Consent Laid Bare | Chanel Contos and Rebecca Sparrow | Avid Reader
Sunday, 17 September 2023
A battle cry from a generation no longer willing to stay silent, this book is a must for women, and men, navigating desire in the age of entitlement.
You are a fourteen-year-old girl at a party. You are drunk. All your friends are drunk. A boy is pressuring you to have sex. You don't really want to, but you don't know how to say no. You really want him to like you. So you say yes, at least you think you say yes. You can't remember. What you do remember is the shame that follows.
This scenario plays out across Australia, every weekend. We know, because in 2021, Chanel Contos invited girls and women to provide testimonials of their most negative sexual experiences. The nearly 7000 responses described behaviour that is, at best, chronically anti-social and, at worst, constitutes rape. Virtually none of these instances has been reported, let alone prosecuted, but as a result of Chanel's advocacy single-sex schools are going co-ed, laws have changed across Australia, schools have amped up their sex ed and politicians have been forced to act.
Knowledge is power. Consent Laid Bare is a conversation starter that will help young women feel less alone, less likely to feel pressured into sexual encounters that they don't want, less ashamed if they find themselves in a tricky situation, and more inclined to hold their perpetrators to account in the moment and afterwards. It will help young men understand that there is a point where pressuring behaviour becomes criminal. It is the book we wish wasn't necessary, but that we know is absolutely crucial reading.