More than 20 years ago, a student organization created an anti-rape slogan that became known worldwide: No Means No. Since the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS-FCEE) launched the No Means No campaign more than 20 years ago, it has become one of the most well-known public service campaigns, even showing up in pop-culture references.
However, 20 years later, some people are saying that the slogan does not go far enough. Sure, no means no, but what else means no? What means yes?
The CFS-FCEE has expanded the meaning of "no" in its current incarnation of the No Means No campaign:
That last one creeps up in headlines again and again, reaching fever-pitch during the trial of two high school football players in the Steubenville rape case. The two teens had cell phone video of them raping and sexually assaulting a teen girl who was heavily intoxicated and unconscious. Supporters of the boys argued that, by getting so drunk she passed out, the girl was essentially responsible for her own rape. Some believe that because she couldn't say no, she was in essence saying yes.
Those who hold such a belief need to take note: If a person can't say no, he or she can't say yes, either. If a person doesn't assent, there is no consent. Sex without consent is rape.
A Tulsa man was arrested late last week after police acting on a tip identified him as the man seen having sex with an unconscious woman in a cell phone video. Police showed the video to the alleged victim, who was "visibly shaken" upon seeing her assault.
The woman told police that she had gone to her boyfriend's apartment earlier in the week, where she, her boyfriend, and his roommate drank alcohol and smoked marijuana. She says that she passed out after drinking and smoking and does not recall the assault; however, she says she did not consent to sex with the man in the video, identified as Willie Donnell Jackson, 20. In fact, she says she does not even remember him being present at the apartment that day.
A police report says the video shows the woman to be "obviously unconscious and unresponsive." Other men were seen in the video manipulating the woman's body "like a rag doll" to pose for pictures with her.
Oklahoma rape law identifies specific acts that constitute rape. Among them is "an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator . . . where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this fact is known to the accused" (21 O.S. 1111A5). This is one of the seven acts of rape classified as rape in the first degree.
Jackson was charged with first degree rape and rape by instrumentation in the assault. He is being held in the Tulsa County Jail on $75,000 bond.
- "No thanks" means no.
- "I'm not sure" means no.
- "I'd rather be alone" means no.
- "I don't feel like it" means no.
- "I changed my mind" means no.
- Silence means no.