Since it is Westen's Official Consent and Sexual Violence Awareness Week (October 17th-23rd) and since a certain sign turned up during O-Week *cough* “no means yes, yes means anal” *cough*, I thought it would be important for everyone to go over a few basic rules of consent.
No Means No
No does not mean yes, no means no.
If Someone is Unable to Say No, It Means No
If someone is not able to say yes or no, it means no. For example, if someone is too drunk, passed out or has been drugged, and they aren't able to say no, it means no, and you should probably get them some medical attention to make sure they're okay.
If You Are Drunk, No Still Means No
Just because you are drunk, doesn't mean you get to hear them differently from everyone else. No still means no.
If Someone Says Yes, Then Says No, No Means No
Now try to follow along here, because I know this can be confusing for some of you. If someone originally says yes, but later changes their mind, that means you stop. When they say no, it means no regardless of what they said before.
If Someone is Wearing Provocative Clothing, No Means No
I'm not sure if you're sensing a theme here but just because you think someone is wearing clothing that shows off their body, does not give you an all access pass. You can look but don’t touch. If they say no, it means no. A person's attire should not provoke you to sexually assault them. Just like they taught you in preschool, keep your hands to yourself and no means no. Here’s a great example of what NOT to do.
Yes only means yes if it's a yes for you too.
The message 'no means yes, yes means anal' is not just a "really bad" message "but students do dumb things,” it is condoning the idea of sexual assault and perpetuating rape culture.
If any of you are still confused or having trouble determining if no means yes or no, then I invite you to watch this entertaining explanation of consent in a delightfully British way.