As women, we’re bred to say “yes.” We’re given the subtle message that “no” is unacceptable. We’re expected to accept the unacceptable. We’re expected to accept everyone and everything, into our hearts and our bodies. When we venture a “no” we’re met with ire, withdrawal of love and approval. We become like sponges, ever-expanding receptacles–drawers, waste baskets, toilets.
Saying “no” becomes an act of subversion, defiance, disrespect, and disobedience. It also becomes vital to our survival. Exercising disagreement and dissent are marks of our personhood. Objects are receptacles, people have wants, needs, and desires. We also have standards, things which we do not desire; our objections are heard and respected. We do not have to explain, reconsider, or “listen.”
I’m very much in favor of incorporating feminism into every aspect of our lives. Respecting ourselves enough to acknowledge our limits is one way we can do this. Exercising choice and respecting the choices of others is a powerful way to assert one’s personhood. It reminds others that we are human, we are to be taken seriously and we are deserving of respect.