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Ruth Mave: Understanding non-consensual sex

Monday December 09, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion
Column writer Ruth Mave says sex should always be consensual.  19120817 Column writer Ruth Mave says sex should always be consensual. 19120817

When talking about sex, we often make it easier by referring to the topic as something else, such as the ‘birds and the bees’!


 In 2015, the Thames Valley Police in England, used a cartoon video, to help the public understand the subject of sexual consent, highlighting the face that ‘sex without consent is rape.’  The cartoon video helped many understand consent in a simple analogy to making a cup of tea.  Instead of saying, “Do you want sex?” the cartoon said, “Do you want a cup of tea?” 

Here in the Cook Islands, one might instead say, “Do you want a nu?”

You may ask, “Aue, you wanna nu to drink?”  To which you might receive the response, “Oh yeah, nah, not sure...”

Never the less, you husk them a nu, but you need to keep in mind, they may not drink the nu.  If they don’t wish to drink the nu, and this is what needs to be important clarification – don’t make them drink the nu.  Just because you husked the nu, doesn’t mean you are entitled to watch them drink the nu. They are under no obligation to drink the nu.

If the response is, “Kare meitaki,” then don’t husk them a nu at all.  Don’t even grow annoyed at them for not wanting the nu. They just simply don’t want the nu.

Sometimes it may seem one wants to receive the nu from you, and then, all of a sudden it seems they don’t. People change their mind, and it is allowed for people to change their mind.

If someone is unconscious, they especially do not want to drink nu, and don’t assume they do want to. Don’t even ask the question, “Do you want a nu?” because, being unconscious, they are unable to answer.

If a conscious person said ‘yes’ to your nu, and started drinking, then passed out before finishing the nu, then don’t expect them to finish the nu. Take the nu away and make sure they are safe.  They have gone from a state of consciousness to unconsciousness and thus have become a point of concern.

If someone said ‘yes’ to drinking nu at your house last Saturday, that doesn’t mean they now want your nu all the time. They also don’t want you to turn up to their place unexpectedly, with nu, expecting them to drink the nu. Nor do they wish to hear you say, “…but you wanted nu last week.”

It appears ludicrous to force someone to drink your nu, especially when they don’t even want your nu. 

However, if you can understand the analogy of not wanting to drink someone’s nu, then you should be able to understand non-consensual sex. 

If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, then they don’t want to have sex with you. Whether it is nu or sex, consent is everything.

If the topic of the ‘birds and the bees’ is all too complicated, then it may be best to just make your own cup of tea, or husk yourself your own nu!


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