She Said: The Power of No

Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

As women, we are constantly being taught what precautions we can take in order to avoid being sexually harassed or assaulted, because men aren’t being told “Oh by the way, it’s morally wrong to stick it in someone who doesn’t want it.” You would think common sense would kick in at some point, but apparently horniness is an acceptable excuse for a lack thereof. With this kind of mindset, does the word “No” even matter?

Saying it matters, but of course, you have to be in the presence of someone who also thinks it matters. You’re basically damned if you do and damned if you don’t, because I’m pretty sure someone who is trying to take advantage of you is not the type of person to care about the significance of the word. More than likely, they’re going to continue their course of action until they’ve reached their end goal. So along with all of the other gross injustices, they’ve also tried to minimize the power of “No.”

My name is no

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

But, we still have to say it; if we don’t, we’ll undoubtedly be blamed even more than we already are for faults that are not our own. No matter what the situation, there is still – and will always be – power in saying “No” to someone. It shows that you are capable of standing up for yourself, and that you will not be silenced. This is even more relevant in our current climate, where with each new day, a formerly-esteemed man is being exposed for their misdeeds by an influential woman.

Sexual misconduct has always been a problem, and women have been forced to fight for the same things over and over again. Perhaps, though, our society has evolved just enough now that we are finally starting to be heard, finally being believed when we scream that we too have been victims. All it took to put this massive wave into motion was a few brave women to speak out about the abuse against them, and to point a finger at one heinous man – Weinstein.  Of course,  even the ripple effect of allegations it begot was named after him.

Whether or not justice will be served in these cases is up in the air, but at least we are being loud and we are being heard. That is a promising step in the right direction. One day in the future, maybe there won’t be any women left who can truthfully say, “Me too.” And to all you creepy a**holes out there: Time’s up.