In 2017-18, India got a taste of the #MeToo movement. The sheer number of people that came out and cited the sexual misconduct they had experienced against them in the Bollywood industry was quite revealing of its state of affairs. The interesting part though, was the aftermath. From media houses to individuals, everyone had an opinion of their own. However, the definition of consent for every party was different. Some said the friendly nature of the victim towards the accused was consent enough, while some argued if a peck on the cheek required consent. So, this time around Vitamin Stree took a closer look at understanding sexual consent.
There are many facets as far consent is considered. It’s multilayered and can get complicated in certain situations. But the point here is to ask, like one would ask before entering someone’s home. You can’t jump into the balcony and say, “Oh, it was just the balcony, that is allowed i’m sure!” Nothing is allowed unless the other has allowed it. Consent broadly should tick off all the following check boxes. Consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific. If an act doesn’t follow through with all these points it is non-consensual. No definitely means no, but only yes means yes. The idea here, is not to look for a no to stop but an enthusiastic yes to start it.
It’s is important in a country like India—where parents and teachers often decide everything for a child, from their hair to their OOTD—to understand the concept of bodily autonomy. A person has the right to choose what one does with their own body. No one can pressurise them to do anything they are not comfortable with and that pretty much sums it up.
Reuters Survey in 2018 ranked India as the most unsafe place for women in the world. India also ranked 1st in violence against women in the same survey. It’s high time we understand basic concepts like consent and make the world of sex and pleasure, more pleasurable!
Watch full video below.