“We tell our kids no means no, but what happens if you’re an adult and don’t say no?” she said. “What if you froze through lack of confidence, through disbelief, and said nothing?”
Anna walked away, unsure if she was madder at you or herself for not being more forceful.
In the age of social media and revenge porn, our kids have grown up knowing all about consent. Is it time the previous generation – many heading back into dating after divorce – had a refresher course on what’s fun and what’s against the law, in business and pleasure?
This week, a former employee of ex-federal MP Craig Kelly told a Sydney court she didn’t speak up about his chief-of-staff Frank Zumbo indecently touching her because she feared retribution. The young woman said on multiple occasions Zumbo, 55, would “rub his hand down my thigh and against my vagina. It was very uncomfortable”.
Arguing he tried to create a collegial work environment, Zumbo has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges over conduct alleged by five women.
As women, we stay silent about a lot. Snoring. Empty hidden bottles. Wrong shoes. Remote control tyranny. And assault. Which by its nature is outside the realm of our normal experience and interplay with people, so when it happens what we do is assess how best to escape.
Stopping assault requires us to do something visible, to almost make a scene. That makes us feel we’re escalating something which is already awful. My generation was raised to be polite, to not rock the boat. To let things drop, say nothing. So we do.
Anna, you did nothing wrong. Rich guy, you did. Your first-date technique needs work, or maybe a police doorknock.
Kate Halfpenny is the founder of Bad Mother Media.
More from our award-winning columnists
The sum of us: According to research, Australians are becoming dumber when it comes to financial literacy. Can you answer these five money questions? And if you can’t, what should you do? – Jessica Irvine
Profit or people: Greedy landlords are feeding the rental crisis: “Landlordism has gone wild in this country, enabled by real estate agents. The state government ignores the problem.” – Jenna Price
Crazy hours: If you want to climb the political ladder in Canberra and change Australia, shouldn’t you expect 70-hour work weeks, or is something wrong with the democratic system that demands it? – Sean Kelly
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.