No

‘No’ isn’t a mere word…it’s an entire sentence on its own. It doesn’t require any enquiry, justification, explanation or interpretation.

These boys must realise, ‘No’ means ‘No’, regardless of whether the girl is an acquaintance, a friend, your girlfriend, a sex worker or even your wife. ‘No’ means ‘No’. And when someone says so, you STOP.

-Amitabh Bachchan in Pink

And here I am again. This time, with a quote by a legend in the film industry. Hoping, praying, that maybe someone so prominent might manage to bring about a small change. That after decades of movies revolving around a guy harassing a girl he “loves” – and ending up marrying her instead of ending up in jail – it might be time for change.

After months and months of debate over consent and sexual harassment, I’ve had enough. I’ve seen enough people claiming that by drinking, the girl was basically asking for sex. I’m done with people calling Brock Turner innocent. I cannot deal with the kind of brutal victimisation that goes around. Be it to the rape survivor at Stanford, or be it my friends and I. Because we shouldn’t be wearing sleeveless or skirts, we shouldn’t be out late at night, we shouldn’t laugh out loud or talk to men. Then, consent is assumed. You are a promiscuous bitch, and that’s what you want. That’s what you deserve.

Because you know what? I am tired. I am tired of going drinking and having men turn aggressive, so much so that I have to leave. I am tired of getting spammed with texts asking for, no wait, demanding for my love and my body. I am tired of being stared at when I walk to college. I am tired of having to use my hair as a shield from your gazes, you pervert, dressed as a businessman or a student. I am tired of having to take extra precautions so the food delivery guy doesn’t enter my house, that he tirelessly insists upon.

Realise that a no is a no. And to add to this phenomenal dialogue, here is a tip. Don’t assume consent, simple as that. Don’t assume you have the right to stare, make gestures, click my photos or touch me. And when I very clearly, explicitly say “No”, fucking stop.

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