There's no gray area when it comes to consent.
Let's begin with the basics: No means no. Always.
There's no room for misunderstanding when someone says "no." Though consent should be a simple concept to comprehend, sometimes a lot of exterior factors can cloud what consent is and what it is not.
That's the powerful premise for these poignant illustrations by Alli Kirkham, also known as ms-demeanor on Tumblr. In this series, she draws women living their lives in different settings and situations but with a clever twist advocating for consent.
The drawings point out how what these women are wearing or doing have a way of sending inaccurately interpreted messages to those who may want to violate them in some way. That's unfair, and it's why these drawings with hyper-literal explanations are incredibly necessary. They break down exactly why what these women are wearing and doing are not invitations for violations.
1. Like when women express their personal style while out dancing.
2. Or run at a certain time every day because it works for their schedule.
3. Or when your "duties" as a wife turn into something else.
4. There's nothing wrong with having a drink to loosen up.
5. Or letting your guard down with someone you thought you could trust.
6. Being friendly is not the same as leading someone on.
7. You can't say "no" when you're not conscious.
8. This is why respecting gender expression is incredibly important.
9. And sexual harassment at the workplace is never OK — even if it's in a male-dominated field.
These drawings offer a clever way of discussing consent by literally labeling why all of these scenarios require consent.
What women choose to wear, what they choose as a profession, and how they choose to spend their time should never be a preamble to the excuse "Well, what was she expecting?"
It's important to remember that consent is everything. These drawings drive that point home in a powerful way.