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Consent: Is it Really That Hard to Understand?

What’s so hard about consent? Is it the verbal yes? Just ask. Is it gauging the excitement level of the other party? Just ask. Is it the awkwardness of asking someone if what you’re doing with their body is okay? Just ask.

I’m at a loss for why we’re still talking about consent, mainly because I’m at a loss for why people don’t understand consent when it comes to sex. There’s really only one answer that actually means someone is giving their consent, but here are various examples of consent given and no consent given. Yes means yes. No means no. Silence means no. Drunk means no. Passed out means no. Coercion means no. Don’t means no. Stop means no. These examples show the cut and dry nature of consent. There is either a yes or a no. The yes is verbal, excited, voluntary, continual, and honest. Lack of consent comes in a variety of ways, fortunately that lack of a hard and fast “yes” means no.

If you’re comfortable engaging in sex, then you should be comfortable asking for consent. We’re so opposed to uncomfortable conversations, yet this one conversation can be one of the most significant ones of your life. With enough conversations, asking for consent will be just as normal as asking if you partner likes cheese in their eggs. Moral of the story? Ask for consent. If asking is too difficult, then maybe you shouldn’t be having sex...

In case you didn’t know non-consensual sex doesn’t exist because it’s called rape. Don’t try to lessen a crime by calling it anything other than what it is. Language matters. Respecting others matters, specifically women. Fragile masculinity is not a good enough reason to stop women from speaking up for themselves to attempt the injustice that rape culture causes.

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Emily Cornell

U Wyoming '17

Emily is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor's in Business Management and Master's in Communication. In terms of career, Emily interned for Wyoming Athletics, and wants to eventually work in sports marketing. When not working or in class, she can typically be found baking cheesecakes, drinking coffee, or having random adventures. If the idea of these three things seem exciting, you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter, username: emilproblems. 
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