Tag Archives: #consentawareness


NY Times, 10/10 Article by Graham Bowley on “Consent.”

Sadly, The NY Times misquoted me and grossly distorted CAN’s mission in the article that appeared in the Sunday, October 10, 2021 Arts section.

“Yes” is an affirmative reply. There is nothing unambiguous about saying “yes.” It never means “maybe,” and it never means “no.” Unless “yes” is used as an interrogatory, for example, if I called your name and you asked, “Yes?”……. yes always means yes. But yes does not always mean, I consent.

CAN’s Message

CAN’s message has always been: “Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement.” As such, it is the influence of the party seeking sexual engagement that determines whether or not you consent. They cannot achieve your consent by malicious or derisive influence.

The current bill pending in NY Assembly, #A6540A (and its companion in the NY Senate, #S6200A) clearly state that consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. CAN crafted that language and the wording in a similar bill for Pennsylvania which has yet to be introduced.

Regarding the NY Times Article

Mr. Bowley wrote a supportive article about Andrea Constand’s new book, The Moment. He approached me for a comment and, as we spoke, he enthusiastically stated that he would also like to write about #A6540A. I spent numerous hours responding to his questions by phone, text and email.

Instead of his article focusing on #A6540A, which he barely mentioned, he focused on a contrary concept which currently exists in law, and which some additional states are currently considering for their statutes. The underlying concept of the contrary law is that consent depends on an unambiguous yes.

Since all “yeses” are unambiguous, as clarified above, this vicitm-blaming concept means that anytime you say “yes” you are consenting. CAN is emphatically opposed to this concept, but Mr. Bowley’s article falsely makes it seem that we support it.

What seems to escape the understanding of supporters of the unambiguous yes concept, is that if your actions or words are affirmative, but you are being forced, tricked, or scared into those actions or words, you are not consenting, no matter how emphatically you are stating “yes.” Because the definition for consent never changes, consent is the same when giving consent for medical treatments, protecting your data on the internet, and is the determining factor in every other crime…. including sexual assault.

By defining consent simply and correctly as freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, society would be enabled to see that there are different types of agreement, but only consent legalizes sexual conduct.

An “unambiguous yes” achieved through fraud is “assenting”; providing agreement on the face of it.

An “unambiguous yes” achieved through forcible compulsion or threat of harm is “acquiescing”; providing agreement under duress.

But neither assenting nor acquiescing are consenting; providing agreement that is freely given, knowledgeable and informed.

Mr. Bowley frames my opinion as supporting “unambiguous yes,” when, indeed and emphatically, I do not!

Over two years ago, when CAN was speaking with legislators in Pennsylvania, I invited Cheryl Carmel to join us. Cheryl was the Foreperson for the 2nd Bill Cosby jury. She watched my TEDx Talk, which is clear about CAN’s position, and agreed to join our meeting.

CAN meets with PA Legislators- Left to right, Nina Lucas, CAN Chief of Staff, Senator Katie Muth, Joyce Short, CAN Founder and CEO, Cheryl Carmel, Foreperson for Cosby Jury in 2nd Trial

First-hand accounts are more impactful than third person stories. My interest in inviting Cheryl was for her to relate to the legislators we had gathered that the Cosby judge could not respond with a definition for consent when the jurors asked. When I saw the jaws drop of all the legislators and staffers around the table, I felt assured I’d made the right call by inviting Cheryl. I conveyed this to Mr. Bowley.

Mr. Bowley quoted me as saying: “I recognized it was important to bring Cheryl to the meetings with the legislators because she could really explain,” said Ms. Short.

What Cheryl explained, which I had made clear to Mr. Bowley, was solely the specific description of what the jury asked about consent, and what the judge responded. She had no part in defining what consent is, or should be, and neither stated a preference for “unambiguous yes,” to the legislators in Pennsylvania, nor to CAN’s representatives. She did not do so at the two meetings we invited her to, and she had no further discussions with legislators.

CAN worked diligently to craft the language that the legislative bill drafting committee used in PA, and has continued to fight for the correct definition for consent in additional states such as New York, New Jersey, and Utah. “Unambiguous yes” supports sexual predators who use all manner of malicious influence to drag a “yes” out of the mouths of their victims.

