The Blurry Line Of Consent

“We catch the girls and kiss them and they scream and run away.”-seven year old boy

Little boys and girls aren’t stopped and corrected when such things happened, or at least when they are corrected it’s with a smile or even laughter because it’s funny when little boys and girls do that.  Kids soak up everything, including the soft correction of why it isn’t ok to kiss people who don’t want to be kissed.

When those little boys and girls grow up, girls become the pursued and boys become the pursuer. Even in middle school or high school if boys are caught pushing unwanted sexual interactions, it’s a whole lot of “boys will be boys”, or “we were all young once.” Even more so if these boys are: wealthy, white, or star athletes.  The respective girls they pursue are taught that they shouldn’t lead boys on, flirt, dress “slutty,” or in other words do anything that could possibly make boys think you want to jump their bones.
Once these boys who have managed to avoid learning that no means no, period get to college it gets even worse.  Alcohol blurs the line of attraction even more and more excuses are thrown around protecting the accused, “Oh well, you were really drunk.”  “Did you see what you were wearing?” or my personal favorite, “You shouldn’t have been walking alone at night.”  Universities throw up roadblocks to prosecution.  Fraternities throw around their weight, and many universities use internal disciplinary procedure rather than making it an official police matter. ( Because all universities and colleges have to report crimes committed on campus, it is the best interest of the university to keep people from filing*). Coaches and professors use their credibility to keep rich, (typically Caucasian) frat boys, student athletes, and other student leaders out of trouble.
And just think all of this stems from a seven year old chasing another seven year old around a playground trying to kiss them.
Last, but not least, I have an image to help you remember that yes means yes and no means no. period.


*Not all universities have these sort of practices.  A growing number of universities have really excellant processes for dealing with rape, sexual assault, and other unwanted sexual attention.


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