Pakistani Boys Talk About Consent

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The #MeToo movement began a crucial conversation about sexual harassment, but the work to educate our boys and girls about what constitutes consent and how to navigate it has simply just begun. To bring about any sort of change, we believe we must start by opening a dialogue so our future generations are better equipped to navigate these murky waters.

Let’s start with the boys since we would be doing our kids a disservice if we pretend this issue isn’t gendered — most perpetrators of sexual violence are men. And while the video only includes a small sample of boys from Szabist, a Karachi-based institute, the aim over here is to begin a conversation.

Before we dive further into the issue, it’s important we define consent. For us, consent will always mean these three things: permission, approval, agreement.

Remarkably and much to their credit, the boys managed to get most of the answers right. But here are a few things we wanted our boys to understand with greater clarity.

  1. No means No. It really is that simple when it comes to consent. No, does not mean convince me. No, does not mean try harder or try later. No, simply means No.
  2. Consent can be revoked. Consent can be revoked at any time, even after it’s expressly given.
  3. Consent to one activity does not mean ‘yes’ to everything.
  4. Marriage or romantic involvement is never permission to have unwanted sex. Sharing a home or a last name doesn’t guarantee consent. No still means no.

Lastly, none of the boys had any knowledge regarding sexual harassment laws in Pakistan. We don’t blame them, neither did we. But we found a great resource to educate ourselves about the various laws. You can read all about them HERE.

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