Dear little brothers, please don’t rape women 5 years ago

Dear little brothers, please don’t rape women

Dear A and M,

I never thought I would have to write a letter like this but I have seen things today and learnt things that have shocked me.

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I don’t know who you are when you’re with your friends. I don’t know what you’re like when you’re drunk or at festivals or what you do to impress the pretty girls that approach you in nightclubs.

But today I learnt that many Irish men, your peers, believe that sex without consent is okay in "certain circumstances.”

We’ve never had a conversation about consent because I assumed I never had to. You two are my loving and charming younger brothers. You’re funny, caring, kind and a lot of fun to be around. You’re smart so I think you know all that I’m about to tell you but it can’t hurt to talk about it.

Brothers, sex without consent is rape.

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There are no circumstances that permit this, there are no exceptions. Please, don’t rape women.

When the European Commission studied Irish people about consent, they found that 11% of believed that being under the influence of alcohol and drugs justifies sexual intercourse without consent. Brothers, it doesn’t.

I know when you’re drunk, lines get blurry, kissing happens, dancing happens and you can fall in love under the haze of tequila shots and bright lights. I know what that temporary romance feels like. But if you’ve had one too many and a pretty girl seems like she wants to go home with you I need you to say no.

I know why this might seem confusing. We live in a world that made millionaires out of the Geordie Shore cast. We’ve watched them for years go into bars, take home women and get them into "The Shag Pad."

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You both work in the cinema which screens romantic movies in which persistence is seen as the ultimate romantic gesture.

I pay for your Spotify accounts where you can listen to songs in which women are objects, trophies and goals.

I can’t change the world you’ve grown up in, I can’t change the ads that say ‘sex sells,’ the films that say ‘go-get-her’ and the music that says sex is superior to love.

But I need you to see beyond all that.

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I need you to say no.

If you see a girl walking home alone at night, by all means, walk her home. Go in if she asks, have a cup of tea. Make sure she’s okay. But then come home.

If a girl approaches you wearing a short dress, tell her she looks pretty, but don’t ask for more.

By all means, take her number. Text her, take her for dinner. I’ll even give you a lend of the money.

Take care, don’t take advantage.

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Tell your friends the same (just leave out the part where I said I’d pay).

I can’t change the world you grew up in, but you can change the world we inhabit now.

Be the men I know you both are.

I love you both dearly,

Cassie.

The statistics released today show alarming attitudes towards women and consent. Please counteract this negativity by donating €2 to the Rape Crisis Centre by texting DRCC to 50300.

Cassie Delaney is a writer for Her.ie