No. No. NO means one thing, it means NO. I want to shout it from the rooftops. There is no need to explain. No need to elaborate. If you are trying to have sexual relations with another and they say “no” that is all you need. That means stop. It means do not continue forward. Do not pass go.
Those two little letters make up a complete sentence. They are instructions to stop. They mean that the other party has not consented to participate in this action with you. I don’t understand why this is so hard sometimes. All this talk about rape and “me too” in the news. Guys, this is a problem. It is a serious issue and it is out of control. It is never ok to keep going when you hear that word. It is never ok to assume she/he/they is “joking” or “doesn’t really mean it” or “will change their mind later.” No means just that. It means no.
I realize this post is getting repetitive, but I am not sorry. This very fact needs to be drilled into everyone’s minds. We are talking about consent here. Consent for sexual intercourse of any kind. It doesn’t matter if alcohol or drugs are involved. It doesn’t matter if the person “seemed interested” or was dressed in a manner that you viewed as “provoking.” It doesn’t matter if the person said they were interested earlier and then when things started they had a change of thought. It is never ok to continue after being told NO.
It really is simple. It doesn’t matter what kind of urge you may be feeling, or need you might have to fulfill — you have no right to do abuse another person EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Let’s make the right choice here. Let’s do the right thing. Let’s remember that we are in control of our own bodies. We have rights to our own bodies.
No is simply a way of closing the door, making a decision. It is a complete, serious, important, crucial sentence. It has no hidden meanings. No means NO.
If you have been following the news you probably heard about the plea deal Texas prosecutor made with ex-Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Walter Anderson. Despite the fact that Anderson was indicted on four counts of sexual assault, the prosecutor chose to avoid trial and instead agreed to a plea deal keeping Anderson out of jail, giving him only probation.
Disgusting, outrageous, absurd, insulating are just a few of the words that flood my mind, not to mention fear — what does this say about rape in this country? What does this say to survivors? Where is the justice?
The prosecutor’s reasons for keeping the case out of court are ridiculous in my opinion. Citing a previous case, prosecutor Hilary LaBorde listed she was worried a jury wouldn’t convict Anderson and was worried about the survivor’s feelings. What about her feelings now? Without even a fight? The prosecutor said the case was weak because the survivor and Anderson were drunk. Are we saying men don’t need to be accountable because they are drunk? Are we saying this act is ok when alcohol is involved?
We are further perpetuating rape culture. In the previous rape case, where this same prosecutor lost, jurors said the accuser “didn’t look like a rapist” — and what does a rapist look like? Or a murder? Or a saint? There is no concrete evidence supporting the way someone looks has anything to do with their ability to commit wrongdoing. This illogical way of thinking is setting rapists free.
What about the survivors? Are they not worth fighting for? That is what we are saying, isn’t it? We are showing that rape isn’t that bad. We are telling people they can get away with it because no one wants to convict a rapist. No one wants to surface unpleasant memories, intimate information, and vulgar actions.
We need to change this culture. We need to stand up and show that we won’t stand for this kind of behavior. These actions are awful. They are beyond disgusting. They cause permanent irreparable harm. What about our children? Our next generation? What are we doing to show them this is unacceptable?