Friday, October 10, 2014

Sex, Consent & Witch Hunts.

I've subscribed to Alex Day's YouTube channel for a few years. I found him smart and humorous. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over his alleged mistreatment (not the right word, but close) of girls that he has had sexual dealings with. A few girls have come forward on social media to say they felt pressured by Alex, and they did not feel they could say no. Alex has responded by saying he had no idea at the time that these girls were not as into it as he had been. I have two things to say about this.

First, we all need to have more discussion about the meaning of consent. If you are in a situation with another person that you do not want to be in, you have a responsibility to say NOPlease understand that you always have the right to say no, even if you have said yes before in the past. 

On the flip-side, it is not enough that your sexual partner "didn't say no". They need to give you an enthusiastic YES. If the person you are with does not seem as into it as you are, stop and ask. If you are not comfortable enough to talk about sex with your partner, you have no business having sex with them.

Second, beware of witch-hunts. There are three sides to every story - his perception, her perception and the truth. I do not know what that truth is, or where the truth falls on the spectrum between his side and hers, nor is it for me to judge. Unless you were a witness to the behavior, how can you judge? So if you don't like Alex anymore, then don't watch his videos, but be careful when you are using social media to bully people. Karma has a way of ricocheting on you.

Will I continue watching Alex's videos and supporting him? I don't know. But I'm hoping this situation will lead to more discussion over these two issues. Charlie McDonnell recently posted this very honest video on the issue of consent. I hope you will take a few moments to watch it and share.

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