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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » No means... HUH?

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Author Topic: No means... HUH?
Stephanie_1
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Working in a school, there's a lot of opportunities to hear from and talk with students about their lives. Sometimes the most teachable moments happen when you're just sitting there listening. Last week talking with one student I heard "dad says when girls say no it can really mean yes just that they're shy." to which I had to discuss with the student that no really means and how it must always be understood to mean exactly that.

How do you show that you know no mean no? In what ways can someone spread the message to others?

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Yakri
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"How do you show that you know no mean no?"

That part I'm not sure of, I mean, it's a pretty hard thing to show in a, "lead by example," kind of setting, considering the question and answer don't exactly come up in public often.

The closest you can get perhaps, is to interject your stance on the matter anytime it comes up even vaguely in conversation.

"In what ways can someone spread the message to others?"

Explaining it to people is pretty straight forward, there's a particularly good article here on scarleteen that does a splended job of stating that 'No' really does mean 'No', and what constitutes a. "No."


If you could get anyone or group of someones to sit down for a five minute talk you could make it pretty clear to them.

If you managed to teach enough people to think this way, it'd probably spread, but it isn't really something that can start out going mouth to mouth.


Basically, I'd think you'd need to have it taught, either in sex ed of some level, or by parents.

Letting people find it out on there own from places like scarleteen is all well and good, but it doesn't really get to enough people that way.


Random factoid crossing my brain: this isn't actually entirely true in some other cultures, if some documentaries/interviews I've seen can be believed. The No means No bit that is.

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Burdened with glorious booty
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Explain it like this: Let's say that I asked you if I could put a pencil in your mouth, or your ear, and you said no. You would be horrified if I proceeded to forcefully shove a pencil in your ear, and then said afterwards "I thought you were being shy", wouldn't you? Or how about I asked if I could punch you in the face, and you said no - you wouldn't be happy if I punched you anyway and then said "I thought you were just playing hard to get". It just wouldn't happen.

For practical explanations, just compare it to a non-sexual activity and point out that if no means no for literally every non-sexual activity, then it's a bit stupid to say that no somehow doesn't mean no when it comes to sex.

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Ta-da!

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Saffron Raymie
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Welcome to Scarleteen, Derpy. I loved your post; you sound very smart for a cross-eyed pony. [Wink]

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~ Saffy
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To my Abuser: I'm seeing stars. I bet you can't do that.

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Jill2000Plus
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See, the thing about "in other cultures this is different" is that I really don't believe that there is any culture where people are psychic and can always tell whether no means no or no means something else, the reason that no means no is emphasised is because it is the ethical way to go about things, sometimes someone may actually be "playing hard to get" when they say no, but there is no way to know for sure, and it's far more important not to rape people than to not pass up an opportunity to have consensual sex. And I don't doubt that in cultures where the idea of "resistance is sexy" is more commonplace, there will be many who use that as an excuse when they rape someone... just like they do in this culture.

[ 01-01-2012, 06:29 AM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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coralee
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Thank you Jill2000Plus for your very insightful post. You put my thoughts in words.
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Jill2000Plus
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You're welcome, and I would further add that the importance of discussion is a key theme here: if you're having sex with someone you haven't before then it's important to be sure you're clear there's consent using all the tools you have at your disposal (well ok, you don't have to draw up diagrams representing your arousal levels or anything, but you get my point), and if you are in a long term sexual relationship with someone, you really ought to be having in depth discussions about how you each show your consent so that if you prefer not to talk much during sex or want to act out rape fantasies, etc then you are clear on how to have that be fully consensual (safe words, non-verbal cues, etc).

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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