Sure, yes – we know – why are we still having to explain what consent means in this day and age?
The reason? The message doesn’t seem to be getting through to some people – because the rape statistics are still shockingly high, and rape culture prevails.
In England and Wales, approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped every year, and a devastating one in five women aged 16-59 has experienced some form of sexual violence.
Fed up of people talking about ‘blurred lines’ and ‘misunderstandings,’ one woman decided to put things in layman’s terms.
US-based Nafisa Ahmed, 22, took to Twitter to break things down, comparing sexual consent with theft.
I don't get how rape is so hard to understand for some men. But, if you put it like this, they get it:— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
Ahmed begins by explaining about rape while under the influence:
If you ask me for $5, and I'm too drunk to say yes or no, it's not okay to then go take $5 out of my purse... Just because I didn't say no.— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
Rape as a result of threatening behaviour:
If you put a gun to my head to get me to give you $5, you still stole $5. Even if I physically handed you $5.— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
A person raping someone who previously had consensual sex with their friend:
If I let YOU borrow $5, that doesn't give the right for your FRIEND to take $5 out of my purse.— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
"But you gave him some, why can't I?"
Rape that someone is acquitted for:
If you steal $5 and I can't prove it in court, that does NOT mean you didn't steal $5.— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
Rape after having previously given consent:
Just because I gave you $5 in the past, doesn't mean I have to give you $5 in the future.— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
Finally, Ahmed ended her Tweets by comparing the simplicity of the theft metaphor, to the clear simple reality of consent:
If you can understand alllllll of that, how do you not understand the concept of rape?— nafisa (@thatxxv) August 16, 2016
The Tweets were sparked following the news that a woman who accused actor and director, Nate Parker, of rape had committed suicide.
Parker was aquitted of the crime in a 2001 trial.
This is not the first explanation of consent of its type. Last year, a collective likened consent to making a cup of tea in an innovative video that highlighted the absurdity of ‘explanations’ people use.
If you've been the victim of a rape, or know someone that has, contact Rape Crisis here for help, support and advice.