But They Said ‘Yes’

Written by Jena Ascough in Senior Editorial

To most, consent is fairly self-explanatory – ‘yes’ means all systems go and ‘no’ means go no further. It’s simple. Black and white. Yay or nay. ‘No’ is straightforward – it clearly means the person is not interested. But does ‘yes’ always mean ‘yes’? Absolutely not. According to recent statistics, 27 rapes occur every day in the Western Cape alone.  Here are some rules of thumb to dissect a ‘yes’. 

Rule 1: An intoxicated ‘yes’ is a ‘no’. I hope that to most this is blatantly obvious, but a person who is inebriated is not in a state to make these kinds of decisions. 

Rule 2: Minimal attire is not an automatic ‘yes’. Again, I really hope this one goes without saying. Someone’s clothing choices and their consent are totally unrelated.

Rule 3: A pressurised ‘yes’ is a ‘no’. Some people may not feel that they are in a position to say ‘no’ – maybe they’re scared or feel unsafe to do so. 

Rule 4: A ‘yes’ that has been turned from a ‘no’ is still a ‘no’. You cannot just turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.  

Rule 5: A previous ‘yes’ is not a current ‘yes’. Just because someone said ‘yes’ before does not automatically mean they are game this time around. 

Rule 6: An official relationship does not mean ‘yes’ forever and always. According to http://www.thisisnotaninvitationtorapeme.co.uk/ up to 45% of rapes occur in official relationships. A person in a relationship is still allowed to say ‘no’. Respect that decision. 

Rule 7: A ‘yes’ can change to a ‘no’. If consent is given, you are still allowed to change your mind if the situation no longer becomes appealing for whatever reason. This decision should be respected. 

Rule 8: A bribed ‘yes’ is a ‘no’. You cannot barter or bribe for a ‘yes’. Consent is not something to be exchanged for favours. 

Rule 9: If you’re unsure, it’s a ‘no’. If the person is keen, they will let you know and make it happen. 

For more information on the subtleties of consent visit: http://www.upworthy.com/how-7-things-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-rape-p...



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