All Voices Matter: no means no

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
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All Voices Matter: no means no

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

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When we were all kids, we were all taught the words “stop” and “no”, and we took these words to heart. When you ask someone for something, and they say no, you stop asking. When someone tells you to stop doing something, you stop doing it. Sometimes we get angry or sad because of it, but we get over it, because in the end it’s their decision and you can’t force them to change their mind–they must do it of their own volition. If you were to tell someone no, you would expect your decision to be respected–why is it not tolerated when the roles are switched?

When a girl tells a boy no, a boy shouldn’t get mad at her. He shouldn’t talk badly about her to her back, spread lies about her, or slut-shame her. The same applies when the roles are reversed. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to be nice these days, to just move on, either by reconciling or cutting contact.

There have been school shootings because a girl rejected someone. A man had killed 10 people, and he had a disturbing history of being misogynistic and hating women for rejecting him, and even praised another violent misogynist named Elliot Rodger, who had killed 7 people. It’s scary to know that people like this exist, and that there are also people who will become like this if something isn’t done about it.

Consent isn’t enforced as much as it should be. We sexually objectify women, and then turn around and shame them for being sexually active. It’s normalized, much like every other social issue in America, and pretty much everywhere.

And because we normalize this, we start to think it’s okay to slut-shame women, and that sex is just something they should freely give without hesitation. Because we don’t have enough sense to teach women the importance of valuing their body and listening to their body, we’ve created something that puts women in danger.

Feelings of guilt and shame are born in the household at a very young age, when little girls are taught to hide or repress their physical selves. As they reach adolescence and start dating, protective or critical attitudes from parental figures tend to teach young women to suppress or resist their sexuality. This could be seen as both good and bad, but when women don’t understand how to respect their body and that developing as a sexual woman is a natural and enjoyable part of becoming an adult, that’s when problems arise.

If a woman can’t identify the importance of her body, it will be harder to say “no.” And “no”, is an important word in this day and age that needs to be taken seriously, taught to young girls and boys, and accepted by both genders. “No” means “no.”