An Analogy for Consent

I recently found Hershele Ostropoler’s absolutely wonderful analogy for consent in a comment and wanted to share that with you.

If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.

If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.

If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.

If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.

See, that’s why I don’t get the focus on classifying harassers and figuring out their motives. The victims are just as harassed either way.

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Valentine’s Day

This post has no focus.  Whatsoever.  You have been warned.

I’m probably the last person on Earth who should be writing about Valentine’s Day, considering that I’ve never been looked at by a guy, much less had someone to celebrate a very relationship-oriented holiday with.  That said, it being my blog and all, I’m going to say my $0.02 worth anyways.

Around Valentine’s Day, I see people around me giving gifts to their significant others… There are a lot of chocolates, flowers, special dinners.  It seems people feel somehow more compelled to be nice to their significant other on this one day, but why not let them know how special they are to you every day?  Why not be spontaneous and pick a random day to do something special and fun?  Show up on their doorstep with chocolates and a good movie on a cold January morning, or bring them flowers and take them to an amusement park on a sunny day in July.  I’m not saying that celebrating Valentine’s Day with a loved one is bad, but celebrating one day doesn’t mean it’s okay to not make your relationship a priority the other 364.25 days of the year, which is what too many people seem to do.

Enough about relationships…  If you’re like me and chronically single on this holiday where it feels like everyone around you has found someone, know that being single doesn’t mean you’re unloveable.  Go out and celebrate your freedom, and spend the day showing yourself how special you are.  Or spend the day complaining about how love is overrated.  Whatever works for you.

I kind of wanted to end with something written by Sam at mommadeankat.tumblr.com because she says it better than I ever could.

Hey fellow aces and to all on the romantic spectrum.

You are not weird and there is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have a Valentine this Friday (or any day really). I know that day gets really uncomfortable for a lot of people in our spectrums due to the BLAST OF SEX AND ROMANCE everywhere even more than usual and everyone going around all up in everyone’s biz about who’s dating and why aren’t you. Not to mention a million other things that make us uncomfortable on this day. Shoosh people who feel pity for you if you’re single. Dating actually isn’t the most important thing in the universe. Don’t let anyone try and pressure you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with (this goes to everyone tbh). To heck with people who make fun of you for not wanting a sexual/romantic relationship. A romantic/sexual/etc relationship isn’t for everyone. It really isn’t. You deserve respect for your choices and your orientation and your label and your comfort.

Also, Valentine’s can be about platonic love for our friends and people we have squishes on etc. I don’t think that kind of love gets enough attention.

Celebrate or don’t. And to everyone please respect others.

Regardless eat lots of yummy food!

Courage

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” — Thucydide

I’m very much a person who lets her fear rule the course of her life, for better or for worse.  Fear is a very natural emotion, and it’s one that warns us we’re heading for danger before we get in too deep to save ourselves, but as someone who lives with an anxiety disorder, I have to be very careful about knowing whether  my fears are justified or whether they’re anxiety disorder induced fears which also seem very, very real when I’m worrying about them.

My most recent encounter with this has to do with university applications.  I’ve applied for a variety of courses, some ‘safe’ and some that are ‘not-so-safe’, and I’m struggling to make my decisions about what to do with my future.

Let’s start from the beginning.  Last October, I was about to only apply to three vet schools, but my favourite teacher suggested I add Cambridge to my application because since I was able to see the advantages of other universities and wouldn’t be heartbroken if I didn’t get into Cambridge, I might as well apply because it wouldn’t do me any harm.  I recently got an offer, and my teacher admitted to me that he’d all along felt that I was not applying to Cambridge because I was afraid of rejection (and I could write a whole post on just that…maybe I will).  Now that I have the offer, I have pressure on one hand from my parents who don’t want me to go to the UK, and pressure from my teacher who has supported my UK university application along every step of the way and who thinks that Cambridge would be a very good fit for my personality, and I’m stuck in the middle.

In my previous post, I talked about my struggles with needing approval from others, so the pressures on me to make a certain choice are especially difficult to deal with.  I know that no matter what I decide, whether it’s with my university applications or anything else in life, I will most likely have to disappoint some people, and that is a very, very hard thing to accept but something I’m going to have to work on.  But now I need to realise that the only person I truly need to avoid disappointing is myself, because this is my life and I am going to be the one most affected by the decisions I make.  I also need to look on the bright side of things, no matter what choice I make, there will be someone who supports my choice and agrees with me.

The secret of happiness is freedom.  The secret of freedom is courage.  If I have the courage to make my own choices, I will have the freedom to live my own dreams.  If I have the freedom to live my own dreams, I can find fulfilment in my life.