Today I’m going to fulfill a promise I made quite a while ago, and talk about what a consent culture would look like.
A consent culture is one in which the prevailing narrative of sex — in fact, of human interaction — is centered around mutual consent. It is a culture with an abhorrence of forcing anyone into anything, a respect for the absolute necessity of bodily autonomy, a culture that believes that a person is always the best judge of their own wants and needs.
I don’t want to limit it to sex. A consent culture is one in which mutual consent is part of social life as well. Don’t want to talk to someone? You don’t have to. Don’t want a hug? That’s okay, no hug then. Don’t want to try the fish? That’s fine. (As someone with weird food aversions, I have a special hatred for “just taste a little!”) Don’t want to be tickled or noogied? Then it’s not funny to chase you down and do it anyway.
The good news is, there are things you can do to bring this about. Things beyond just “don’t rape people” (although that’s an excellent start). Keep reading »