We should be focused on CHOICE not consent!
Consent is on everyone’s lips. From media discussion about ‘enthusiastic consent’ to medical requirements for ‘informed consent’, it seems pretty clear there is a problem with ‘consent’.
If consent was what mattered, we would not need to prefix it with a qualifier.
Consent assumes a yes.
In the maternity system it might look like this:
In our rape culture, consent is now so ‘grey’ that we have ‘safe words’ and ‘enthusiasm’. We also have ‘wonderful’ products, such as the alert necklace I read about this week, which is apparently a solution to the sexual assault problem in India. Products like this pop up periodically, marketed as solutions. But what these products do is totally ignore the cause of the problem, and do absolutely nothing to put the focus where it should be: THE PERPETRATOR.
This is also a matter of CHOICE. The perpetrator chooses to assault, chooses to ignore the rules of consent. Solutions such as products to test your drink for spiking, necklace alarms, whistles, carrying an umbrella, dressing a particular way, holding your keys, not going anywhere at night, even self defense classes, are all based on an acceptance of this violence.
We need to get to the point where, as a society, we do not accept this. In medicine, or in sexual encounters.
The focus should be on CHOICE.