• Ellie Chadwick

Consent



Today on the bus I saw a young woman and a young man sitting side by side laughing and sharing their phones.

He snatched hers out of her hands and deleted an image. She said, “you’re so mean”. 

He proceeded to lean in to kiss her. 

“You know that’s my cousin?!”, said the 20-something year old sitting in front of them. “Yeah, I know,” he replied slowly backing away with a smile. 

The young woman was, from my perspective, pinned up against the window with a young man attempting to kiss her and no way of her being able to control the situation. 

In this moment I wish I could tell her that she doesn’t have to kiss him, she can use her voice or her body to communicate that’s not what she wanted. 

Unfortunately the 20-something year old‘s deterring words aren’t powerful enough for the young man to realise what position he was putting the young woman in. 

This is another example of why things need to change, why women need to stand up for what they believe in and not feel like they have to fold under pressure. 

There is a groundswell of change happening. I’m hopeful that men and women, boys and girls alike are learning about consent. 

Where a women’s voice is powerful enough to deter or stop behaviour that’s unwanted. Where nobody feels pressured into doing something they don’t want to. And where we are able to understand how the person standing in front of us wants to be treated through on-verbal language.


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