Saying ‘YES’ to sexual consent- Slut walk Toronto

Tomorrow afternoon Toronto will be hosting ‘Slut walk’, a rally against rape, violence against women and the common discourse that by dressing ‘slutty’ women are ASKING to be raped.

Some people think it’s okay to dress ‘slutty’ and some do not. This is not the discussion on the table though.

I will be participating in the ‘slut walk’ because I believe that sex is an intimate act between two loving consenting adults. I think most would agree with that statement but let’s look at the word ‘consent’ and what it currently means in our culture.

We’ve convinced ourselves that there is a fine line between rape and consent based solely on whether the (mostly) female said ‘no’. Consent is then defined as the omission of ‘no’.

the meaning of consent gets stretched further when  women are drunk or wear revealing clothing as they are now considered to be ‘asking for it, because if she didn’t want to have sex why would she dress that way?’ or ‘how could she remember whether she said no if she was drunk?’ This certainly does blur the line when we teach that ‘no means no’, but what if we redefined our cultural conception of sexual consent?

This is the main thesis of this book I’m reading. Instead of consent being the omission of ‘no’, instead of asking rape victims ‘did you say no?’ or men justifying their actions with ‘she didn’t say no’ what if we defined consent how we should define it- saying ‘yes’ “did you say yes? Did you want to have sex and with this person?’.  No more shaming of women, no more encouraging or enabling the culture of rape to function and hopefully, no more rape since the lines will no longer be blurry and we will teach our children accordingly.

Pretty simple right? well, yes. But apparently no, as well as we still have TV programs that encourage this rape culture, and even people enforcing justice that tow the archaic definition of consent.

I see the ‘slut walk’ not as a way of reclaiming the word slut, or an opportunity to dress like one (the event doesn’t encourage slutty wear, just ‘wear what you wear’) mostly because, well, I generally dress more modest than most people’s maiden aunts, but to me it’s an opportunity to spread this message: our definition of consenting sex should be ‘Yes means yes’ and no less.

 

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About Ashley Drake
Don't cha wish your girlfriend could blog like me

2 Responses to Saying ‘YES’ to sexual consent- Slut walk Toronto

  1. dontdontoperate says:

    Hey!
    I also took part in Slut Walk, but the one held in Hamilton.
    It was awesome.
    My friend later directed my attention to this blog post. I think you’d be interested in it.
    I mostly agree with the author: I think that what is happening is amazing, but thoughts on changing the name should be in order.
    Check it out, let me know what you think:
    http://selftravels2010.livejournal.com/2497.html

    • Ashley Drake says:

      Oh Awesome Alex! I had a bit of a different experience, I saw a lot of different types of people represented in the walk; races, genders, age. I love Sherene Razack btw, I was excited to see her referenced. I think this is an important blog post though because we tend to blanket women’s issues under one tent as if by virtue of our biology we have the same struggles. There is definitely other factors such as age, race and class etc. which we often don’t account for.

      However I do think the name was effective in breaking through the noise and that’s how it got so much attention. The morning of, my parents were in the city and we had breakfast. They’re pretty used to hearing me talk about going to protests or rallys but when I told them I was going to the slut walk their interest was guaged. It’s offensive but it kind of acts like a pebble in the bottom of your shoe, forcing you to think about it (hopefully).

      Thanks for sharing this with me! a good and important read (I think Jen would like to read it, too)

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