British comedian Alice Brine had a Facebook post go viral earlier this week, garnering over 94,000 likes and 40,000 shares in just two days. In it, she explained the relatively simple concept of consent with a hilarious analogy, one that might clarify things a bit for men still confused by the word ‘no.’
Playing off the usual excuses men give when accused of sexual assault, Brine reimagines a world in which she goes home with dudes after the bar just to steal all their shit. Cuz, you know, wearing that expensive watch and driving that expensive car is just asking for it.
I’m gunna start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit. Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better. I’ll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I’ll argue that I wasn’t sure if he meant it when he said ‘no don’t steal my Audi.’ I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. I said ‘Can I please steal your Gucci watch?’ He said ‘no’ but I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. He was drunk.He brought this on himself. You should have seen how he was dressed at the club, expensive shirts and shoes. What kind of message is he sending with that!? I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit. He was asking for it. When he said ‘no’ to me taking everything he owned I just didn’t know if he meant it. ‘No’ isn’t objective enough, it could mean anything.
It’s kind of ridiculous, but it’s spot-on. Meaning the concept of consent being a difficult one to understand is also ridiculous. And no, you aren’t the only one that’s gotten into arguments about it.
“I’ve got messages from people all over the world telling me how relieved they are to read the status. Finally putting into words something that they’ve given up trying to explain because of the countless arguments they have to get into about it,” she told BuzzFeed.
If you are still unclear about how consent works, this visual guide from Everyday Feminism might help you out:
Or this easy-to-read flowchart:
Or for the really, really daft, this tea analogy might do the trick:
Remember: If they’re unconscious, don’t make them tea. Unconscious people don’t want tea. And they can’t answer the question ‘do you want tea?’ because they’re unconscious. Good rule of thumb for life.