Woman posted photo of her dog to make a powerful statement about consent and assault
Now more than ever, it's important that young boys and girls growing up are taught the rules of engagement when it comes to consent. In those formative times where nobody knows what they're doing and vulnerabilities are exposed for the first time, a traumatic experience can have long-lasting effects, and it's really important to be able to tell when your partner isn't quite feeling up to it.
Plenty of sexual assault cases come about after the aggressor in the incident can't take no for an answer. And many people will use their victim's attire as an excuse for their behaviour - how many times have we heard "she was asking for it" as a poor qualifier for sexually assaulting someone?
Briana "Bree" Wiseman has had enough of all those excuses about consent, and she posted a photo of her dog on Facebook to explain why they're bogus. The 22-year-old, who works as a pastry chef and restaurant manager in Tennessee, shared a photo of her doggo to make her point, and the post went viral.
Not just because her dog is a very good boy, mind you, but I guess that's part of the statement.
Here you see Wiseman's dog, and next to him, a plate of food. If you know any dog, you know that the level of willpower required by this furry friend not to gobble down that meat is very, very high. You know he very much wants that meat, but since Bree's told him no, he stays put - mouth watering, stomach rumbling and all.
This is kind of the point, as Bree explains.
"To the people that say women get raped due to the way they are dressed. This is my dog. His favorite food is steak. He is eye level with my plate. He won't get any closer because I told him no. If a dog is better behaved than you are, you need to reevaluate your life. Feel free to share, my dog is adorable."
That is true - her dog is adorable - but more importantly, Bree's photo rang true with a lot of people on the internet, racking up a whopping 325,000 shares. People are happy with Bree's dog, and it makes for a pretty great metaphor about consent and about the power of the word 'no'.
In a follow-up interview with the Huffington Post, Bree went further in her statement.
"The only person to blame in a rape offense is the rapist. It was their decision to rape. People shouldn't have to worry about what they chose to wear for fear of rape. I want people to see that this is a problem, and to stand together against victim-shaming.
If a 4-year-old pit bull understands the word no,’ even though he is looking at something he wants so bad he is literally drooling, then adults should understand ‘no,’ no matter how the other adult is dressed... How is it that a simple-minded animal has the ability to understand better than a large part of the adult population?"
Victim blaming is a huge problem in Bree Wiseman's opinion, but hopes that along with her dog, we've all learned a lesson here today.