Consent In The Pagan World
So the conversation starts like this.
Friend:“Hey what you up to?”
Me: “Watching people dance naked around the fire”
Friend: “Just women dancing?”
Me: “Yep it’s awesome, the men are drumming but some are getting up and dancing too”
Friend: “How does this not turn in to an orgy?”
Me: “Why Would it?”
Friend: “Women dancing mostly or totally naked would get me excited”
So I wanted to speak to people about this, because it seems to be a thing that’s not totally discussed in the general public. First I would like to say that my friend is a non-pagan that being said I was totally confused by this conversation. I honestly had to not respond because I truly didn’t know how to, because how do you respond to this. Well simple really but it took me a little while to figure that out and how I wanted to approach it.
This conversation boils down to consent, does a woman who as more clothing have any less right to consent then a women who is naked? NO both women still have the right of consent, because nakedness or lack of clothing does not imply consent and just because a women is naked does not mean you have the right to take that as her giving consent.
This is something that, while I find common place in this rape culture of ours, I find the mind set of it all very disturbing. It made me think if I was standing there naked would he take that as my consent to make advancements? While i would like to believe my friend wouldn’t it is a fact a very high percent of women are raped by someone they knew or know. check out the chart below.
So What is consent?
As Defined by Canadian law, See the rest here
A Definition of Consent to Sexual Activity
Section 273.1 provides a definition of consent for the purposes of the sexual assault offences and for greater certainty, sets out specific situations that do not constitute consent at law.
Subsection 273.1(1) defines consent as the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question. Conduct short of a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity does not constitute consent as a matter of law.
For greater certainty, subsection 273.1(2) sets out specific situations where there is no consent in law; no consent is obtained:
- where the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant
- where the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity
- where the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority
- where the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity, or
- where the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.
In most pagan circles consent is defined by each person emphatically agreeing and many of the the groups that I have been to have a simple set of rules when it comes to conduct the two main ones being.
- Yes means Yes and No means No.
- Don’t be an Asshole.
We tend to take the whole consenting adults thing very seriously as there are many in the pagan community who have been raped. I have been one of them, so it really drives home why a bunch of mostly naked dancing women having fun at a pagan camp would not be approached and why this gathering would not simply degenerate down into a orgy. It’s all about consent both of the males and the females, it doesn’t matter because either can be raped.
Our culture these days are full of people who take this common thing “consent” and ignore it. I find in the pagan community we will let the women approach the men more often and even if this isn’t the case the pagan man still respects the “No” and that follows one of our biggest rule “don’t be and asshole” However the opposite is also true if a women is turned down she will respect it and I guess that’s how we look at these things is through a lens of respect for people.
How do you view consent? Let me know in the comments below
~The Wyrding Wytch