When I saw the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy was retiring, paving the way for Trump to appoint another conservative extremist to the court, I got the hot, panic-anger feeling in my chest that I’ve come to associate with life under this administration. This adds to the growing threats already undermining reproductive freedoms and LGBQA protections in the U.S. The things that could happen if -- and unfortunately, but most likely, when -- Trump and his enablers in the legislative branch manage to get a new justice appointed make me ill every time I think about it.
Young people don’t arrive at their conclusions about appropriate romantic behavior in a vacuum; they’re influenced by a myriad of messages, including input from the adults in their lives. Sometimes that input includes ideas that end up exacerbating issues around rejection and dating. One of the ways we can work towards a world in which acts like this no longer happen, a world in which people, and women in particular, aren’t afraid their “no” will make them a target of violence, is to make a concerted effort to help the young people in our lives learn to deal with rejection in healthy ways. With that in mind, we’ve put together recommendations to assist adults in doing exactly that.
What should you do when someone says no to or otherwise refuses or declines your romantic or sexual gestures or asks Accept it and stop making those gestures or asks. That's the right answer every single time: just accept someone's no and then back right off.
Asking or otherwise pressing over and over isn't the right answer. "Not giving up" (which often looks a whole lot like harassment) isn't the right answer. Trying to get them to change their mind isn't the right answer. Trying to get them to change their mind through their friends or family also isn't the right answer. And while it should be obvious, we so sadly know that it isn't: no kind of violence is ever the right answer.