Justice

This 'Humans of New York' Confession Has a Powerful Message About Consent

July 25th 2016

By:
Almie Rose

The popular website Humans of New York, which shares personal stories from New Yorkers, posted a powerful and heartbreaking story about consent on their Facebook page that made a poignant statement about what it means to say yes to sex.

"Consent is not a coin flip."

Many comments mused what consent means and how important it is to teach consent as a part of overall sexual education.

Consent isn't about not hearing a "no" — it's about hearing an enthusiastic "yes."

Even after you've given an enthusiastic "yes," you're still allowed to take back consent at any time. To quote Amber Rose,

"If I'm laying down with a man, butt-naked, and his condom is on, and I say, 'You know what? No. I don't want to do this. I changed my mind,' that means no. That means f-ing no. That's it."

One Humans of New York Facebook commenter described her own sexual experience that left her wondering for years after if she had even fully consented to it:

Sadly, this is not an uncommon experience for many women. Amy Schumer describes her first time as being "not a good one" for this very reason, telling magazine Marie Claire:

"[...] And then I looked down and realized he was inside me. He was saying, 'I’m so sorry' and 'I can’t believe I did this.'"

Fortunately, consent education is being tackled by a range of different groups.

Project Consent, a volunteer-based nonprofit, released a series of videos earlier this year that used animated body parts to illustrate that saying no can come in different forms, as ATTN: has previously reported. The message is clear: "If it's not yes, it's no."

animated-boob-and-hand

A nation-wide effort is also being made by The Affirmative Consent Project which seeks to push Affirmative Consent Laws (Yes Means Yes) across the country. So far, only California has statewide college and high school affirmative consent legislation signed by a governor.