Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Means No

When I say, "I'm not your teacher", don't send me a comment anyway, try to talk to me, because you think your circumstance is so unique; You are so special, I must respond.

When I say, "That hurt me", don't tell me it didn't because you know what you mean/ you know what you want/you're enjoying yourself.

When I say, "Don't put your hand there!", don't tell me that whatever happened was a long time ago, and you're not that other person/not like them and my entire body shouldn't seize up and if it does I'm just oversensitive and over-reacting and need to calm down.

When I start shouting and screaming of your violation, at the pain you've caused, don't tell me to shhh. Don't put your hand over my mouth because I'm making noise and causing a fuss and making a big deal out of things.

When I look at you, after all you've done and use the R word, don't tell me that's a label you reject because you don't see yourself that way and it has nothing to do with my hurt.

When I try to pass you by, don't tell me I can think whatever I want, but you know the truth. Don't laugh secure in your power and tell me to lift my chin up and smile a little because the world doesn't like a sour puss or someone playing the victim.

When the next time I see you, I turn away, don't shake your head and wonder what you ever did to upset me, or talk about how bitter I am and how I used to be so nice.

No means no.

Learn to respect it.


  1. *nods in agreement.*

    And it is unfortunate that posts like this have to made again...and again...and again...

    ...because too many people are in love with their own ignorance.

    I decided to expand a little further at my blog on Blogger.

  2. I have been closely following this latest iteration of the cultural appropriation debacle. I have been reluctant to say anything, because as a white person I am afraid of adding to your hurt. I cannot be silent any longer because I have seen too many people of color attacked for trying to bring depth to this issue. I have seen too many white people subvert the discussion to make it about what we are and are not allowed to do, as if that were the power people of color were wielding in the first place. I have seen white people threaten to walk away and people of color attempting to bring the discussion back to a real discussion of important issues. This is not a discussion with "sides" to take. These are important issues which need to be explored. What white people seem to refuse to acknowledge is that we have the power to choose to engage or disengage. For people of color there is ALWAYS a price to be paid for being in fandom. I just want you to know that someone does see that, and acknowledges it here. My hope is that somehow, that would lessen the cost a little, this time around.

  3. Dharma:

    Sorry about...? I'm not sure how you're responding.

  4. Avalon,
    It's a semi-helpless emotional-reaction condolence, I guess.

    I am the same age as these people, and I do not think their age (which is one card that keeps coming into play) excuses the way the white liberal reflex trumps EVERYTHING. It's appalling, shaming, and seems to be an unending river of fail. And I'm just... really wishing, wave-a-wand-and-make-it-stop wishing, that it wasn't so unending.

    And if it helps, I am not planning to walk away at anytime, because I know that dogged endurance at least, can wear down an obdurate mind or two.