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Consent isn’t complicated. But when it comes to sexual consent, some people suggest that it is—and they make some pretty ludicrous arguments. If understanding consent were truly so difficult, here’s what our everyday lives would look like.

1. You would never do this while someone was unconscious, no matter what they said or did when they were awake.

Male: “So that’s the design I want someday. Right here.” (Female tattoos male while he’s unconscious.) Male: “You tattooed me while I was passed out? What is wrong with you?! Female: You said you wanted it! Male: But I didn’t want it when I was unconscious and didn't know what was happening!

Male: “So that’s the design I want someday. Right here.”

(Female tattoos male while he’s unconscious.)

Male: “You tattooed me while I was passed out? What is wrong with you?!

Female: You said you wanted it!

Male: But I didn’t want it when I was unconscious and didn’t know what was happening!

2. Having done something once doesn’t mean you have permission to do it again.

Male: “Thanks for letting me borrow your car.” Female: “No problem.” (The next week...) Female: “What are you doing?” Male: “Borrowing your car! You said I could.” Female: “You can’t take my car whenever you want it!” Male: “That’s not fair! You said I could have it once so I should be able to have it all the time.”

Male: “Thanks for letting me borrow your car.”

Female: “No problem.”

(The next week…)

Female: “What are you doing?”

Male: “Borrowing your car! You said I could.”

Female: “You can’t take my car whenever you want it!”

Male: “That’s not fair! You said I could have it once so I should be able to have it all the time.”

3. “I’m not into this” is all it should take to stop.

Male 1: “Wanna watch Pulp Fiction?” Male 2: “Sure!” (Half hour later...) Male 2: “Eh, I’m not really liking this, let’s do something else.” Male 1: “No! You said you’d watch the movie so you’re staying until it’s done.”

Male 1: “Wanna watch Pulp Fiction?”

Male 2: “Sure!”

(Half hour later…)

Male 2: “Eh, I’m not really liking this, let’s do something else.”

Male 1: “No! You said you’d watch the movie so you’re staying until it’s done.”

4. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Male: “I brought the cards! Now I can teach you poker.” Female: “Cool!” (A short time later...) Female: “Now that I know the rules, I don’t think this game is for me.” Male: “You can’t invited me over to play cards and then not want to play cards! I went to all this trouble for you, so you owe me and we’re playing.”

Male: “I brought the cards! Now I can teach you poker.”

Female: “Cool!”

(A short time later…)

Female: “Now that I know the rules, I don’t think this game is for me.”

Male: “You can’t invited me over to play cards and then not want to play cards! I went to all this trouble for you, so you owe me and we’re playing.”

5. You wouldn’t interrupt someone’s sleep like this.

Female 1: “I really like The Fluffy Bunny’s new song.” (In the middle of the night, Female 2 plays stereo.) Female 1: “Augh! What the heck?” Female 2: “You said you liked this song!” Female 1: “Yeah, but I don’t want to listen to it while I’m sleeping!”

Female 1: “I really like The Fluffy Bunnys’ new song.”

(In the middle of the night, Female 2 plays stereo.)

Female 1: “Augh! What the heck?”

Female 2: “You said you liked this song!”

Female 1: “Yeah, but I don’t want to listen to it while I’m sleeping!”

6. Why the argument about how someone dresses is so very wrong.

Gym setting. Male 1: “Hey you! Come here, take this.” (Male 1 stacks weight in the arms of Male 2.) Male 2: “But I don’t want to carry this stuff, stop it!” Male 1: “Well, you’re dressed like a weight lifter and showing off your muscles. You’re asking to be handed heavy stuff! Don’t blame me.”

Gym setting. Male 1: “Hey you! Come here, take this.”

(Male 1 stacks weight in the arms of Male 2.)

Male 2: “But I don’t want to carry this stuff, stop it!”

Male 1: “Well, you’re dressed like a weight lifter and showing off your muscles. You’re asking to be handed heavy stuff! Don’t blame me.”

Originally published on Everyday Feminism.

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Article sources

Kirkham, A. (2015, June 23). What if we treated all consent like society treats sexual consent? Everyday Feminism. Retrieved from https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/how-society-treats-consent/