Just So We’re Clear on the R Word

So mostly I'm funny. But every once in awhile, I have to be serious about something that feels too big not to mention and isn't funny at all. Like this.

There is a lot of talk about rape in my air space right now. I am simultaneously heartsick and bewildered. There is black, there is white; there is yes, there is no; there is consent and there is rape.

I don't have kids that are there yet, but because I'm a mama I know they will be some day. And we will have to have "the talk." (One of many horrific, awkward, but oh-so-important talks.) Whenever it is, I will feel like it is too soon, and I will be afraid I am unprepared. But I imagine it will go something like this. 

The Boy Version:

Some day, you will find yourself in a situation – if you haven't already – where you want to have sex with someone. When that time comes, I will hope that you are sober, I will hope that you are safe (as in using protection) and I will hope that you are committed (in some capacity). But even if you are not any or all of those things, there is one thing you – it – must be. Consensual. 

And just so we're clear, consensual does not mean:

  • That she's a certain kind of girl, and she's done this before with, like, everyone. 
  • That she's wearing a certain type of outfit, or even nothing at all.
  • That she's been flirting with you all night and you can tell she wants to.
  • That she didn't – or, God forbid can't – say no. 

Consensual means that she said yes. It doesn't mean she implied it, and it doesn't mean that you assumed it. It means you looked at her, and you asked her, and she said yes. 

As an aside, If you can't look at someone and ask them that question, point blank, you have no business being in that situation. So get out of it.

The Girl Version:

Some day, you will find yourself in a situation – if you haven't already – where you want to have sex with someone. When that time comes, I will hope that you are sober, I will hope that you are safe (as in using protection) and I will hope that you are committed (in some capacity). But even if you are not any or all of those things, there is one thing you – it – must be. Consensual. 

And just so we're clear, consensual does not mean: 

  • That you've done this before, so it is expected that you will do it again.
  • That you are dressed a certain way.
  • That you have been dancing or behaving a certain way all night.
  • That you didn't – or God forbid can't – say no.

Consensual means that you said yes. Not that you didn't say no. Not that you didn't mean it when you said no.

You don't owe sex to anyone. Not if he bought you dinner. Not if he drove you home. Not if you led him on. Not if he's been dating you for weeks or months or even years. If someone doesn't ask you, point blank, and you do not give your consent, it is not okay. 

With both:

I do not expect you to save yourselves for marriage, although I sure would like it if you wait until you are in love. I do expect you to accept that fact that having sex comes with feelings and responsibilities and cannot be undone once it is done. EVER. Behave accordingly.

 

Comments

  1. It's great that you are thinking about these things…these conversations already.  I need to do that…  Thanks for stopping by my site today!

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