content warning for triggering material, including violence against women, sexual violence, misogyny, transmisogyny, child abuse, elder abuse, ableism, colonization, transphobia, homophobia, patriarchy, racism & violence against animals.
consent is fucking amazing.
when used to its full potential, consent is about a relationship of respect & trust dependent upon honest communication and patient expression of wants.
but to best articulate all the reasons why it is just so fucking special, there needs to be first a clear understanding of what consent is all about –
1) what it is and what it is not; and
2) how it can be used safely in an unsafe world.
then, having unpacked this concept, we can look towards living examples of consent, to better illustrate what we’re talking about. this includes
- sexual consent;
- consent in media representation;
- consent in identification;
- consent in education; and
- consent in self-determination.
the hope here, in drawing from these examples above, is to shift our attention towards recognizing many of the unique & varied ways that consent is (and is not) already being expressed in different contexts and relationships.
after all that is said & done, there needs to be some honest talk about the limits of consent when living in an oppressive culture of rape and exploitation. this means learning ways to adapt consent and understanding how to recognize when “consent” is being abused by those wishing to manipulate behaviour.
and finally, only once the above has been fully understood, can we attempt a careful exploration into the ways that consent can & does apply to the context of non-humyn advocacy and species-inclusive community building. Continue reading