Call for Artists

My brilliant artist sistren and brothers. WomenSpeak is going to be doing a little series next week about “Sex and Consent” and I’m looking for some original images that I can use to accompany articles or use as posters on their own. It can be a logo like this or a photo like this or any other visual representation of the topic. 

Let me know if you are interested. You can email me at womenspeakproject@gmail.com if you want more info, message me on twitter or submit your pieces on the tumblr submit page.

More info below

What is consent? Does silence equal consent? If you didn’t fight, is it consent? Does submissive indicate lack of consent? How is sex different when you are in control of what is happening? When you are clear about what you want and don’t want? How can women become more assertive about consent? How do you have the awkward talk about condoms, stds, anal?

In a 2000 report on adolescent health in the Caribbean, 47% of teenage girls who had had sex said their first sexual activity was forced or somewhat forced. The Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago said that out of the 123 cases of rape reported to them in 2010 (excluding incest (63) and child sexual abuse (173)) by far the majority were committed by someone known to the victim and many were instances date rape.

So often the way girls understand their role in relationships is to be the submissive or expect the man to take the lead. This sometimes leaves young women wondering if they were forced into sex or did they really consent. 

WomenSpeak will be doing a series on Sex and Consent. Various contributors will give their views on consent and related themes of compliance, submission and assertiveness in sexual activity. 

All form of expression on the topic is welcome – Art, Poetry, Photography, short film, First Person Narrative.

You can also look at our posts tagged sex and relationships and consent to help get your head around the issues.

Accepting submissions through Aug 1-12. 

Or Share your story anonymously here.

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Adolescent Sexual Initiation

 

A 2000 report titled “A Portrait of Adolescent Health in the Caribbean”, sponsored by PAHO, surveyed over 15 000 adolescents between the ages of 10-18 from 9 Caribbean countries. 22% of female adolescents indicated they had had sexual intercourse. Of these 22%, nearly half of the girls (47%) indicated that their first sex was forced or somewhat forced.

  • Does this surprise you?
  • What are some of the implications of these figures?
  • If this report came out in 2000, what do you think the situation is like in 2011? Better? Worse?

Join the discussion on facebook.

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My gf & I watched a movie that raised a debate between us. Does Marriage Imply Consent?

No. Absolutely not! When we marry we do not become property. We have a right to our own bodies. Marital Rape is said to occur when a spouse or domestic partner engages in sexual intercourse without the woman’s consent or reckless disregard for such consent, or such consent is extorted through threat or fear of bodily harm.

Marital rape is a form of domestic violence and is often preceded by or accompanied by other types of domestic abuse such as verbal threats and denigrating language, physical assault and other actions aimed at maintaining control and dominance over a partner. The results of Marital Rape are just as traumatic as other forms of rape and can result in physical, emotional and psychological trauma where the rape survivor has feelings of fear, revulsion, depression or anger. Because the perpetrator was at one time trusted and loved, the survivor is likely to deal with bitter feelings of betrayal, confusion and powerlessness.

In Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica and other countries in the Caribbean, Marital Rape is a crime punishable by imprisonment. In Trinidad and Tobago the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2000 states that a husband or cohabitant who is guilty of rape “is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life or any other punishment which may be imposed by law.” The Act also protects in cases of “Grievous Sexual Assault” which are sexual acts that do not include penetration vaginally or anally with the penis.

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http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Where Is Your Line? is a campaign by The Line (based in the USA); a movement urging young people everywhere to become more comfortable setting sexual boundaries, encourage verbal consent in sexual situations, and spread the word- that consensual sex is hot sex!

WomenSpeak is all for women speaking up and standing up for themselves in their intimate and romantic relationships. Where is your line? 

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It’s not rape but it’s not right

I don’t know if this counts as discrimination but I know that I feel confused and violated.

Many years ago, there was a guy in my class at university that I really liked. He seemed to like me too. We started spending time together and from very early on he wanted a sexual relationship. I thought that it was too soon and that we should get to know each other better but he wasn’t interested in a relationship.

I guess I was really lonely and I did enjoy his attention so I kept spending time with him and we did have some heavy foreplay but I would always stop him. Eventually he told me that if I didn’t want to have sex that we shouldn’t be spending so much time together. So one night after we had this same conversation and he told me that I should go home, I didn’t.  He then told me he was going to have sex with me. I said no but I didn’t resist when he took off my clothes. 

When we finished having sex he told me to go home. That night, I sat in my room and wondered what had happened to me. I wasn’t raped. But I had sex with him even though I would have preferred that we be in a relationship. 

What is worse is that I had sex with him several times after that. But that first time is not how I would have wanted it to be.

I felt stupid and weak. I thought that I was the type of girl who could stand up for myself but when the time came I just let him have his way. I participated, so I can’t blame him. But, I feel as though I let myself down.

When I look back on it I think to myself that I gave him too much of my power. Or that I didn’t exercise my own power. I am timid to get involved with men. I put up defenses so that I don’t get taken advantage of. I want to be the kind of woman who can say no and walk away. I want to always feel like my decisions are mine, not that they were forced on me. 

Celia

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