Women are taught to be polite and kind and fragile. When we say “No” we say it with a gentleness, if we can say it at all. We are taught that being polite is better than refusing to allow a man’s unwanted attention. We are taught that if you say no once and it doesn’t work, chances are, it won’t work the next hundred times either. This is what society has taught us about saying “No”.
But my mom taught me how to say “No” and how to say it with power. She taught me because she knows that most women in this world can’t stand up for themselves and they need people like me to stand up for them. “No” is a powerful thing. And when we stand together, we can’t be broken. When we stand up for each other, no one is more powerful.