I am sure there are women all over Canada who have suddenly started to think about things that they perhaps hadn't thought about for years, or months at least.

I am thinking about this snarly little word: consensual.

Consensual, the word, has roots in Latin: con means "with" and sensual comes from "sentire" which means "to feel". So, you feel with another person.

Many women get raped and don't go to the police: they don't want to get dragged through court; they are ashamed (do you feel ashamed when your bicycle gets stolen?); they are too damn busy; and some of us don't report because we are hung up on this little consensual word. Because lots of rapes aren't like the masked stranger jumps out of the bushes at the unsuspecting Good Girl. Most rapes are, well, you're out drinking with the guys and the asshole who takes you home.... or, you're a young woman and don't yet know how to say "no" to a powerful relative.... or, you want to get ahead in your job so....

I didn't report, why would I?

Because we aren't taught that if you don't want it, it doesn't happen. We are taught that if you don't want it, there must be something wrong with you. If you don't want sex, or this kind of sex, or sex right now. If you don't want to put your baby in daycare, or you do want to, or you don't want to breastfeed, or you do want to, or you don't want to have an epidural or you do....

We're taught that if you report, you have a problem. If someone in power (your uncle, or your boss) wants to have sex with you, suck it up!

And not only that, we are taught that we have to be the best we can be, we have to have "my best birth" (hard if you were screwed by your uncle as a child), we have to "suck it up" (sucker!), look good, talk loud (don't be shy!), work hard, play hard AND clean the house...

So let's start treating ourselves with a little bit more respect. Let's say no when we mean no, and let's teach our children about the difference between yes and no. Yes means YES. No means NO. When I say YES, I am saying it because I mean it! Yes, I want to have sex. Yes, I want an epidural. No, I don't want to clean the bathroom right now. Yes, I want to breast feed. No, I do not want to make love right now. No, I do not want to cook supper tonight. No, I do not want an epidural or an induction. No, I want to go out on my own tonight. Yes, I would like to have an hour off. No, I am not going to keep quiet for forty years because I feel so ashamed. Yes, in fact, I AM going to clean the damn toilet right now because its filthy. Yes, I DO want a cesarean. Yes, I AM going to have an abortion. Yes, I AM going to have another child. I am going to go to law school. I am going to be a mom. I am. I am. I am.


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