Consent shouldn’t be a complicated a topic, yet here we are. It’s 2019, and courts are still adjudicating on issues of consent, implied consent, and the autonomy someone has over their body. But there are some glimmers of light at the end of this tunnel.
The protection of the law has finally extended to claymation penguins, in a landmark case heard by the Victorian Court of Appeal. For Pingu, a brave young penguin from the North Pole, who was in Melbourne for one harrowing weekend, it looks like ‘noot’ means ‘noot.’
Pingu’s story, a distressing account of sexual assault in one of Melbourne’s leading nightclubs, was heard by the jury last week, with arguments closing Monday. Whilst ‘no’ has recently been recognised as firmly meaning ‘no,’ there has been huge conjecture over whether ‘noot’ means ‘noot.’
Is a ‘noot’ an expression of a lack of consent? Is it a nonsense phrase? Is it a penguins way of warning us ‘the real criminal is in the White House’? We just don’t know. But thankfully, the courts have seen fit to ensure Pingu’s suffering will end, and his perpetrator will find justice.
Examining the circumstances, Justice David Davidson firmly concluded that there was an inutterable absence of consent from Pingu, and indeed, he just wanted to enjoy a Gin & Tonic with his friends (whose names cannot be printed because we don’t remember any of the other characters from Pingu).
And with that in mind, and with a single tear rolling down the cheek of Pingu as he watched Davidson J pronounce in judgment, the principle was firmly laid down: ‘noot’ should always mean ‘noot.’
At press time, Pingu was last seen texting a woman to ‘send noots,’ casting doubt over the actual meaning of the phrase. Interesting. Not much we can do about that one.
No more to run.