By Panya, The Millennials
The meaning of consent- a rather simple word to understand, one would argue, is highly debated. With the take off of the #metoo movement, the word seems to be more in use than ever before. Due to a hotly disputed interpretation, some rape cases often end up in the grey category, with different people taking different stances on the apparent 'thin line' between consent and rape.
Section 375 of the IPC defines rape as something that happens without procuring the female's consent/will. Consent, if obtained by intoxicating the woman, or by coercion, is considered a strict violation of the IPC.
Even though the law has done a good job defining 'consent', same sex rape and marital rape still don't fall under its purview, making us realise that we still have a long way to go.
We, The Millennials, believe that it is our responsibility as teenagers to make sure that everybody feels safe in their surroundings and in charge of their own bodies, irrespective of who they are. To do this, we must start at the grassroots level and start defining the necessary boundaries at an early age.
With arguments often made against victims, ( something which is quite common) -using their previous relations, the way they dress, and whether they were intoxicated or not as ways to measure their 'character' and also their ability to consent : There is an imperative need to understand that consent is not merely the absence of a no, but an amalgamation of various signs, which might not always be verbal. And if there are no signs at all,( being intoxicated/ under the influence) that still doesn't translate to consent.
Consent is not a binding contract, it can be withdrawn anytime
Consent is active. Silence is not consent.
Consent isn't considered given if it done by using means of coercion or threats.
Consent to one thing doesn't imply consent to other things.