Consent

For my final paper I want to write about the importance of consent. I want to examine Dawn and how it shows what happens when people don’t believe in consent and coercion runs rampant. I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far the sections that I am thinking about using are the examples of Lilith being operated on her without her consent, of her being controlled by being forced to live in an incubator and isolation, of her being forced into the dangerous situation of sexual and physical abuse, and of her being manipulated into getting her mind altered. I also want to contrast these examples by showing that Paul does not ask for her consent because he was a child when they took him without his consent and being raised in this way he does not know to ask her for her consent for sex, he has not had a human to teach him this. The final example from the text I want to use is where she is given the option to end her life, which is the one opportunity where she holds complete controlled consent over her life. I will seek to show that consent is essential to maintaining a free society of individuals. I plan on using official definitions of consent to show how it is not given to her in the book. My goal is to simply prove the importance of consent in any situation where to not ask would be to violate someone.

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One response to “Consent

  1. Fascinating topic, Madeline. You might like to think about implied consent, especially in relation to your stated goal — like is there ever a situation in which to not ask is to violate someone? It seems to me like some of that is rolled into the social contract (which is mostly about implied consent to certain normative behaviours and practices); where we tend to start talking about consent is when “implied consent” is abused, as much as when literal consent is absent or ignored. This is part of the reason folks now talk about affirmitive (and sometimes enthusiastic) consent, suggesting that it’s not enough not to say no, your partner has to say yes.

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