Yes means Yes and No means No: The importance of consent


Consent is a subject that been receiving a lot of attention for a variety of reasons, most of which have not been positive. People seem to have a lot of different opinions about consent. Regardless, there is one thing that we should all understand about it: respect. You have to respect the requests of your partner. There have been too many cases involving sexual violence on university campuses. Even if it was only one case that was published in the media, that should be all we need to understand how real sexual violence is. Unfortunately, there are a lot of students that have not been properly informed about consent. Nonetheless, we should all share the responsibility of enlightening misguided people that feel it is okay to mistreat their sexual partner.

Not too long ago, I was one of those people that didn’t quite understand what consent really meant. My perspective of consent was hindered by religion and old ways of thinking. Society had taught me that males have superiority over females, and that women in turn owe men their bodies. A lot of these ideologies are backed by religious and cultural principles. This indoctrinated way of thinking has historically led to a lot of unfortunate events involving women being sexually assaulted. Honestly, rape is evil and to stop it from happening, we need to pay more attention to consent.

An example of sexual assault would be the 2014 incident that allegedly occurred between two members of the University of Ottawa’s hockey team and a woman in Thunder Bay, according to CBC. The claims made by the university are disturbing to the point that the hockey team was suspended for a year.  What happened at UO is just an example of the non-consensual acts that take place behind closed doors.

Don’t forget about the case involving the Dalhousie dentistry students who had a Facebook group containing derogatory comments towards women, some of which involved plans to sexually assault them, according to Global News. We can put a stop to these tragic events by talking about the importance of consent.

The funny thing is that when we hear of cases like these, a lot of people think, “she was probably asking for it,” or “she shouldn’t lead guys on to think that way.” This is very wrong. A woman does not owe her body to any man, under any circumstance. You can be married, engaged or just a casual partner. A woman is under no obligation to give her body up to anyone, especially against her will. The same goes for males and their bodies. Do your part today and spread awareness about the importance of consent. Let’s help put an end to misogyny and sexual violence.

Caption: Respect the requests of your partner and spread awareness about consent today.

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