Oxford dictionary has a pretty simple definition of consent—“Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” But it seems like the whole world (especially men) are still scurrying to understand what consent means when it comes to navigating sexual boundaries.
Apparently, for a lot of them, understanding consent is somewhat like rocket science. Except that it’s not. And if all the messages, marches and telling them repeatedly that ‘No’ means ‘No’ hasn’t worked, maybe it’s time for a 12-year-old to show how exactly it’s done.
Simone Policano, an actress, and producer, took to Facebook to share what happened when she was to film a kissing scene with a 12-year-old.
“I filmed a scene today with a young child actor who had to quickly peck me on the lips as I tucked him into bed. The moment in the film is supposed to be somewhat uncomfortable, unexpected,” she wrote.
Policano had met the kid five days ago during the shoot. Although, as Policano writes, that he had read the script and was aware that the kiss was coming, the production team was nervous about making him uncomfortable.
“He’s young and doesn’t know me all that well and it’s a lot to ask of a kid who met you five days ago,” she wrote on Facebook.
Finally, the day arrived when the scene was to be shot.
But something unexpected happened.
When the director announced they were going to shoot the kissing scene, the young actor pulled Policano in and whispered to her, “Hey Simone, I want to make sure you’re okay with everything that happens with the kiss. Do you feel okay? Please tell me if I’m ever doing too much or if I hurt you or make you feel scared.”
After every take of a 0.3-second peck, the 12-year-old actor grabbed Policano’s hand and whispered, “Was that okay? Did you feel okay?”
And then they would high-five.
“He’s 12. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the male inability to understand consent is innate. It is learned.”
Dear men folks of the world, maybe now you know how to understand consent. Ask. It’s that simple.
Read the Facebook post here: