Originally published: 27.03.15
By now, there are few people who haven’t heard of Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction. News of his departure has been greeted with a variety of reactions, from the slight mocking of the band, to jokes that Jeremy Clarkson was taking his place, and from the fans of the band, genuine upset. It’s something that has become a point of mocking, and –in a more worrying aspect – a point of genuine derision.
Upset at band members leaving successful groups is by no means a new phenomenon. I was in junior school when Robbie Williams left Take That, and remember genuine upset between my friends. In a way, many of my friends entered a sense of mourning for the band they had been invested in since the band had first become famous. Even before the days of social media, the days of Tumblr and Twitter, there was that united grief for a day or two, before the class discussions moved on to other matters. Had the internet been as widely accessible in 1995, I suspect the Take That fans would have received much of the same treatment that has been afforded the predominantly young and predominantly female fans of One Direction over the past few days.
Originally published: 10.08.13
I want to start this post by clarifying that I obviously accept that consent is an important legal requirement for a variety of things, including surgical procedures and sexual activity. I also understand why it is politically expedient to endorse a ‘black and white’ view of consent with a view to challenging rape culture, and I do not dispute the fact that rape is not a ‘grey area’. My post here is not concerned with the issue of nonconsent, which mainstream feminism largely does a good job of addressing. Rather, my concerns are pointed in the opposite direction: the inadequacy of consent.
I was first made aware of Consensual Spin The Bottle about two months ago by a friend of mine, who seemed to find it as noble as she did exciting. The premise of the game is simple: you spin the bottle while sitting in a circle, and instead of being obliged to kiss the person it points to upon its rest, you must instead obtain consent for whatever act you want the person to perform (and I use the word perform very mindfully indeed here) with you. If they consent, you both do whatever you requested. If they refuse, then you don’t. If they suggest an alternative, you can consent to this, or decline. So far, so middle school. I wasn’t overly interested, mostly because what are you like 13? Spin the bottle? Give me a fucking break. Better yet: give me a pizza, a joint, Blue Planet in HD and leave me at home alone if that’s what your parties are like. Anyway, I digress.
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