The reaction to Stephen Bear proves some men still don’t understand consent in 2020

Why are we still having to justify the importance of consent?

This week ex-Love Islander Georgia Harrison claimed Stephen Bear filmed her without her consent and shared the video with multiple people. Stephen said on his Instagram story that he told Georgia to “stop making up silly rumours”. Georgia has now said she is planning on taking Stephen to court.

Stephen Bear has been trending on Twitter for the last few days, and whilst there is an enormous amount of support for Georgia, there is also support for Stephen, especially from men who argue he has not done anything wrong.

Stephen’s reaction proves that some people still do not understand what consent is and why it is important.

It is 2020 and people still don’t understand what consent is

The #MeToo movement and the conviction of Harvey Weinstein have been massive news stories in the last few years and with such a high-profile individual being convicted of sexual assault, I would imagine that everyone has an idea of what consent is. However, this situation with Georgia Harrison and Stephen Bear shows that there a large number of people who still do not understand how important consent is or what it even is.

The NHS says: “Consent is defined by section 74 Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Someone who consents to vaginal, anal, or oral penetration only if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another.”

This video also explains consent:

According to the NHS definition, just because someone consents to having sex, this doesn’t mean they consent to all other sexual acts such as being videoed. In fact, videoing someone without them knowing and sharing it is a whole other violation called revenge porn.

Revenge porn “is the sharing of private, sexual, material, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress.

“The offence applies both online and offline, and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so it includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.”

Those found guilty of revenge porn could face a sentence of up to two years in prison.

It is exhausting that women still have to explain consent

A quick search on Twitter shows several men arguing that Georgia doesn’t have a right to be upset as she posts revealing pictures of herself on Instagram. This argument has been used time and time again when people have been accused of revenge porn, sexual assault, or rape.

Just to reiterate again, there is a massive difference between someone sharing photos of themselves and someone else sharing footage of them without their permission. Why do people, and unfortunately mainly men, find it so hard to take responsibility for their actions?

As a woman, it is exhausting and disgusting seeing men defend someone who has filmed a woman without her knowledge and then shared it on his OnlyFans (which has since been withdrawn) and with other people.

Why do men constantly feel the need to tell women their feelings are wrong?

Sharing an intimate picture, or moment with someone you are with and someone that you feel that you can trust should be a private matter. If Stephen Bear filmed Georgia without her permission this makes him, and anyone who has done the same, a criminal. Not only will Georgia, and other women in her situation, be facing distress but this situation will affect her for the rest of her life.

If Stephen Bear gets away with allegedly sharing private sexual acts, victims will continue to not pursue prosecution

Georgia explained she can no longer talk about the situation as she is taking Stephen to court.

In a tweet, Georgia said: “If this man is allowed to get away with filming private sexual acts in a trusted environment, then selling the footage online, victims everywhere will feel like it’s not worth pursuing prosecution. I will do everything to get justice for me and all future victims, male or female.”

One of the major reasons sexual assault, rape, and cases of revenge porn go unreported are because victims tend to be scared of the repercussions they might face from their family, their friends, and even society.

In the UK, only 15% of men and women who experience sexual violence report it to the police.

No matter what you think of Georgia and her reality TV appearances, she is incredibly brave for coming public with the horrendous events that have happened to her.

Anyone defending Stephen Bear shows where they stand on consent

Anyone defending Stephen is showing themselves to either be incredibly ignorant to consent and revenge porn or to not care. If this is you, stop victim-blaming and go educate yourself.

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