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Teaching Consent to Small Children »





A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.

“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”

Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.

My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.

“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”

Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.

“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.

What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.

Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.

And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?

I try to do this every day I go to nursery and gosh it makes me so happy to see it done elsewhere.

Yes, consent is nonsexual, too!

Not only that, but one of the reasons many child victims of sexual abuse don’t reach out is that they don’t have the understanding or words for what is happening to them, and why it isn’t okay. Teaching kids about consent helps them build better relationships and gives them the tools to seek help if they or a friend need our protection.

Teaching consent is applicable to all spheres of behavior, all ages, all genders, so why aren’t we instituting teaching consent and the right to boundaries to every age group?

“There have always been assholes that look at a safe space as simply a possibility for exploitation. Consent has never been fully respected by society, nor by its technology. That is no reason to continue to ignore it. Consent is a person’s ability to control their own body, including its image, now and into the future. The fact that we might never have had full control over our body is not a reason to deny its existence. That exploitation is a historical fact does not make it a future given. Regardless of what technology exists and on what spot on the earth you happen to be standing in, you can either choose to respect consent, or you can choose to violate it.”

Glassholes and Black Rock City — Weird Future — Medium

“Bodily autonomy isn’t only about sex. My youngest brother has a lot of allergies. No, a lot of allergies. They’ve gotten a little better with age and medication, but time was, even smelling milk or eggs or walnuts or cherries or any of a dozen other things would land him in intensive care. I’d come home from school and oops, there’d be a note on the table saying my family was at the hospital again. People didn’t understand that. Still don’t. “Milk allergy? Oh, you must mean lactose intolerance. There are pills for that now, here, have a cupcake — “ and then it’s another emergency shot of epinephrine to the leg. So I don’t have much tolerance for people who say, “Here, put this in your mouth. I know better than you what goes in it.””

Drinkups Are Rape Culture — Medium (via mslorelei)


Today’s lesson in respect and consent is brought to you by Taco Bell.
HOT: I’m up for it if you are.VERDE: Will you marry me?MILD: Why say no when you can say yes?FIRE: If you never do, you’ll never know.


Today’s lesson in respect and consent is brought to you by Taco Bell.

HOT: I’m up for it if you are.
VERDE: Will you marry me?
MILD: Why say no when you can say yes?
FIRE: If you never do, you’ll never know.

Rape is Only a Good Time if You’re a Rapist


If you’re like most of the Internet, you were excited (and a little confused) when Playboy, a mainstream publication sporting a less-than-stellar record with feminists and critics of porn and rape culture, announced yesterday that some of their past attitudes were, indeed, harmful to women. To right these historical wrongs, they would shift the focus of their annual party schools list from bikinis and binge drinking to the importance of sexual consent.


Except…not quite. It turns out a group called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, along with college students and other activists, are behind the fake Playboy websites that promoted consent, body acceptance, sexual diversity, and other awesome things not typically seen in the party guides of yore.  But the reason so many people initially bought it - including us (oopsies!) -  isn’t because we’re all overly-optimistic, naive dumdums. It’s because framing consent as a way to make parties more fun and sex hotter ACTUALLY MAKES COMPLETE AND TOTAL SENSE.

All too often, discussions of rape are hijacked by the bogus claim that getting genuine consent is confusing and difficult, that it ruins the mood, spontaneity, and pleasure of sex. But in reality, it’s actually really easy to not rape someone. The genus of the Playboy hack (and also what made it so believable) is that the activists managed to harness everything the Playboy brand claims they represent - sexual liberation, sex positivity, and pleasure - while seamlessly proving that none of it is possible without consent.  

And it’s true! Consent isn’t about killing the mood, it’s about making sex BETTER.  When you communicate with your partner(s), sex is BETTER. When people pay attention to and acknowledge each other’s verbal and non-verbal signals, sex is BETTER. When partners cooperate with condom/birth control use to protect against STDs and/or unwanted pregnancy, sex is BETTER. When nobody is being pressured or coerced, sex is BETTER. When everyone is consciously, genuinely, enthusiastically into what’s happening, sex is BETTER. When people treat their sexual partners like autonomous human beings who deserve respect and kindness, SEX IS BETTER.

Fake Hugh Hefner breaks it down real basic-like: “Consensual sex is simply sex that is pleasurable for everyone involved. The anti-rape and consent movement bubbling up in America is important and I support it. It’s good for women. It’s good for men. It’s good for sex.” Bravo, Fake Hugh Hefner. Bravo.

Maybe someday, this is what magazines will REALLY be saying. In the meantime, we doff our party hats to the visionaries who not only demonstrated that consensual sex = good sex, but proved that people actually want to hear more positive messages about consent from the media. This is what engaging yet socially responsible journalism about sex truly looks like - hopefully it won’t have to be faked for long.  


“Writer Laurie Halse Anderson published an influential book in 1999 called Speak, about a high school rape and its effects on a victim. Since then, she has spoken at high schools and middle schools around the U.S., and estimates she has talked to a million kids about rape. “What really strikes me is that, when it comes to recording sexual assaults and wanting to show it off, the young men committing them are not seeing them as crimes, they see them as pranks. And there’s no point in pulling a prank unless you share it.” Anderson said parents and educators need to talk to younger boys about informed consent. “When I speak to students, I tell boys that if a young woman isn’t of age, she isn’t capable of giving informed consent, and if she’s drunk or high, there’s no informed consent. And those cases, if you have sex, you can go to jail. And the jaws drop, because right away, they think of the sex they had at a party last weekend, where everybody was wasted.””

Sexting, Shame and Suicide | Culture News | Rolling Stone (via mslorelei)


This may be one of the first ads I’ve seen that doesn’t merely enforce “no means no,” which can be problematic when not coupled with the idea of enthusiastic consent because it tacitly implies that people are in a constant state of consent unless otherwise specified. 


This may be one of the first ads I’ve seen that doesn’t merely enforce “no means no,” which can be problematic when not coupled with the idea of enthusiastic consent because it tacitly implies that people are in a constant state of consent unless otherwise specified. 

Coercive rape



There seems to be little information out there on coercive rape, and that is troubling because it is extremely prevalent. What is even more troubling is the lack of recognition coercion gets because it doesn’t fit an idealized rape script, and is often dismissed as merely “bad sex”, which it’s not. 

In order to understand it, lets define rape first. 

Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent.

Consent is not just about saying yes, or a lack of a clear no. Consent only counts if it is enthusiastic, given by someone who is able to consent (sober) and was not obtained by coercion. Consent can also always be revoked. 

This means that if your partner has not created a safe environment for you to say no, the consent was not given freely. 

Coercion is simply anything a person does to make it harder for their partner to say no. 

Some of the examples are :

Guilting (saying you owe them sex because they did something, such as pay for dinner)

Threatening body language

Nagging - Continually asking for sex after you have already said no

Verbally threatening



The list goes on. 

Reblogging this because I didn’t know. I didn’t know and maybe if I did, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad.