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Photo Credits:-

What is sexual harassment? graphic
(Ontario Human Rights Commission; fair use, educational)

What part of NO don't you understand?
(geralt, Pixabay)

Maybe we should talk (geralt, Pixabay)

Man in Prison Cell
(Dieter_G, Pixabay)

Patsy Stevenson
(The Guardian; fair use, educational)

Consent is an Enthusiastic Yes! poster (Camilla Perkins, IPPF)

Lady Justice
(WilliamCho, Pixabay)

Sexual Consent & Harassment

'If it's unwanted, it's harassment' image

Some insights into sexual harassment:-
  • If it's unwanted, it's harassment. However, you are allowed to courteously ask a woman/man out! It is about being sensitive to her/his cues. Read on for further explanation...
  • Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances, obscene remarks, etc. (Oxford English Dictionary cited at BBC, posted and accessed 19 October 2017)
  • Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, which violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment. (UK's Equality Act 2010 cited at BBC, posted and accessed 19 October 2017)
  • Sexual harassment constitutes: non-consensual touching; feeling entitled to someone else; talking in a certain way; chasing girls down the street in order to chat them up; wolf-whistling and using a position of power or trust to talk in a creepy way. (Sea Ming Pak cited at BBC, posted and accessed 19 October 2017)
  • Flirting becomes sexual harassment when it's unwanted and persistent (Sarah King of Stuart Miller Solicitors cited at BBC, posted and accessed 19 October 2017)
  • Flirting becomes sexual harassment when a man pushes things too far, through talk or action, when a woman clearly doesn't want it. (Adapted from James Preece, relationships expert, cited at BBC, posted and accessed 19 October 2017)
What part of NO don't you understand? graphic
  • 81% of US women say they've been sexually harassed. (Stop Street Harassment 2018 National Survey cited in BBC, 1m55s, posted and accessed 23 May 2018) It usually happens in public spaces. Video also shows how bystanders can intervene.
  • Learn about street harassment.
  • Understand sexual microaggressions by men, and their unacceptability.
  • Both men and women need to be having a dialogue with each other, not against each other. That’s really important. (Kalki Koechlin, famous Bollywood actress and gender rights activist, BBC video, 2m7s, posted and accessed 9 January 2018)
'Maybe we should talk' graphic
  • Apply the Rock Test: "Don't say anything to a woman you wouldn't say to Dwayne the Rock Johnson."
  • Apply the Golden Rule for Men by Peter White: "I think the golden rule for men should be: If you're a man, don't say anything to a woman on the street that you wouldn't want a man saying to you in prison." 
  • I prefer the Golden Rule to the Rock Test. The Rock Test is more of an antisocial scenario; the Rock has a lot to lose if he goes round beating people up (e.g. on collision with the pavement they die, he is jailed). The Golden Rule of Peter White implies the ever-present prospect of asocial violence that so often simmers underneath serious men-to-women hostility.
Man silhouette in prison cell

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Understand consent properly:-
  • Consider the analogy of tea as consent.
  • People just don’t understand the concept of consent. It’s not just about saying ‘no’, consent is an enthusiastic ‘yes’. (Rachel Brook, IPPF volunteer, 47s of IPPF video, posted 7 March 2018, accessed 8 March 2018)
  • Consent isn't always about "whether you can say yes; it's also whether you can say no." (Bettina Judd, assistant professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, University of Washington, History Channel, posted 4 December 2018, accessed 14 June 2020)
  • Sex must be consensual. Have a safe word or gesture if playing BDSM games.
  • Men - Just like animals, you have to go through the evolutionary courtship ritual. Your porn-rich computer/smartphone and hyper-sexualised culture may have tricked your brain into thinking you can cut straight to porn-style sex, but this does not meet the evolutionary needs of women. The stages or bridges are summarised here.
  • In the UK, the Sexual Offences Act 1956 differentiates between 'consent' and 'submission'. Having sex with someone who cannot consent is rape. In a nutshell, 'lack of consent' means:-
  • Use of force or threats by perpetrator.
  • Drink, drugs, sleep, age or mental disability meant that complainant was unaware of what was happening and/or incapable of giving consent.
  • Complainant was deceived as to the identity of the perpetrator.
  • Complainant was under age 16.

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Shocking Statistics
Men - A Call to Action

It's not enough to respond to misogyny with: "It's not all men." Why?:

"Not all men are violent but all men benefit from sex inequality and all women's lives are either directly or indirectly restricted or altered by the actions of men."
(Clarrie O'Callaghan & Karen Smith, The Guardian, posted and accessed 14 March 2021)

It's time for every man to realise that misogyny is a huge issue:

"Not all men - but 97% of women is too close to being all women."
(Seen at a UK Sarah Everard vigil location on 15 March 2021; it references the 97% of UK women who have been sexually harassed)

I'd like to repeat the quote Bettina Judd quote [see above]:

Consent isn't always about "whether you can say yes; it's also whether you can say no."

The thing is that - in our patriarchal, capitalist, racist, dysfunctional world - women so often feel they cannot say "no", as otherwise they and their kids get beat, starve, die.
Women are paid little or nothing despite doing the majority of caring and mothering. They are being exploited (in the words of bell hooks) by the "imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy."

Men, change this now! Challenge and fight gender inequality, sexism, capitalism, etc. Become an ally. Also see the ally resources below.
Do this with friends and colleagues, on the street and on social media - wherever you can.

"This is not a men vs women issue. It's about people vs prejudice." (Laura Bates)

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Government & the System as Allies - or NOT - to Women

Below is a photo of Patsy Stevenson pinned to the ground by two UK policemen.
She had just been thrown to the ground by them, despite being a peaceful mourner and only small (5'2" or 1.57m).

Sarah Everard had days earlier been abducted and murdered by a serving police officer.
Patsy was a mourner at Sarah's vigil in Clapham Common, London.
It was also about reclaiming the streets for women.
It was not the only incident of police brutality on peaceful, mourning women on the evening of 13 March 2021.
Where was the sensitivity to the vigil's policing that had been promised to London mayor Sadiq Khan?
The police had refused to engage with organisers and women on how to mourn safely during Covid-19 on that evening, despite being urged to do so by a judge.
The police are the Government's gang and the Government is growing increasingly fascist.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously voiced hateful attacks on the BLM & XR 2020 protests.
Patel was instrumental in this misogynous brutality too.
As well as the policing minister Kit Malthouse.
Patel was later exposed as especially deceitful.

Government then suggested protecting women with undercover police.
But this does nothing to address systemic male violence - and seems creepy given that undercover police have been and will legally allowed to infiltrate and have sex with activists, which is a form of rape (rape by police, by Government).

More chillingly, an anti-protest bill - that basically bans protest (as too annoying) - is underway and has just passed.
Without protest, would: slavery still exist, woman still be banned from voting, UK still rule India?
Now, watch Patel's response to a question on this bill by MP Caroline Lucas. So full of lies that it is evil. Dr M Scott Peck wrote a book on this called People of the Lie.
The UK is turning into an authoritarian police state.
This is all NOT being an ally to women.

Mourner Patsy Stevenson face-down, pinned to the ground by two policemen, her wrists being tied behind her back, at the Sarah Everard vigil
Systemic Non-Consensual Harassment of a Woman? - by the UK Government & Police
Patsy Stevenson pinned to the ground by two policemen (The Guardian)
How NOT to be an ally to women...


 Harassment Rape Consent
Consent is an Enthusiastic Yes! poster

Stalking Men as Allies to Women Government & the System as Allies - or NOT - to Women
Statue of Lady Justice

Also see:-

Sex Education

Violence & Sexual Frustration

Male Sexual Problems

Blame or Empowerment? [PC2]

Skirting Around [PC3]

Handling & Understanding Violence

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© Bruce Mitchell 2017-Now. All rights reserved.
Page last updated: 30 July 2021.