#22

Dear Zoey,

 

There’s a lot in the news and media recently about consent, rape, and privilege. A 19 year old was recently convicted and given an unbelievably light sentence for the awful things he did to his victim. In light of all of this, I think I need to make very clear what consent means.

Z, if you ever get insanely drunk at a party — it doesn’t give anyone a right to your body.

No matter what you wear, where you go, or how far you go — it gives absolutely no one a right to your body.

You alone decide that. I don’t care if you flirt. I don’t care if you get naked. I. Don’t. Care. You and you alone get to decide what you do with your body and with whom. And if there is ever a time when you don’t feel comfortable with what is happening, you have the sole right in saying no. Don’t allow the pressure of being a tease push you into situations you don’t want to be in.

All that being said, we still live in a society where rape culture is extremely prevalent. I used to play into the “she was asking for it” bullshit too. Then I had you. And I realized all of the rules that girls had to abide by. The rules that become so ingrained in your head, they’re second nature. It becomes habit to put your biggest car key in between your fingers when you walk outside alone. It becomes habit to have a wingman checking your drink. It becomes habit to assume that because a girl is wearing more revealing clothing that she is an open door for sexual advances. It becomes habit to question a girl’s truth if she was drunk. It becomes second nature to not trust any male that you first meet, especially in a party setting, because he might rape you. Seems dramatic, right? But  until society makes rape a black and white issue, we will be forced to live this way.

But my beautiful, sweet baby girl — rape is black and white. There is no grey area. Consent is a really simple concept — if you want something, you agree to it. If you don’t, you say no. And if you are inebriated to the point of blacking out, that’s an automatic no (in case that ever comes into question). And if anyone, in your life, questions this — you can tell them to go straight to hell.

Love,
Mama

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