Even though the words "no means no" are repeated often in conversations about rape and sexual assault, there still seems to be confusion about what the word consent actually means.
Perhaps the confusion lies in how consent is communicated. Some people feel that consent begins with how a woman dresses, so if she wears provocative clothing, she's agreeing to sexual assault, inappropriate touches, groping, and cat calling. Wherever the confusion lies, the solution of a woman dressing according to how she wants the world to view her keeps being brought up in conversations about consent. But that idea keeps getting proven wrong, especially when conservatively dressed women, whether she's wearing a hijab or jeans, are reported as rape victims in the news.
In the end, it doesn't matter why or where the uncertainly looms, how a woman dresses has absolutely nothing to do with consent.
[easy-tweet tweet="How a woman dresses has absolutely nothing to do with consent. "]
Fortunately, Amber Rose was able to break down the word and dispel any doubts during her appearance on the OWN show, "It's Not You, It's Men" with Tyrese and Rev. Run.
The conversation started with Amber saying that she is always inappropriately touched by both men and women, and it get's to be too much.
“When I walk down the street, people think because I’m famous, or I’m cool and I’m taking pictures, that they can just grab my ass or put their hand under my skirt or [say], ‘Oh Amber, can I come grab your boobs?'
...Girls do that to me all the time, and it does get like, I love you girls so much, but it does get like, stop grabbing on my boobs constantly and my butt...And guys, too. This is my privacy.”
Tyrese tried to explain that the energy a woman sends out with the way that she dresses may be part of the reason why people felt compelled to touch her inappropriately. But Muva wasn't having it, and she broke it down for the homie really quickly.
Tyrese: The comfortability that people find in wanting to touch or grope you, or feel like just like...it's an energy that's being sent out there that creates that type of response.
Amber: No it doesn't, and I'm [going to] tell you why, If I'm laying down with a man butt naked, and his condom is on, and I say, 'You know what? No, I don't want to do this, I changed my mind.' That means no! That mean's f*cking no, that's it!
It doesn't matter how far I take it, or what I have on, when I say 'no' it means 'no.'
Rev. Run jumped in the conversation, and added that there was truth in the idea that women should "dress how you want to be addressed," and Amber shut the Rev down with that idea.
Amber: Oh boo! No, that's not realistic. Stop it! If I want to wear a short skirt, or a tank top, and I'm at the club and I'm having fun with my friends and I feel sexy, I'm not DTF. I'm not even looking at you. I don't even want to have sex with you. I didn't come here to have sex. I didn't come here to hook up with nobody. I came out here with my girls, and I just feel pretty. I'm not asking for nothing.
She brought home her sermon by giving it to Rev. Run and Tyrese plain and simple: society is to blame for the idea that a women should cover up in order to avoid being slut shamed or raped. She said,
And I'm not mad at ya'll, because that's how society raised all of us. I'm a former slut shamer, I've called women whores a million times, you know what I'm saying? And now I'm not. I'm a former slut shamer, and I have a slut walk, so like I said, society teaches us to be that way. You see a woman that's like, dressed provocative, and you're just like, 'She's loose.'
There's a lot a validity to what Amber has to say about consent. A woman shouldn't have to dress like a pilgrim in order to not be looked at as an object,
because an entitled man is going to look at her like an object anyway.
We can only hope that in the future, the conversation of men addressing a woman with respect will be more important in combating rape and rape culture, rather than focusing on the a woman chooses to wear.
Watch the full episode tonight on OWN at 9 p.m. ET tonight.