I see a lot of complaints about how society has made it a crime to “even smile at a woman,” and the like.
Usually from men, but not always.
Usually whining, but not always.
And I wonder how this is so difficult to understand.
Then, I realize that it’s not so much the initial act that’s a problem. A touch without consent is really not such a big deal. A smile or a wink without consent is easy to deal with. A question asking for consent is simple…
But that is rarely where it ends.
Because for some reason, so many people feel that the correct response to any sort of correction or rejection is to double down.
Maybe it’s ego. Maybe they were taught you have to push for what you want.
Whatever the reason, it’s rarely the first minor infraction that gets you labeled or prosecuted. It’s the MANY, MANY steps beyond that you go when you’ve already been told.
- It’s now being even more handsy after you’ve been called out for inappropriate touching, just to see if you can get away with it.
- It’s making a point of now leering at people after you’ve been told that your looks are causing discomfort.
- It’s asking a question and getting a “No,” but not accepting it and pushing forward, trying to get more, trying to get what you want.
- It’s going in for a kiss, and not getting one, so you grab and take that original kiss an more…
The first error.
Well, that’s forgivable. We all make mistakes. Sometimes, multiple times.
We apologize, learn from our mistakes, and move on.
But when that error becomes a catalyst for a pattern of immediate or long-term rebellious behavior trying to prove something to the world—THAT is when consent becomes a serious issue.
When things go wrong, don’t make it worse.
Everyone will thank you.
*As an aside, sexual harassment and non-consent is no laughing matter. However, sometimes the images I find when looking for blog pics are definitely worth a laugh. This image from StockUnlimited, titled “Businessman being harassed” makes me giggle, so I had to use it.*