What Exactly Is Consent? This Video Has The Answer

by Kat George

I feel like it's a pretty sorry state of affairs when sexual consent needs to be explained in such simple terms even a child would understand. But alas, this is the world we live in, and as long as we have people like the folks at CampusClarity who have the patience and the motivation to explain exactly what consent is, and to raise awareness about rape and sexual autonomy, then hopefully we'll eventually live in a world where no one has to be told that no seriously, literally, actually means no and the absence/inability to say no does not mean yes. Maybe one day babies will even be born intrinsically imbued with this knowledge. EVOLUTION: We can do it (maybe, kinda, I hope).

The video features a woman explaining consent via the simple act of asking strangers to use their cell phone (which, hilariously and somewhat accurately, is pegged as the only thing that men might feel as protective of as women do their bodies). CampusClarity explains:

"Can two-minutes and a smart phone change the way you (or your students) think about consent? This video, originally created as part of CampusClarity's award-winning online training program Think About It, teaches the concept of consent by considering a series of realistic scenarios in an approachable manner."

The woman seeking phone show us what's not consent: forcefully taking a phone, taking a phone from a sleeping person who vaguely mutters some kind of "okay", and taking a phone from someone without even asking. She finally receives spoken consent with clear boundaries, and we all learn a valuable lesson about yes and no, and, if you're like me, are left with at least a little worry about how cell phones are potentially seen as more valuable that a woman's right to her body. Regardless, they actually make for a powerful explanatory tool in this video. Watch below:

In sum, no means no:

You CANNOT just assume consent:

Because even when there isn't an explicit no, it doesn't mean consent has been given because for consent to exist, there must be a clear YES:

Got it?

Images: Getty Images; Giphy (4)