A few months ago I allowed myself to be convinced by a guy to do something I didn’t want to do. I had to forget that I was allowed to say No in order to remember that I wanted to say No. I felt like a fool.
And then I said No. I said it loudly, I got up and put my clothes on.
But so much more upsetting than the experience itself was the experience of telling my friends about saying No and them being shocked at my gall. Shocked at how I could stand up for myself. And I was shocked at how foreign it sounded to them. It made me really sad.
I don’t want anyone to be shocked at my boldness. I want everyone to hear that story and say Duh and tell me about their version of the story.
When I was 12 boys slid their hand up my thigh and slapped my butt. I smiled and took it because I didn’t know it was okay to say stop. I didn’t know that I could say no. So, when the principal calls telling me my daughter is suspended for punching a boy who wouldn’t stop touching her, I will cook her favorite meals. When she tells me how she cursed at the boy who wouldn’t move his hands off her knee even though she asked him to, I will smile and pull out her favorite movie to watch together. I will celebrate the fact that she accepts her body as her own and knows she has the right to say no. I never want my daughter to think her body belongs to men, because it is her own and my god should she be proud. I will teach her it’s more than okay to say stop, something I wish I had known when I was that age.
-don’t be soft, let the world know you exist restrictedthoughts