#MeToo’s Impact on Defining Consent

Bowley ties CAN’s efforts to #MeToo, which is another distortion. While we appreciate #MeToo’s ability to focus awareness on the volume of sexual assaults, our efforts to define consent in society’s laws long precedes #MeToo’s 2017 entry to the sexual assault narrative. We continue to fight for the correct definition in order to guide behavior and hold sexual predators accountable.

People Have a Right to Their Opinions

Unfortunately, opinions can be misguided, and I believe that the concept of unambiguous yes is a relic from an era in which women were chattel and sexual entertainment for their husbands. Unambiguous yes fails to hold offenders accountable for derisive or malicious influence. It puts the blame on the victim’s shoulders for their words and actions that result from such influence.

The one sure way of conveying what consent is, by law, is to simply define the word consent in our statutes. Anything short of that panders to predators. Doing so will be a paradigm shift that will affect how the public conducts itself.

In summary…….

Mr. Bowley’s article, rather than focusing on the clarity of #A6540A, (as he had stated he was doing,) conflates CAN’s mission with concepts we diametrically oppose….. giving oxygen to ignorance.

5 Fatherly ways to Protect kids from Sexual Assault – for #FathersDay and Forever!

Image result for fatherly photo

More and more, we’re seeing men take responsibility for preventing sexual assault. The ItsOnUs campaign focuses on men stepping in when they see potential or actual danger. And no one, neither mother nor father, wants their child harmed by a sexual predator.

The average age for a sex trafficked girl is 13. And boys are also sex traffic targets. Parents need to combat the dangers long before their Continue reading 5 Fatherly ways to Protect kids from Sexual Assault – for #FathersDay and Forever!

New Cosby Book Underscores #FGKIA Definition of Consent!

Almost one year from the date of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby’s conviction as a sexual predator, April 26,2018, a new book will be released that supports, categorically, that my recommended definition for #CONSENT – Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA, – is absolutely correct!

Huge thanks to Nina, from New Jersey, for passing this information along!

Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America's Dad and more at TEDx Talk Your consent- The Truth about ConsentNicki Weisensee Egan’s new release, “Chasing Cosby, The Downfall of America’s Dad,” tells the story of the jury’s deliberations in the Cosby case. As I stated last year in my TEDx Talk, When YES Means NO – The Truth about Consent,” the first question the jurors asked Judge Steven O’Neill was “What’s the meaning of consent.” Because there is no consent definition in Pennsylvania’s laws, all he could say was “Use your common sense.”

Page Six covered the story of the book’s release yesterday. Fortunately, the foreperson for the jury, Cheryl Carmel, had been working with a newly enacted European data protection law. She told her fellow jurors, “This is the most far-reaching law anywhere in the world for individual privacy, and the basis of the law centers around an individual’s ‘consent.’ ”

The Page Six article states:

The definition of consent in this privacy law states it must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. It must be given by a clear affirmative act; it must be demonstrated that each of the above tests occurred, and it must be able to be withdrawn at any time.

“This is the privacy definition,” she said. “Surely, there is a specific legal definition of consent for criminal acts such as aggravated indecent assault.”

It turns out there isn’t, at least not in Pennsylvania.

The jury sent a note to the judge, requesting a definition of the word. The judge replied in open court. His reply was perplexing to the jury; they were informed that there isn’t a definition — that is, Pennsylvania law does not offer a definition of “consent,” and the judge advised the jurors to define the word for themselves.

Convicting sexual predators cannot rely on Cheryl Carmel being the foreperson for every sexual assault jury!

As I clearly stated in my TEDx Talk, every state and territory must have a clearly stated and accurate definition for consent that guides people’s behavior and holds sexual predators accountable. My TEDx Talk and my book, “Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault” focuses on the consent issues from state to state and clearly explains why Nonconsensual Sex Is Sexual Assault, and CONSENT is Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA!

It’s not over ’til it’s over, and you can do your part to insure it never happens again!

