I hereby pledge to say “no.” If a man asks me out, asks me to dance, asks to buy me a drink, and I am not interested, I will tell him as much. As a woman, I realize that I will be going outside of social norms and that I run the risk of physically getting hurt. This is a risk that I am willing to take and I invite other women who are willing to deal with that risk to join me.

                It’s Time: As a woman, I was taught to be nice and to avoid confrontation. Our society tells us that is a woman is harassed or offended, she should simply grin and bear it. So women who go out in public and are approached by men whom they are not interested in have developed a myriad of methods to avoid the man’s attention. We wear headphones when we go out running, we have handy phrases such as “I have a boyfriend” or “I am a lesbian” at the tips of our tongues and, if we are lucky, we have a friend to back us up in said fabrication. Sometimes, we are even telling the truth but often we are lying to avoid confrontation. Why? Because we hear stories of women who are killed just for turning a man down. And worse, some people later blame the victim. As adult human beings we are not obligated to enter into any sort of social or romantic relationship with other human beings.

                I realize that I may get hurt: This obviously doesn’t apply to all men. It doesn’t even apply to most of the guys I know; I do like to keep good company. However, I do know that if I simply tell a guy that I am not interested there is a chance that he will ignore my statement, verbally attack me or even get physically violent. I am willing to accept this risk because I believe that it is my right is a human being not to engage in a social or romantic interaction with another human being if I do not want to do so.

                To My Friends: I ask that you back me up in this. If we are out and someone approaches me, don’t automatically default to a lie to avoid confrontation. And, if one ensues, do not assume that it is my fault for turning down a "nice guy." If he's willing to get derogatory and violent simple because he didn't get his way, then he's probably not actually a nice guy, is he?

 

               

Published by Irina Yakubin