“Just say no”
Is it really that simple? To just say no; To just walk away? People are so quick to pass judgements, to say what they would do in a situation. But let me ask you this: If it was that easy to walk away, don’t you think women would do it more often?
In a society where women are constantly fighting to become equal to men, there are some inferiorities that cannot be changed; They are physically weaker. By nature, their bodies are built differently. Men are naturally 50 percent stronger than women in brute strength. Now, do you think that is something that the word “no” will change? The power of our words are only so strong.
On the other hand, women have more to risk in that single word than just the danger in front of them. They have families, children, friends, careers. What if those things that make them into the person they are, are at risk? Women fear refusal for more than purely physical threat. Would you put your children, your parents, your loved ones in danger to save yourself? To possibly save yourself?
The fear that is stricken in women by the power that men have over them is like nothing you could ever imagine. They feel absolutely and utterly helpless. Being in a situation that you have no control over is like being paralyzed. You are stuck in a body, a situation, that you cannot change nor control.
There have been countless cases of abuse, mental and physical, by men to women. We are so insistent that women have the power to say no, or leave an unhealthy situation, but imagine the toll that might come with those actions.
Not only are there an endless amount of abusive partner relationships, but women are forced to fear every man they see. Yes there is abuse at home, but what about the men who target women on the streets? At any given moment a man can grab a woman who is walking alone. We are cat called, looked at as if we are a piece of meat. This is something I’ve experienced myself far too many times. Every day when I walk to work, I am whistled at, beeped at, or have even been called to by men driving past me. This is all in my five minute walk. Each time I hear the cars’ horns, or a whistle, I’m not only disgusted but I am afraid. Those men could easily turn around and follow me to work, a man once pulled over and asked if I needed a ride. I will never know what his intentions were, but I do know the knot in my stomach is not something I should feel because I am being approached by someone. Men need to realize that we are women. We are people who deserve to be respected. We are tired of being looked at as prey by their wandering eyes and sly smirks.
In this past week, a woman an Italy was burned to death by her ex-boyfriend for refusing to engage in oral sex with him. This woman has been robbed of her entire future, her loved ones left to mourn a soul that was taken too soon all because she used her right to say no; to decide who she lets touch her body. She had tried to escape but he chased her and ended her life all because he did not get his way. It is appalling that a man thinks he has a right to a woman’s body, no matter her feelings in the situation.So despite her fear, she still said no- yet look what happened.
Situations such as these have been happening for decades. From historic events, such as when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move her seat on a bus, to more recent events, one being when a woman was shot and killed after rejecting a man’s advances at a bar;This is a woman with three children. Three children in this world who now have to live the rest of their lives without their mothers love. They will never again be able to watch a movie, go to the park, or even talk about their feelings with their mother. They will graduate high school, go to prom, find love, and walk down the isle one day without their mother to hold them and tell them how proud she is- all because she said no to a man. These few instances alone prove that saying the word “no” does not always deter a man from their intentions.
So before saying how easy it would be to say no, think of how many times those women might have tried to say no. Envision the pain and desperation they are battling in their own minds, let alone the battle they are fighting with their abuser. Think of the split second decision while walking home from work, that could either end your life or save it. There is no such thing as “simply” saying no. A thousand words and thoughts lie behind those two letters.