Don’t you dare say NO?
Why is it sometimes hard to say NO? Is it the fear of disappointing someone? Is it the lack of strength to not doing what is expected? I heard so many stories of women doing something they actually did not want to do but instead of saying NO they ignored their inner voice and denied their thoughts or feelings. I had those situations, too. I believe we are often raised to be kind, helpful, not too loud, nice and sweet and rather silent. Those values can be easily used against us and our inner voice in situations where it would be more than necessary to say NO! There was one particular happening that made me overthink how we are so often raised to behave – so let’s talk about it!
Last week we had a riding guest at our ranch who was obviously disrespectful to women. He sexually abused, talked in a very sexual way and got far too close with his body. Very smart, he did these things only when he was alone with just one woman. So the others did not hear, see or realized anything. Within the group, he acted friendly, with no traces of sexual abuse. On the last evening of the horse camp the team of six women sat together, just the team no guests, to discuss the good and not so good moments of the week. After one or two glasses of wine, the first one starting speaking up about her time alone with the man. She openly told the group how uncomfortable she felt with him, how he got close, how he touched her leg without asking for permission, how he said sexually abusive sentences to her. Once this one woman opened up, the other five felt encouraged to share their experiences! The sad outcome: They all experienced the exact same but no one said anything! They thought as he was a paying guest he should have an amazing time, there should be nothing to complain about and after all, they just tried to ignore his unacceptable behaviour to avoid any kind of trouble.
Why is that??
I really believe it is the outcome of raising us to be always kind, friendly and to follow the needs of others to be loved and accepted. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing against a friendly way of treating others but we need to learn to set clear boundaries! The time is over where women are treated by men as sexual objects, as beings with less value or the weaker gender. When someone treats us in a disrespectful way, either by saying inappropriate words or by approaching us without permission, we cannot remain silent anymore! Let’s not think those experiences have to be kept to ourselves! It is time to share, to speak up, to say clearly NO! We don’t need to feel ashamed, we don’t need to blame ourselves (well, my dress was too short, so for sure he took that as an allowance to approach me inappropriately – bullshit!). When we run into such moments, let’s learn to say NO, to speak up and to talk about it! Also important, we are invited to stick together as women, we are not competitors, we are one! Seeing other women as enemies is self-destructive, seeing other women as support awakens a huge force that we definitely take advantage of! Let’s not judge each other, let’s build a powerful bond!
Jenny was born in 1996 and realized by an early age her heart beats for horses and the love of people coming together in harmony and support. After finishing her studies in Media and communication she started following the path of her heart which lead her to become a horse trainer and trainer for a trustful relationship between human beings and animals. Another very important topic is the empowerment for women, the support to each other and the unconditional love for one another. Writing articles for RealShePower means not only taking part in a huge and more than needed movement but also connecting to women all over the World with the mission of being part of a change.