Love & Sex Magazine

Collective Consent

By Maggiemcneill @Maggie_McNeill

Collective ConsentOne of the bizarre contradictions of modern American society is that at a time when consent has been raised practically to the level of a fetish, complete with various sects of authoritarians declaring themselves the absolute arbiters on what constitutes “true” consent and what doesn’t, many of the same people who would absolutely have a cow if some private citizen slightly smudged a consent-line in some minor fashion have absolutely no issue with government operatives trampling all over consent in the most horrifying ways imaginable.  The same politicians (and their lackeys and followers) who bloviate about “revenge porn“, align themselves with “Me Too” and posture performatively every time a non-cop accused of rape is found not guilty after a trial, suddenly lose their concern for individual consent when it’s government operatives violating it via spying, groping, assault, robbery, rape, abduction or even murder; when confronted with this contradiction they’ll nearly always vomit out nonsense about a “social contract”, as though consent were something which could be granted for individuals by some collective, possibly even a collective with no living members.

A large part of the problem is that while we see lots of explanations of consent like the one above, nobody dares to explain to kids that just because an adult has a costume on or is called an “authority” doesn’t give them the right to ignore your consent.  Not even if they call it “punishment” or a “search”, or say you need it to get on an airplane or enter a building.  People are always wringing their hands about how many cops, teachers, clergy, etc molest or even rape kids & teenagers, yet they never consider that the root cause of these violations is that they’ve drummed it into those kids’ heads that “authorities” must be obeyed and have various excuses to touch or hurt those kids without their consent, simply by giving the abuse some fancy name like “discipline”, “arrest” or, worst of all, the innocuous-sounding “search”.  Nobody has the right to violate their consent, and they owe nobody unquestioned obedience.  And until we start teaching that, we’re never going to see an end to the nauseating parade of “authorities” groping, molesting and raping society’s most vulnerable members while the adults who should be protecting them utter pious platitudes about “security”, “obedience”, and “law”.


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