Consent

I watched Audrie and Daisy today, followed by the first 2 episodes of surviving R Kelly and it’s clear that rape culture continues to thrive. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. Daisy committed suicide yesterday eight years after her sexual assault at age 14 after surviving all of the hate and backlash she endured in the aftermath when she was the victim, it was horrifying. Trauma upon trauma. 1 in 3 victims of sexual assault experience depression and considers suicide and 1 in 8 actually attempt it. Daisy resiliently went on to be an advocate for survivors of sexual assault creating the SafeBAE organization in an effort to educate people who remain ignorant about sexual abuse and assault in our society.

1 out of every 6 women in the USA has been the victim of a completed rape or attempted rape in her lifetime according to RAINN. Young women are especially at risk. 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male. Sexual abuse and assault can have longterm or lifelong negative effects on victims.

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

A way to help prevent a complicit rape culture is to educate society about sex, boundaries, and consent from kindergarten on up in age-appropriate ways. We need to teach what safe healthy sexual relationships are along with healthy boundaries so that men will be held accountable equally with women for maintaining the boundaries surrounding consent. There needs to be a comprehensive sexual education provided to all from a young age (age-appropriate context) so there can be a chance for everyone to have healthy, responsible and mutually consensual relationships when they do become sexually active.  Children should be taught about consent from a very young age, even if they are not old enough to learn about it in the context of sex.

Our culture frames sex between men and women as imbalanced, where the man is always aggressively pursuing sex, is entitled to sex, women are treated as sexual objects and it’s the woman’s responsibility to maintain the boundaries, it is deemed acceptable that men prey on women and it’s her fault if she doesn’t fend off his advances. She is blamed and held responsible and may feel shame when the man is viewed as only doing what comes naturally to him. The double standards remain and even though women are now allowed to be sexual beings, no longer repressed into madonnas by society, they are even more sexualized than ever by society and viewed as even more available to entitled men. Then if men assault them, the women are blamed for it, or it’s viewed as the women were asking for it.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/02/thats-patriarchy-how-female-sexual-liberation-led-to-male-sexual-entitlement

So consent is key. People seem to complain that there are a lot of grey areas surrounding consent. It seems really clear to me though people may get confused regarding the complication of coercion, manipulation tactics used by sexual predators. Those predators create grey areas in order to trap and confuse others. It’s the offenders that create the grey areas, the people who do not respect boundaries, and are not committed to mutual benefit but are only out for their own personal agenda and gratification. That’s what causes the confusion. I found this on consent from a university website.

https://wgac.colostate.edu/education/consent/

So next after I watch the R Kelly documentary I’m gonna watch the Children of God documentary because that covers incestuous pedophilia I believe. It’s about a cult that is now called The Family. I want to know even though it is repulsive to me, I believe it is important that we educate ourselves so we can then be aware and able to advocate for others who may be traumatized and ensnared, trapped by predatory others. If we keep looking the other way, by avoiding difficult subjects then we are allowing this to continue right under our silently complicit noses.

https://www.ecpatusa.org/blog/2018/12/7/the-ordinary-complicity-that-puts-all-children-at-risk

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/202001/the-damaging-role-silent-partners-play-in-child-sex-abuse

https://1in6.org/get-information/common-questions/why-do-adults-fail-to-protect-children-from-sexual-abuse-or-exploitation/

I know this is uncomfortable material to tackle, but if we don’t raise our awareness and advocate for each other, how will anything ever change? Do we really want this trauma to continue?

Michelle Miyagi
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