Education Essay / Paragraph / Note

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Essay, Speech, Debate

Why saying ‘yes’ to the ‘only yes means yes’ BILL is AFFIRMATIVE OF A SAFE FUTURE FOR WOMEN

-Zitien Tickoo

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Essay, Speech, Debate

As the times progress, so do the mindsets of the general public. Alongside the more broad-minded approach with which the public has begun to view life, a more complex understanding of right and wrong is gained between even the common laymen, too. In today’s avant-garde times, it is agreed that the citizens of the public have the power to affect the core of our justice system; sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the best. However, the fact that is highly debated even today is the extent to which our power can go, and what the ramifications of an oddly subservient government can be. The ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill that is yet to be passed in the Spanish Senate is a perfect example of such.

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‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Debate

The ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill, in essence, has a black-and-white approach to what can be usually viewed as a highly incomprehensive and perversely diverse issue: sex crimes. This includes, but is not restricted to, sexual assault, harassment, abuse, grooming, rape and more. The Bill intended to be a roadblock, once and for all, to the steadily increasing sex crimes rate in Spain (studies show an overall 14% rise in registered sexual assault cases, 2021). The Bill, under the circumstance that it is passed, will not necessitate victims of sexual assault to supply any tangible evidence of sexual reluctance on the victims’ part. It further states that any sexual act coerced without solid consent of the other party will be discerned as sexual assault and thus will be punishable by law (be it between spouses, lovers, or couples of any kind). As a provision, juvenile victims of both sexes will have designated organizations would be established; plus, academic and well-being professionals would collaborate to guarantee that these victims felt secured.

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Essay

In short, this Bill will make legal processions and convictions of sexual crimes an effortless process and will provide justice swiftly and without misinformed or biased verdicts that halt justice. It was, in fact, a case of halted justice that made the bill all the more desirable as a real law. A dark day for women across Spain, it was the La Manada case (literally meaning, The Pack) that had prompted a lengthy and passionate public outcry against the leniency of the sentence that the 5 rapists had received. The incident itself took place on 7 July 2016 when an 18-year-old woman reported being defiled by 5 men in a doorway of a building, testifying that a few others had been recording the grotesque acts. The men, who were at first charged with both sexual abuse & sexual aggression, were found guilty of only sexual abuse and were acquitted of sexual aggression on the grounds that the woman had never not consented to coitus; it was the ostensible absence of a no that made the jury think that the woman had in fact participated but only pressed charges in fear of the videos being leaked. This verdict, clearly, stunted the justice delivered to the young woman; being guilty of only sexual abuse had meant an infinitesimal sentence of 5-9 years, whereas sexual aggression charges would have landed the perpetrators with an increased 12-15 years in jail.

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Speech

Dissenters of this verdict took to the streets, so to put a stop to the citizens protests of justice denied, the ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill was birthed into existence by Irene Montero, the Spanish Minister of Equality. “We’re going to swap violence for freedom and we’re going to swap fear for desire. From today, Spain is a freer, safer country for all women,” Montero decreed.

Even if the bill is yet to be enforced as a law, it is the first step to ensuring a safer future for women, the first of what will be many to come. The power to secure sexual freedom of women is in our hands, reader, and we are on the cusp of equality, clinching a positive aftermath for many generations to come. Can you feel it?

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Charmin Patel

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