How have we created a culture that doesn’t recognize consent as necessary?
From an early age, children are forced to hug relatives, or are tickled after they say “No!”. These things may seem harmless, but they’re the building blocks of a culture where consent is not important. We are conditioned to think consent isn’t mandatory.
How can we create a consent culture?
– Recognize that “no” is not rejection, but setting a boundary
– Normalize saying “yes”, talking about consent,
– Teach children that “no” is serious and deserves respect
– Avoid making harmful jokes, and talk to others when they do
Popular media normalizes problematic behaviour – challenge and deconstruct media messages, and promote positive examples of consent in media.
If you’d made (or laughed at) a harmful joke in the past, you are not a bad person. Now that you know better, you can do better.