What part of ‘NO’ don’t you understand?
You just want to watch the movie, but he won’t stop inching towards you.
You’ve been hanging out with this person for a while and you’re still feeling it out. You’re not even sure what “it” is.
You are sure, however, that you want “Netflix and Chill” to literally just be you watching “American Horror Story” and eating buffalo chicken together without any romantic or sexual pressure.
You’ve had kind of an awful day. You fought with your mom. You’re mainly here out of obligation and you’re just not into it, OK?
These aren’t even your skinny jeans. You hand him the covers, he grabs your hand and pulls it to him aggressively. You want to slap him in the face. Instead you leave early, cutting the two-star rated movie short.
A couple days later, you find he’s deleted you off of every social media outlet.
I guess it was a blessing, but how petty can a person be? Now any semblance of friendship that was established is completely terminated.
This is probably the extent of it and I guess I should consider myself lucky.
But Caroline Nosal, Lakeeya Walker, Raelynn Vincent, Andrea Farrington, Paris Sashay, Janese Talton-Jackson and countless other women suffered significantly worse fates for rejecting the sexual advances of men, men who are delirious in thinking their unwanted advances were compliments and demanded a positive response.
Some of these women were attacked by men they didn’t even know.
We’ve all heard of slut-shaming.
Slut-shaming includes ridiculing and condemning women for being sexual beings, and shaming women for enjoying sex and being in control of their own bodies. Honestly, how dare us.
It’s almost comical that this isn’t common sense. When women reject men and their bruised egos ignite a violent, psychotic rebuttal, slut-shaming is in full effect.
Women all over the world are being violated, abused and assaulted for saying no. The stories are disturbing and chilling.
When Elliot Rodger stabbed his three roommates to death and went on a killing spree in Isle Vista in 2014, people were horrified. His reason behind the senseless brutality was even more unsettling. A girl rejected and teased him…when he was 10 years old. Also, he was a 22-year-old virgin and wanted others to suffer for it.
The hashtag #YesAllWomen spread like wildfire, and it solidified how all women are terrified of gender-based violence.
Deanna Zandt is the founder of the Tumblr blog “When Women Refuse,” an electronic collection of horror stories detailing incidents of women suffering at the hands of rejected men.
Of course, these men, like Rodger, were mentally deranged. But how unnerving is the amount of unstable men walking around “complimenting” our physical features?
So what do we do when a man compliments our legs and then stabs one of them when you don’t reciprocate? How about when you reject a guy at a bar and he smashes a martini glass in your face? How can we possibly cease this ongoing war on women?
To be honest, I have no idea. And, quite frankly, as women, it shouldn’t be our job to correct it.
This is a matter of basic human rights and the skewed perception men have that women are but willing and able participants with a sexual obligation. It is not our responsibility to correct our behavior and act “appropriately” to appease or keep ourselves safe from the opposite sex.
Jennifer McCleary-Sills, gender activist and director of International Center for Research on Women, was quoted by mic.com saying, “As women, we get used to the idea that we have to prepare ourselves, that we have to respond ‘appropriately’ to men’s advances…A man calls out on the street, and you decide: Do you want to ignore him and risk hearing what he says, or give a half-hearted smile and hope it’s enough?”
Like I said, I was lucky. When boys don’t text back, it feels like the end of the world.
However, it’s not until you hear of another woman in your class, down the street, or next door needing her jaw rewired because she wouldn’t smile and someone decided she never needed to again, that you can truly understand the struggles women go through.
The urge to look up YouTube videos and teach myself karate right now is too real.