Consent at play in the sexual foray – By Yvonne Sam

Consent at play in the sexual foray

By Yvonne Sam

 Men must know that No means No and should no further go. Even men of the cloth not behaving as they ought.

A self-styled bishop of a West Demerara church in Guyana,  recently appeared before the Courts to answer a charge of rape (Kaieteur News January, 10, 2018. – Self-styled Bishop charged for alleged rape of church member).

Over a three year period both the victim and the perpetrator were in a relationship, which the victim brought to an abrupt climax, once the wife became privy to same. 

In the King James Version of the Good Book, the duty and expectations of a bishop are clearly delineated. In 1Timothy Ch. 3 v. 1-7.  Verse 2 reads thus:  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. One is left to wonder from which Book was the bishop reading, not to mention which page. Although he may have been apt to teach, it is evident that he was not to teach.  It is obvious that the bishop like most males especially in Guyana have failed to grasp the concept of what actions or inactions constitute rape.

According to the Guyanese Sexual Offences Act 2010 – Rape is defined as “a specific type of sexual assault, involving any forced, manipulated, or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a penis or other object. Sexual assault/rape is not a crime of passion but a crime of violence, using sex as a weapon to overpower and to degrade the victim. A rapist can be a stranger or someone the victim knows including a spouse, date or family member.

Although the victim ended her relationship, the bishop Joseph Persaud, refusing to accept rejection still persisted, and continued to call and stalk her, eventually culminating in forceful sexual intercourse. According to Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, every time we impose our will on another, it is an act of violence.

There are far too many myths and cultural messages in circulation surrounding rape, or what qualifies as rape. Plainly put, there are still lots of folks who do not consider rape as being rape. Males hold no exclusivity to rape, nor are females the only victims of rape. Men are also raped by men, women rape men, and women are also raped by women. Notwithstanding, on the issue of rape, the present sexual climate, now calls for a heightened sense of awareness, along with an attitudinal change. The issue is not as well understood as it should be.

Perpetrators must be made to understand that saying no does not mean yes, being in  a relationship, even marriage, does not give consent,  and if an individual is too inebriated or drugged to respond, the answer is still no.  Where the sexual act is concerned, the old adage

“Silence gives consent” does not hold true. Silence will give you jail time, after the judge hears your say on why you made that play.

Even in cases of consensual sexual activity, and the other party shows disinterest in continuation for whatever reason proffered, and continuation exists then such behavior qualifies as rape. Consent is something that is given, and is also something that can be withdrawn. So if you have given your consent to be a participant in the sexual act then change your mind in mid-action, then your partner has to accept the fact that you have withdrawn your consent. Any attempt to claim that you cannot withdraw after you have consented, then he is trying to force himself on to you, and that is rape.

Sex has been likened to boxing, so if both parties did not fully agree to participate, then one party is committing a crime. Coerced consent is considered rape. Saying no multiple times and then saying yes once, is not tantamount to real obtained consent. This is known as coerced consent and technically classified as rape. Individuals do change their mind about engaging in the sexual act, but such a decision must be freely made in the absence of pressure or coercion. People respond to coercion for divers reasons, from fear of violence to concern about emotional repercussions, and those are just the tip of the iceberg. No is really no, not maybe, perhaps, or if you keep on asking I may change my mind.

Another aspect to be taken into consideration is that saying yes once does not mean yes forever.

Being forced to do something sexual against your will, such as assuming or maintaining  a particular position, or utilization of a different orifice during the act is also considered rape.

From time immemorial society has laid the blame for rape at the feet of the women, blaming them for allowing themselves to be raped.  Advice had been don’t get raped instead of don’t rape. Parents are tasked with having substantive talk with their young males/ females, so that from early a clear understanding is grasped regarding the implications and ramifications of sexual encounters and the sexual act. On the other hand the church may find itself in the lurch, if the shepherd preys on those who pray, or is found among the young with resultant sordid news and views emanating from the pews. This issue should be addressed without delay by the various religious dioceses.

Like any other violently traumatic situation or bereavement, rape is an emotional volcano that alters the landscape of people’s lives.On a regular basisin our daily lives and in innumerable settings we solicit and earn consent from each other.  On the surface consent appears to be a simple thing. Mutual consent remains the cornerstone of the social day by day, minute by minute transactions around which our human worlds revolve, regardless of what form the delivery may take, whether it be a nod, a handshake or a signed contract.

This having been elucidated, pray tell me why does such a simple thing as consent, that we honor, negotiate  and renegotiate almost constantly, become so complicated and complex in a sexual context?

At its very nucleus consent is an act of communication, and for inexplicable and incomprehensible reasons that have baffled so many, sex remains area in which far too many of us are still struggling to communicate.

So until the mystery is solved and before they hop males should pay attention to gestures or notions indicating STOP.  If you disregard what the female has to say, you will find yourself before the courts with a high price to pay.

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  • Bernard N. Singh  On 01/13/2018 at 12:51 pm


  • Albert  On 01/13/2018 at 10:14 pm

    Reading this piece give the impression that the deck is stack against men.

    – which healthy male In the course of “normal” sex would be able to stop nearing ejection if the woman suddenly change her mind….. maybe because the boy does not mumble yes to marriage.

    -Is it coerce consent if a spouse/lover threaten to go find another man to have sex if her spouse/lover does not give her what she wants, tonight.

    – Is it rape if a 30+ years woman have sex with a 15 years old male. If not, why not.
    No wonder so many men headed for the brothel to get a sexual release.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 01/15/2018 at 10:35 am

    WARNING: This is very graphic and would likely offend sensitive minds.

    Albert: I saw the claim about comedian Ansari in another feed last night. This one is lengthy. I am no fan of Ansari or any of the entertainment people but the story is relevant and reveals the hypocrisy among women in the “Me Too” movement. Surprised Oprah doesn’t notice it.

    Below also is ‘feminist anti-feminist’ weighing-in. Followed her in the late 80’s-90’s as I saw her as the only sane/rational academic and ‘lightening-rod’ out there. So, I just googled her name to see what she is up to. Lots more of her videos and writings are available


  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 01/16/2018 at 9:28 pm

    HLN anchor Ashleigh Banfield skewered the woman who publicly attacked Aziz Ansari, saying that she has sullied the #MeToo movement and her remedy was simply to get up and leave his apartment.
    Ashleigh called the anonymous accuser’s attack “appalling,” mocking her comment that the date was the worst night of her life. The anchor said her sexual encounter with Aziz was not sexual assault or harassment … it was simply an unpleasant date.
    Ashleigh goes on to say she had the option to walk out the door rather than continue to engage in sexual contact with him. What’s worse, Ashleigh says the woman is gunning to ruin Aziz’s life over a bad date.

    Banfield’s reasoning is the same as Camille Paglia’s: “get up an leave”,
    but she was obviously enjoying what she had participated in so far.

    PREDICTION: The obvious fallout of this ‘enjoy but then complain for the sake of sisterhood and MeToo fame’ is that men will shy away from dating women. The West will join China and India in a marriage (even dating & common-law) crisis.


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