We Need a Conversation about Consent

I have called for a wider discussion around issues of consent.

It is important that as a society we have an open and frank discussion around issues relating to consent.

This is an issue that reaches across all sections of our society and in today’s modern online world can intrude into the privacy of our own homes.

With the advent of modern technology, instant messaging and dating apps, we do not always have control of what people send to us. Unsolicited messages and images can often leave one feeling uneasy and in some cases, unsafe.

We must not accept this as a normal behaviour or something we must put up with. This goes beyond what we do to regulate digital media but also speaks to the need for us to call out these actions when we see them happen.

This requires a greater focus on how we teach issues of ‘consent’ in schools and give young people the tools they need to speak up when they see or hear something they feel uncomfortable with.

As adults, we all must evaluate how we do deal with these issues and what message our inaction or tolerance of harassment can have on others and what message it sends about the kind of society we live in.

Only by opening up a broad discussion on harassment and consent, can we begin to deal with the root problems we face on this issue in Ireland. Issues of victim shaming and excusing unacceptable behaviour in public and online, only serve the perpetrators and strengthens the need to have this discussion.

© Catherine Noone – Dublin Senator 2011. | Wordpress Webdesign by: exSite