Ironically, Donald Trump’s win came at the end of a year where ‘consent’ and its definition have been widely discussed. Perhaps, even more so than ever before. From kitch ‘consent pants’ featuring messages like ‘no means no’ to the Bad Neighbours 2’s frat-boy-hating feminist protagonist: the message that you need to ask permission before you perform a sexual act on someone appears to be getting louder. When 'pro-rape pick-up artist' Daryush Valizadeh planned to do talks in the UK in February, 55,000 people signed a petition to stop him. Indeed, comments which went under the radar when they were made in 2013 by film director Bernardo Bertolucci about Marlon Brando performing a non-consensual sexual act on co-star Maria Schneider in Last Tango, caused outrage when they resurfaced this month (he says it was a ‘misunderstanding’).
So, has all the discussion actually made things better for women? Is there a greater understanding that sexual assault doesn’t just involve a creepy man in an alleyway? Are there higher conviction rates and lower numbers of reported sexual assault? Does all this talk translate into change?