One of the oldest doctrines in law is “Nulla poena sine lege.” (How old? It’s Latin! It dates all the way back to the Roman era.) It basically means, “What is not prohibited by law is permissible.” This doctrine keeps the gates open on whether the judge and jury were within the bounds of PA law in determining Bill Cosby’s fate, a premise Cosby’s attorneys will likely argue upon appeal.

This doctrine and its application are the route of why we must have an overall recognition that nonconsensual sex is sexual assault in our penal codes. Law makers could not even begin to state the infinite ways a person can be sexually assaulted, just as they cannot possibly predict the infinite ways a person can be murdered. We know when someone kills another person by any means, they are a murderer. Our laws must reflect that when someone sexually violates a person by any means, they are a sexual predator committing a sexual assault.

You can help make a difference!

You can stand up for defining consent as #FGKIA in the laws of every state, including PA, and establishing that Nonconsensual Sex IS, WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE, Sexual Assault!

Help get this across to society by doing the following today:

Watch my TEDx Talk

Purchase “Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault”

Call your legislators and demand change! 

Lysistrata Anyone? Withholding Sex to Stop #FGKIA Conflict

Lysistrata illustration by Aubrey Beardsley, 1896

Kavanaugh’s appointment illustrates a deep divide in our culture between the male and female sense of sexual assault, sexual entitlement and accountability.

Although not all women and not all men have the same opinion, by and large, when it comes to adopting laws to define CONSENT the Continue reading Lysistrata Anyone? Withholding Sex to Stop #FGKIA Conflict

Sex Crimes- Women Aren’t the Only Victims








Women have no monopoly when it comes to sexual assault. The US Justice Department tells us that approximately 20% of sexual assault victims are male. 

Dr. Paul wrote to me about a year ago. He was searching for answers for his wife who’d been badly deceived by her ex husband. She suffered terrible trauma and he wanted to help her recover…. or so he thought at the time. But over that year, their relationship became less bearable as he learned that emotional pain can wound so deeply, it can change a person’s character and turn them into an ogre…… even women. 
Continue reading Sex Crimes- Women Aren’t the Only Victims

Does a rape victim have to expressly say “NO!” Rowan Radio Interview

Harvey Weinstein- Photo by STEVEN HIRSCH/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9703835c)
New York, USA – 05 Jun 2018

In her very first question for our radio interview, Kaity Kline, Public Affairs Director for Rowan Radio On Demand, 89.7 WGLS FM, wanted to know; Why is it sexual assault even when the victim doesn’t expressly say “no” – like in the case of accused sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein? 

Here’s my explanation. 

My TEDx Talk and You!

Log In on May 20th! Help make the world a safer place!

My TEDx Talk is just around the corner!

“When ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’; The truth about ‘Consent'” will air live from Ursuline Academy in Wilmington DE, on Sunday, May 20th. As I write, I have no idea what time I’m scheduled. And I’m not likely to be able to post again ’til after my talk, because I’ll be away.

You can get updated information by logging onto TEDx and signing up for news and updates which will fill you in on scheduling and all pertinent information.

As most of you who follow me or read this blog are aware, I’ve long advocated for laws to change the legal landscape on the derisive and covert acts of sexual assault that many of us experienced at the hands of narcissists or other sexual predators. My talk will lay the groundwork for a law that we can pass to end the madness!

I hope you’ll watch and call your legislators to insist they pass the law I’m proposing. If you miss the live streaming on Sunday, you can log onto TEDx Youth at Ursuline Academy at any time on or after May 20th to see and support this effort. Your comments and support would be greatly appreciated!

Together, we can make our voices heard. Call your legislators! Tell them to pass the language you hear into law to make the world a safer place for everyone!


My deepest gratitude goes out to the staff of NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Hillary Barr and Esther Muller of Charles Rutenberg NYC (Realty), and the folks at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center for their feedback and support!

What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?

Until #MeToo, rape mentality was far more widespread than society recognized. The fact that so many celebrities, politicians, successful businessmen and more were recently exposed for abhorrent sexual acts, shows how well-hidden rape mentality has been. Even the President of the United States thinks that forcing his wife into sex is acceptable behavior – a recognition that Continue reading What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?