is often the case that the victim is blamed and deemed a liar, whilst the perpetrator walks away unscathed.  This NEEDS TO change. If you are involved in a sexual relationship with your partner, WHATEVER your gender, you both should treat each other as equals. This involves asking for consent before you start becoming intimate with one another. A simple “are you comfortable?” is enough. It’s even sexy. By asking for consent, it shows the girl that the guy values her, and his priority is to ensure that she is safe, comfortable, and happy. 

However, if the girl in question consents to be sexually intimate with her partner, this does not automatically mean that she owes him sex. She might get nervous, change her mind and want to do something else that does not involve penetration. That is why checking in on your partner or even using a SAFE WORD is very important as it shows that there is equality between the both of you, whilst also showing respect. 

It should be noted that if consent is given to engage in sexual activity with a condom, then its removal during sexual intercourse without consent now becomes sexual assault. This act is also known as ‘stealthing’. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that a conversation is had with your partner to discuss boundaries, safe words, and what each other wants. Your partner should be aware of what constitutes or does not constitute as rape or sexual assault and should value you enough to know the difference. 

A person who is incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs cannot give consent. If you’re too drunk to make decisions and communicate with your partner, you’re too drunk to consent. If your partner is in your company while you are inebriated it would be wise of them to make sure that you are in a safe place and not at risk of becoming a victim of rape/sexual assault. The courts would not look wisely at the perpetrator knowing that the victim could not give consent. 

By asking a woman for consent, it doesn’t reduce her to a sexual object that is catered for men, but rather it validates their relationship, acknowledges her desires, and leaves her empowered. 

Key takeaway points from this article:

    • Consent is not set in stone, people can change their mind
  • It’s good to check in with each other
  • If someone is not comfortable with anything…STOP
  • The absence of a “no” doesn’t mean “yes”

For Further Reading on such Subjects: Women Don’t Owe you Pretty by Florence Given