Blog | consent

  • Degrassi OMG: Declan confronts Holly J at work

    Posted on 10/22/2010 by Mary

    In my opinion, this might be one of the best conversations ever on Degrassi, in terms of the questions it raises. Let's break it down piece by piece. What could Declan and Holly J each have done differently to prevent the emotional fallout they both suffered?

    Holly J: I didn't want to. I told you that.
    Declan: I thought that was because of Sav.
    Holly J: Does it matter why?? You didn't listen. You insisted.

    When things started, Holly J said no. Declan could have prevented all of this from happening if he had listened to her and believed her, instead of trying to evaluate her reasons for saying no and trying to change her mind. Why be with someone who doesn't completely, unequivocally want to be with you in that moment?

    Declan could and should have backed off in that moment. He had a choice to back off, and it would have been an infinitely better choice. Personally, I have to say I'm really angry at him for not backing off.

    But he didn't, and then we come to the next point:

    Declan: Yeah, but then you kissed me. I thought you changed your mind. Holly J: Maybe I did. I was confused. I'm not saying it was all your fault.

    After Declan made his choice, Holly J had a choice about her next move, too. Instead of repeating herself unequivocally or attempting to physically remove herself from the situation, she decided to go forward even though she was unsure. And confusion is a terrible state to be in when you do the most intimate and vulnerable thing you can do with your body. Because the conflicted feeling doesn't go away. And that's a horrible way to feel after the fact, when you can't un-do things.

    Holly J should have listened to her confusion, and stuck with her conviction of "no," rather than giving conflicting information to Declan. She could have prevented this from happening, too (assuming Declan wouldn't have forced her -- which I don't think he would have, do you?)

    Both of them messed up. And both of them are left feeling horrible.

    Anyway I've seen a lot of conversation about this episode talking about the question of rape, and a lot of conflicting ideas about what is and what isn't. Here's some information I've found incredibly helpful: RAINN's (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) information page describing what rape and sexual assault are, in easy to understand language.