I watched an episode of Law and Order (Special Victims Unit) the other day. The theme was about sexual assault.
Boy and girl went to a school party as dates with the blessing of their parents. They get to party and the boy kissed this girl and she enjoyed it. So he asked her if she wants more privacy and she said yes. So they went to the School 's dark room which is where couples in the school go to when they want to go beyond fondling.
So they are there and making out as American Teenagers call it and it's all fun until Boy slips his hand under Girl's dress. At that point she froze and said "don't go down there". He doesn't stop, he continues pushing himself against her.
He inserted his finger inside her, She kept squirming, Then he tried to penetrate her and she still said "No" yet he kept trying and it wasn't really happening then somehow because of all his excitement he comes on her dress and show was over.
The girl got home crying and all but she doesn't tell anyone until their maid saw her dress where she discarded it in the trash and saw semen stains on the dress. Maid tells her Mom and all hell breaks loose. She told her parents that Yes she had sex but it wasn't consensual. Parents went ballistic and went to the police, boy is confronted and he flats out denied having sexual contact. They got his DNA sample, ran a test and confirmed it was his semen that was on her dress. He is arrested for rape. He changed his story and said yes they had something but it was consensual.
He was 19. She was 15.
Lawyers got involved. His parents weren't having any of this. Their son just got an admission to Stanford University and this girl was trying to ruin him. Didn't she know what will happen when she followed him to the dark room?
Police investigates and finds out the boy belongs to a secret group of boys in school. "The Cherry pickers." Their goal is to find a virgin and pluck her cherry. Apparently the boy has been under pressure to find one so his name can make to the Wall - a board behind a Painting in the school library. This is where those boys write their names and the name of their conquests alongside. Boy desperately wanted to make it to the Wall and that's why he never listened to her No and even though he eventually didn't succeed he went ahead to post her picture on Facebook with the caption "Cherry Picked" much to the adulation of friends. He also went to the Wall and wrote his name along side the girl's own. All these were used as evidence against him. mermaid bridal dresses with long sleeves
In the end he was found guilty of sexual misconduct and he made it to the register.... the register of sexual offenders in the United States and just like that he lost his admission to Stanford.
This is why it is no longer enough to just talk to girls , we need to teach boys consent for their own good. We need to teach that # NomeansNo , we need to teach them that Maybe is No. We need to make boys understand it's no longer enough to take implied consent as consent. They have to always be sure it's consensual.
We need to end the Boys will be Boys narrative. We always make it look like once a guy is started he cant stop himself. It is not true. And yes a girl may agree to being kissed, she may even allow you touch her but if she says No, I don't want sex then you better take her No as No. Doesn't matter if she is your girlfriend or your wife. Its her body.
Let's also teach boys that consent can be withdrawn at any time. She may have agreed at first and mid way she says stop. You better Stop. Anything after No and Stop is Rape.
Let's teach boys these things. Not just to protect girls but to also protect boys. There is a stigma that comes with being an alleged rapist. It has cost a lot of people their Career, their livelihood and everything they hold dear. Don't think that doesn't happen in Nigeria, it does and it will only get worse for rapists.
Let's stop acting like its only girls that have something to lose. We have always focused on girls telling them what to do and where not to go. Let's pay attention to boys too. Let's start early. Ati Kekere ni won ti mpa ekan iroko. Literally means "A stitch in time saves Nine".