Friday, October 27, 2017

What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis & Thalia Wallis - Book Review

35232852What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
November 21st 2017 by Singing Dragon

"Consent is not the absence of 'NO', it is an enthusiastic YES!!"

While seemingly straightforward, Tia and Bryony hadn't considered this subject too seriously until it comes up in conversation with their friends and they realize just how important it is.

Following the sexual assault of a classmate, a group of teenage girls find themselves discussing the term consent, what it actually means for them in their current relationships, and how they act and make decisions with peer influence. Joined by their male friends who offer another perspective, this rich graphic novel uncovers the need for more informed conversations with young people around consent and healthy relationships.

Accompanying the graphics are sexual health resources for students and teachers, which make this a perfect tool for broaching the subject with teens.

I'm not sure if this made me think more of those "don't do drugs" books you'd get in elementary school. Or an episode of Saved by the Bell.

What I am sure of is that I can not wrap my mind around the fact that this is a topic that required a book. Is this really the state of our world? Someone actually had to write a book stating: "Consent is not the absence of 'NO', it is an enthusiastic YES!!"?

I guess looking at the fact that it's meant for the formative years a book like this is absolutely a good thing. (Let's face it, I probably got harassed more in school than I have in the ten years since.) This is definitely something that needs to be taught early on.
Obviously crossing our fingers and hoping for the best doesn't work.

Can I question if there'll be a guy version? Because the little bit we get from "their male friends," left me feeling like some things were unresolved and like they were opening a whole other door. Besides the quick lesson on the meaning of consent and the "Get off you're freaking girlfriend, no she doesn't enjoy it; that's why she is telling you to STOP!" moment, there isn't much of a lesson from the guys perspective. They just go on talking about the pressure they feel and the false assumptions they've made from watching porn.

My take on that: "I feel pressure to keep up with what everyone else say's they're doing so therefore I'm going to pressure you into doing something you're uncomfortable with even if you don't say yes."
= "I come first, you're just here for my own use."

Alright, maybe I read too much into that. But I feel like they missed the point on their part and simply told them to stop being jerks and consider what the girl is feeling.

The entire book is a group of girls going back and forth (and around, to a point where I felt it got confusing) about how they feel doing certain things, when they feel pressured and how much control they feel they have.
It's a great book from a female's point of view, because it's filled with great advice all girls should hear. "This is what consent it, if you're uncomfortable and at no point say Yes. Then whatever is happening is not okay."

I liked it for that and it's a good lesson and message but I just feel like it's lacking when it came to both sides. Yes, it'll teach girls that it's alright to say no, but does it really teach guys that only Yes means yes?

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