Over the summer, there was a story about Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller grabbed at Rhythem and Vines festival because she was topless. Annello-Kitzmiler and her friend Jolene Guillum-Scott are organising a Glitter March in Auckland to raise awareness of consent and is already facing threats to be “mowed down”.
It is time for people to understand the word “respect”. It doesn’t matter whether the person is naked or not, it is not okay to touch. It doesn’t matter if the person looks different, it is not for you to touch.
Late last year I came across the article about a heavily tattooed woman who talked about her experience and how people constantly being touched and harassed. You see similar blog posts such as “Don’t Touch My Tattoo“, “No Touching! And other useful rules for Tattoo Etiquette“, “On tattoos and personal space“, and “respecting the body and teaching consent”.
I have the added “strangeness” of having coloured hair. So I constantly have people touching, grabbing and asking questions about my tattoos and hair. I don’t understand why anyone think it is okay to touch you simply because you look “different”. Somehow if you look different, this is an “invitation” to invade my personal space, my body and it is my fault that I demand respect and consent.
It is never okay to touch anybody, irrespective of what they look like, what they wear, and how they look because you are either curious or think this is an invitation to touch. The Wellington Police launched “Don’t Guess the Yes” and “#BetterDecision” campaign in December to raise awareness around sexual consent in the holiday period. If there is no explicit consent, don’t do it.
When are we going to learn, no consent doesn’t mean a yes? Still don’t know what consent means? Check out this New Zealand Police website.