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Dear Jacqueline Fernandez, It’s High Time You And Other Celebs Understand That Consent Matters

Posted: May 31, 2018

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In a recent incident, actor Jacqueline Fernandez coerced a seven year old boy to hug her when he clearly did not want to. When will celebrities learn the importance of Consent?

‘No’ means ‘No’.

Perhaps, consent is the most important lesson to learn towards the ending of rape culture and toxic masculinity. However, a lot of times we tend to forget how casually we violate another individual’s consent and don’t even think twice about it. Take a look at this clip for example.

This young boy wasn’t interested in hugging Jacqueline Fernandez. Period.
Couldn’t his decision be respected and shouldn’t the matter have ended there?
Why did Salman Khan have to force him to still hug Jacqueline when he clearly said, “NO.” And he made him hug her not once but twice!

So what if Jacqueline is a celebrity and a female?
So what if the child is a male?
How does that make it alright or justify the very act of violating his consent?

You want little boys to understand the concept of consent when they grow up? You need to respect their voices too! How can we just simply assume that every little kid would want to hug a celebrity?

Mere lip service is not enough to end rape culture. It needs lifelong learning which should begin from when an individual is a child. Children are much less judgmental and more open to learning new things and hence, it is important to teach them about the matter of respecting their own bodies as well as those of others from a young age.

The message that a little child might get when they are forced to hug or kiss someone they aren’t comfortable with, is that “I do not have the absolute right over my own body.”

Imagine, how vulnerable a child might become when they’re confronted by a sexual predator. We hear so many stories of children remaining silent about being abused. Why do you think that is? With such actions, aren’t we responsible for indirectly perpetrating the message that their consent might not matter?

Also, imagine what lessons they might carry into their adulthood. A boy might think that forcing himself upon a girl without her consent is no big deal. A girl likewise might feel that her consent has no value and if she is abused, she had ‘asked for it’.

Let us be more careful with our behavior around children. We cannot forget that children learn more from our actions than from our words. In order to build a society where consent is of utmost importance, we need to teach individuals from an young age itself that their decisions regarding their bodies are respected, without any questions asked.

Image is a still of Jacqueline Fernandez from Kick

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