At the Educate2Eradicate panel Friday on “Honors and Consent”, panelists discussed how the idea of consent is made complex by society, when in reality it is a simple thing. The event began with unveiling of artwork depicting life in the culture of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. The basic run down of consent is that no means no, yes means yes, and consent is based on age and ability. Blogger Emmeline May described getting consent the same as asking someone if they want a cup of tea.
Consent is imbedded into every aspect of our lives, in every interaction we have. Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity. Sex without consent is rape. A person who is asleep cannot give consent or unconscious, or when someone is on drugs or has had too much to drinks. By making the idea of consent complicated, we are giving way for these issues. The key to eradicating these issues is communication and opening up a dialogue. The simple question of yes means yes and no means no has been twisted and attached to other things so much that people tend to get confused to whether or not “no means no” comes with a loophole. Knowledge can come from home and school, society and social media have began to play a huge role is the way people get their information. Social media deconstructs these big issues for youth and breaks it down into simple terms. Although knowledge is power, information adds complexity and therefore must be controlled, and backed up by education.