On Sunday, Humans of New York posted a young woman’s powerful words about consent on Facebook.
“We were in his basement late one night, getting drunk, and he kept asking me if I wanted to do it,” she said, about an incident with her “make out buddy” when she was in high school.
“I kept saying: ‘maybe,’ ‘maybe,’ ‘maybe.’ Then he said: ‘No more maybes. Let’s flip a coin.’ My stomach sank.”
In the post, the young woman discusses how she struggled with feelings of self-doubt and self-blame after the incident.
In the post’s conclusion, she explains how she ultimately came to terms with the true meaning of consent: “For the longest time I felt like it was my fault for feeling hurt. Like I was being overly sensitive. It took five years for me to realize that consent is not a coin flip.”
The post inspired many people to reply and comment about the issue of affirmative consent. One person wrote, “This is so important. Even if a yes is the answer. It’s not consent if you’re made to be afraid of saying no.” Many of the commenters also shared their own stories of sexual assault in solidarity with the woman photographed.
The post is a much-needed reminder that only yes means yes. Anything else is a no.