Generation Z and the problem with consent: ‘Pupils have told me that being raped is a compliment’

We’ve been chatting for about half an hour when Eloise lowers her voice to a whisper. Until now she’s been confidently talking through the ups and downs of being a 19-year-old woman in a world she finds unsteady.

She’s annoyed that, on TikTok, the advertisements she gets are keyrings with rape alarms and “stabby kitties” (a cat-shaped metal keychain with pointed ears sharp enough to cause damage), feels that modern feminism sometimes goes a bit too far, but having grown up in the age of nudes, she doesn’t really trust men. Which is unsurprising considering the story she tells me next.

“So a boy I know was asking a girl at his school for nudes,” she says, quietly. “And then when she refused, he threatened to rape her.” The boy was 14 and had recently posted an Andrew Tate video to his Instagram page, which was Eloise’s first encounter with the online influencer.


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