Abuse

Consent and Mental Health: They Matter And You Have A Responsibility To Demand Better Out Of Humanity

Someone, and I won’t say who to protect both their identity and their feelings, accidentally posted a nude photo of themselves, and now that photo is being shared without this person’s consent. Even though this person has asked that it not be shared.

Consent is a huge part of my mental health journey, personally, because of the number of years that my consent wasn’t taken into consideration by the men who abused me.

This whole situation has inspired me to talk about the importance of consent, and why it fucking matters.

Consent is a boundary, and when you knowingly cross that boundary, you leave feelings of resentment and anger, hurt and pain, behind. This is never okay.

This person has asked repeatedly that the photo not be shared, and those who claim to be fans have said that “they will be fine“, you don’t know that.

There have been plenty of people who have committed suicide after having their nude photos shared with the world, and while that is an extreme reaction, it’s a possibility whether you like it or not.

How would you feel then? And yes I am trying to shame you into remembering that consent matters, and you have a responsibility to ensure that you don’t cross that boundary and cause harm. By you, I mean “we“.

We have no idea how our behavior is going to be received by other people, how their mental health status might affect their perceptions of our behavior. Thus it’s ultimately important that we try to be on our best behavior at all times.

We keep talking about how we want a better future for our children. Every generation since the beginning of time has said they want the next generation to have it better then the last, and if that’s true, if we’re really truly about that life, then we have to make a concentrated effort to make it happen. Now.

Sure it’s nice to know that people we admire make mistakes, but it’s important for us not to capitalize on those mistakes, by making them feel worse.

I feel like if we’re ever going to change the world, we need to stop expecting the next generation to do better than we do, and just start doing better ourselves.

When I think about this person who accidentally released their own photo, I am reminded of someone I love a lot, someone who I look up to and often call my Super Hero. I really love this person that I am thinking of.

If this person I care about was in this same situation, okay I am not going to lie, I kind of laughed, and I probably would still laugh, because sometimes it’s funny to see people who look so high up to, making mistakes. HOWEVER, then I would sober up and try to check in with them and see how they’re feeling.

Embarrassment, shame, anxiety, all things that we go through when we’ve made a mistake, no matter how big or small, each of us has at one time or another, experienced these emotions after making a mistake.

Knowing that, why would you want to make someone you care about feel worse, by rubbing the mistake in their face over and over again? I know that I wouldn’t. I never want the people that I care about to hurt.

I want people to feel safe around me, and that means accepting responsibility for my actions, and behaving in a way that ensures that my actions do not cause pain to those around me. Whether or not I am close personal friends with that person.

You and only you, can decide how you want people to feel in your presence. You and only you can decide if you want to be the kind of person the people you claim to like, might want in their lives.

I feel like claiming to respect someone, and then sharing their nude photo after they have asked you not to, sort of makes you a bully, and I definitely feel like this is not the kind of person or people that I want in my life. I’ve met far too many of those types in my past.

It’s not just the being mean part they get off on, it’s the power, and it says a lot about someone who is willing to do something after consent has been denied, then it does about the person denying the consent.

I can only imagine the panic and shame this person is experiencing right now, because I know that if it were me, and they were my nude photos, and yes, there are some out there, I would be ashamed, I would feel absolutely disgusted to see so much of myself out there in the world.

Sometimes we need to rally around those we claim to care about, and do what we can to mitigate the damage from their mistakes, this particular cases is one of those moments.

You can be the hero who helps protect and shield people, or you can be a part of the group that tears people down. You can’t have it both ways.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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