A No means No is what was hammered home through Pink.
A Yes can also mean a No. Not speaking a Yes, even though playing along, can also mean a No. Ask Mahmood Farooqui of Peepli Live.
Consent is act, session, frequency and manner–specific. Gursimran Khamba (AIB) would vouchsafe.
Consent is not just a word, it’s a line, says Anurag Kashyap. A No or a Yes is preceded by a series of hints and events. Be prepared to become an investigator, a psychiatrist and a truth-detector all-in-one to catch the correct line and assess the proper drift.
Or hone your batting skills under the aegis of a classical master like Rahul Dravid.
Remember, Tacit Consent is meaningless. It has no legal value. Non-verbal signals like coyness in one’s eyes, or tugging at one’s hair-don’t carry any special meanings. Poetry is all fake, consign it to dustbin already. It is a ploy to take liberties with the helpless, and then cloak all filth behind veneer of aesthetics. Don’t read too much into hugs, touches, blushes, hand-presses, winks, pecks-gestures don’t tell a concrete story. When and if things go haywire, reliance is placed only on Words.
Words. It is only in them that one can place semblance of trust. Lest misunderstandings might result. Lest clarity is a casualty. There can be many slips between your intent and her consent. What would be the safeguards then?
Covenants. Mandatory to establish consent in cases of disputes.
Verbal consents are just thin air. A stifled, half-hearted Yes can be claimed to have been a No later on, if there is any hint of duress or influence. Or in the hindsight, if you come across as a person who should be slapped with a charge and shamed publically, how would a Verbal Consent come to your defence?
Steadfast resolve and obdurate obsession with the Written Consent is the only way to ensure safe relationships and rule out future foul play. It should be exhaustive and explicit in nature. Remember that implied one might get you impaled someday. There should be clauses which mention –
1.That there is no pressure, duress or blackmail involved of any kind-physical or verbal -related to past, present and future.
2. There is no allurement of any kind being offered as quid-pro-quo- like pay hike, career advancement, promotion, foreign trip or posting, nor even any assurance of turning blind eye towards massive fuckups at work.
3. It should clearly mention if the consent is being given for the whole session or only for one act.
4. It should also clearly spell out the allowable frequency in case it is for the whole session.
5. The Contract should clearly describe the desirable manner of the act-positions, use of prophylactic, and permissible activities.
6. Clear reference should be made of the intoxicants being consumed at the time, their amounts consumed and the state of drunkenness. The duo (or multiple members) should ask each other to spell a word as per their direction. (Something like Floccinaucinihilipilification or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis would be apt as it would demonstrate the mental alertness of the players involved).
One can embark upon foreplay and indulge in tomfoolery only after safekeeping this properly signed explicit consent.
Later, at the first possible opportunity, get this Explicit Written Consent laminated and then deposited in a personal locker, which I suggest one must buy only in his own name. No other member of the family must lay their eyes on this/these Consent letters.
Also take care that the Written Consent has only one copy which remains with you. The other side doesn’t need it. Like only one party can sheath their weapon in this whole business, they alone can be prosecuted under law. There is no statute that would consider her guilty of rape, sexual assault, molestation or exploitation.
This Written Covenant is only for your protection. Of course, like stamps, some vainglorious fools would flaunt their numbers and in process possibly misplace them. Remember, any other copy of the Consent can be used to blackmail you by virtue of full or limited disclosure.
There are many whose fires go down as they grapple with caps. Such elaborate procedure would definitely cut down fruitful copulation by fifty percent, and population by at least ten. The time lag might not just result in physiological failure, but also mental rethink on the part of the participants.
This measure would take care of the present and future complications vis-à-vis relationships. As for the past such cases, a temporary Truth & Reconciliation Commission, on the lines of South Africa, be created.
It can be a court-like restorative justice body which can hold trials of deep-seated grievances. Witnesses who are identified as victims of gross sexual violations and assaults might be invited to give statements about their experiences, and some can be selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. This, along with Written Consent, can go a long way in providing healing touch and fostering productive and stress-free partnerships between the two sexes.
In the absence of a TRC, we are holding trial-by-media in which shoot and run tactics are being adopted. India can do without this feminazi -run sexual McCarthyism in the long run.
But of course, no one can save any man from the wrath of a woman who feels used, ignored and scorned, is confused and disturbed, drunk or on psychaedelic trip, battling with depression, low self-esteem, schizophrenia and other mental issues. One can always attribute motives and apply circumstances to the Written Consent as well, but then again, a legal protection in hand is better than just holding a limp, lifeless tool in your palm.
Abhinav Pancholi, IRS, Kolkata. The author is an avid sports lover with a passion for literature.
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