Tuesday, July 31, 2012

consent and assertiveness

I was just remembering a story my best friend told me, about a game of Spin the Bottle when we were 15 or 16, and several unhappy moments in a bathroom with a guy called Andy that left her feeling shaken and upset. She didn't want to. He didn't notice? It was her older brother who sort of tried to rape me twice in the same era. I don't know if that's relevant at all. Except that surely we weren't the only ones having these experiences.

Consent, is what we need to teach our sons and daughters about. Not just what No sounds like, but what it looks like, as well. What it feels like. How to recognise it, and what to do when you notice. It's awkward for boys, too. I don't believe it's all testosterone and uncontrollable horniness. There is shyness and awkwardness and prowess and peer pressure mixed in. Expectation. So we all need to learn to be more in touch. To understand which pressure is more important to listen to, the one that's saying, I don't want this - or the one that's pushing you to do something that will hurt you or someone else?

This is what should be taught in school. Understanding, self knowledge, asseriveness and consent. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

on receiving pleasure