Earlier this year in March, blogger Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess wrote about how consent is key, and how it also like tea. Would you force someone to have tea if they didn't want it? The same goes for sex.
Since the blog went viral, the Consent is Tea analogy has caught on, and has hopefully helped those who could not fathom the difference between sex with consent, and rape.
UK's Thames Valley Police has turned her blog turned it into beautiful video illustration for their website on sexual harassment, titled Consent is Everything.
For those still a little fuzzy about what consent is, here's a step-by-step guide.
First, let's imagine that in this situation, tea is sex. Here are the do's and do nots you need to clear out before every tea party you'd like to have:
1. ASK them if they want tea. If and only if the reply is 'yes I want tea', 'let's have tea right now', 'omg omg, yes I need tea', must you proceed to give them tea.2. If you ask and the reply is, 'no, but thanks', 'no, I'm not comfortable with having tea right now', 'no, I don't want tea ever', then back off. Don't get angry that they don't want tea. Maybe they want coffee. Maybe they don't want tea with you. Just back the hell off.
3. Sometimes they may say yes to tea, but change their mind. So what do you do after you've prepared the tea and then discovered they don't want it? Nothing.
4. If they are unconscious or unable to give a coherent reply or unable to decide whether or not they want tea, let's assume they DON'T want tea. Don't force tea on them. If they want it, they'll ask for it.
5. Don't force someone to have tea just because they had it last night or last week or the week before that or last month, or any other time in the past. They may have had tea with you before, but that doesn't mean they want it again now.
In the Indian context, let's add a few more clauses:
6. She may be wearing a skirt or a dress or leggings or even a sack for that matter, but if she says she doesn't want tea, she doesn't want tea. Her clothes are not an invitation to tea, her actual consent is.
7. If she out at night partying, or to watch a movie or returning home late from work, you still need to check if she wants tea. Maybe she does. Maybe she doesn't. But being out at night without her family in tow is NOT an invitation to force tea down her throat.
Every case of molestation, of catcalling, of sexual harassment, and of rape is a violation of consent. It is a violation of privacy, of respect, of basic human rights.
Remember, whatever you do, wherever you are, whatever she/he is wearing - you must first ask. Consent is key. Consent is everything.