Consent Is Not Defined In One Word

I cannot begin to count the times I wish I’d said “No” but didn’t
I don’t count them all as a force to which I didn’t allow or concede
I may have pushed them away once or twice, turned my head, tried to move from underneath a weighted body
But some of these times, it was not a one-night stand, it was not a third date, it was not a stranger
It was a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a friend, a lover, a person I knew, a person I loved
I gave in because saying “No” was so much more complicated and required a conversation I didn’t wish to have, or feelings that would be hurt (I never thought of mine)
I gave in, I gave up
It can be just as easy to go through the motions as it can be to remain motionless
It’s so much easier to say “Yes,” isn’t it?
Even if it’s never said out loud
I said it when I stopped pushing them away, stopped turning my head, stopped trying to move from under a weighted body
I said it when I simply stopped moving altogether
I consented by thinking it’d be easier ON ME to do nothing at all
Consent looks so much more complicated when looking back
It’s not all defined by one word
The times I fought so hard I was left with bruises, scars, teeth marks, tears, ripped underwear, rug burns, and broken bones were so much harder, weren’t they?
The times I said “No” out loud, full force, screamed it at the top of my lungs, only to have it shoved right back in my mouth and down my throat, because how dare I oppose, how dare I have a voice, I didn’t win then, did I?
The times I was too drunk to move, too drugged to know what was happening, except that I didn’t want it, too high to form words, that’s really my own fault, isn’t it?
Consent looks so much more complicated when looking back
It’s not all defined in one word
It was easier on me to give up, to give in, to be silent
Wasn’t it?


Like this post? Check out Rape: Should Not Be From Someone You Love.
by Heather Griffiths

Receptionist and Esthetician by day, Poet and Scribbler of thoughts by night. Words are the glue that hold my pieces together. I am but a vital and tiny cog. Peace & Kindness, Sarcasm & Laughter. Feminist.

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2 responses to “Consent Is Not Defined In One Word

  1. I was very moved by this. It was very touching & I feel many people have felt similar in many situations. Love this poet!

  2. Wow. Reading this brought me to tears. You are so brave to submit this. I’m very proud of you and love you so much. ❤

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