For a long while, when I thought or heard of rape and sexual assault, I thought it had to be a physically brutal act. I thought about threatening language, violence and forced penetration. Though all this may true for many people, it’s not always what rape looks like.
Rape is non-consensual sex. This means that one party did not agree to engaging in the act. The thing is, saying “non-consensual sex” makes it sound like a type of sex. This is not the case. Rape is not sex – rape is rape.
Ekasi there is little understanding of what consent is, especially among men. To put it bluntly, there is lack of education about the topic. EKasi our parents are too scared to touch on issues about sex and educate us; sex talk is considered to be taboo.
Even when a few parents do talk about sex with their children it never touches the issue of consent. It’s all about pregnancy and STDs. We mostly get our education from the streets and with the number of rape cases in our country it is showing that we get the wrong kind of education.
Growing up, amagrootman are always telling you that women are playing hard to get or they won’t just give it up. We hear things like, “women just need a little convincing.” There is a term for this – it’s called coercion; and that is the education we get. We are taught to coerce because women are playing hard to get. This is not true. Sex is a mutually beneficial act and if someone wants to do it with you – there’s will be no need to convince them.
So what is this consent I speak of?
Consent is permission or agreement for something to happen, in this case for sexual activity. Should there be any sort of hesitation, that is not consent anymore. This means if you want to engage in sexual act with someone you should ask them if they want to, and even if they agree at first, they are at liberty to change their mind.
Planned Parenthood uses the abbreviation FRIES, this means: Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific. Reversibility of consent is one of the most important things that we as men need to understand and be always cognizant of.
Consent is a topic that is talked about a lot, but we seem to lack the basic understanding of what it truly means. This goes for all genders. Consent is important in all relationships – even in marriage. Yes, you read that correctly – just because you are married to someone doesn’t mean that consent goes out the window.
This is a common misconception Ekasi. Amajita feel entitled to their partner’s body because they are married or in a long-term relationship. This is problematic because it reinforces the idea that the woman is owned by the man.
Take for instance when amajita want to do it with their girls and she doesn’t want to. In some cases the guy begs and, commonly they say, “Just the tip,” we all know that’s a lie. Another, is during intercourse and the girl says, “Stop!” Amajita beg in this instance too, “I’m almost…”
This is where R of FRIES comes in – consent is reversible.
When all these things come to light amagrootman might shrug this off and say, “That’s lie! You can’t rape ucherry wakho.” This is the wrong thinking. The bottom line is, if consent is not given, it is rape. There’s a lot we need to talk about in this concept down.
iKasi indoctrinates us, with misogyny, patriarchy and other rapey behaviours; the onus is on us to forever teach ourselves, check ourselves and our friends. I can’t unpack everything one article, but I hope it’s start for all the men who will read this to look within themselves, look at the teachings of iKasi and how it affects them and those around them.
We are a country that has been labelled the most dangerous country for women! Is this the type of country we want for our mothers, sisters, friends and daughters? We need to do better.
We shouldn’t be doing better for everyone else. We need to do better for ourselves as well. We don’t need to protect women. We just need to be better men – the kind of men that women don’t need protection from.
Real men don’t beat women. Read one writer’s opinion on women abuse here.
Tell us: Why do you think consent is so important?