Guest post by Eden Wine - Mindset Consultant
With the advent of the “Me Too” and “Times Up” era, we must learn the nuances of “Consent” so we can best equip ourselves to effectively navigate our relationships.
It’s time to create a clear definition of what consent means to us, and it’s important to:
understand our rights when it comes to giving and receiving consent;
solidify our true introspective understanding of our personal boundaries; and
learn about and respect how to best support other people’s boundaries.
HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOUR BOUNDARIES TO BE CROSSED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PLEASing OTHERS OR IN THE ATTEMPT OF “FEELING BEAUTIFUL”? WELL I HAVE.
When I was 14, I suddenly became well endowed in the derriere department. Now, given the location of this development, I was completely unaware of its existence. I only came to know about my “ass-et” because of my male peers. When walking down the hallway of my high school, adorned in a school uniform, I was consistently greeted by unsolicited slaps, grabs, and fondles. I wasn’t even able to acknowledge this new part of my body before it was claimed by others and objectified. Since this was one of the first experiences I had in my developing body, I was trained to think that this behaviour was acceptable.
As a young teen, I was quickly learning that it was okay for me to be caressed without consent. This, however, is not true.
We, as humans, have exclusive rights to our own bodies.
It is our fundamental obligation to define boundaries for ourselves and to feel comfortable and assured when voicing such boundaries. We are not owned by anyone and no one is entitled to us or any part of us. In fact, the right we have to our own bodies is grounded in and protected by law.
HOW ARE OUR RIGHTS PROTECTED?
The Constitutions and Criminal Codes of many (if not most) developed countries have specific and designated laws that are geared towards protecting the sanctity of consent. Now, I’m no expert in the laws of the world at large, but I know Canada very carefully preserves the notion of consent into its legislation and case law. For example, section 273.1(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code dictates that sexual activity is ONLY legal when both parties consent and where “voluntary agreement” is obtained. Both parties means BOTH parties. In fact, the “two to tango” phraseology has never been more apropos. Sure, there will be nuances in courting and dating when flirting plays a role though subliminal and subtle body language, but that does not dismiss the importance of ensuring that BOTH parties are consenting and, even more than that, consenting the WHOLE time.
LET’S THINK ABOUT AND DEFINE OUR BOUNDARIES AND RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S BOUNDARIES TOO! #PlatinumRule
Consent is truly grounding yourself in your beliefs and saying “yes” when an activity (any activity really) feels right without a shadow of a doubt. This could apply to any sexual encounter or even as something as simple as a hug.
For all people alike, the onus is on us to:
know and learn our boundaries;
feel secure and confident in our ability to voice our boundaries; and,
to inquire and respect other people’s boundaries. In the end, it is each of us who have exclusive rights to our own person and it is our obligation to protect such rights with the entirety of our being.
Eden Wine is presently a non-practicing lawyer. She was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2018 and has since been a member of the Law Society of Ontario.
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