But I am outraged. And if you aren’t outraged, then you aren’t paying attention. This is America in 2014. This is our reality. It’s so easy to get jaded and to ignore these atrocities, to act like this doesn’t affect us. It’s so easy to get apathetic. In the past it was the youth who protested. Where is the rage of the youth? Where is our rage?
Like I said, I am not Mike Brown. But I am outraged."
"I don’t want my ears pierced."
"I don’t want any earrings."
The three adults glance at each other conspiratorially and now the pressure really begins. She will look so nice, all the other girls she knows wear earrings, the pain isn’t bad.
She, the child, sees what’s coming and starts crying. As the adults up the volume so does she, she’s crying and emitting a low wail at the same time. “I DON’T WANT MY EARS PIERCED.”
Her mother leans down and speaks to her, quietly but strongly, the only words we could hear were ‘… embarrassing me.’
We heard, then, two small screams, when the ears were pierced.
Little children learn early and often that ‘no doesn’t mean no.’
Little children learn early that no one will stand with them, even the two old men looking horrified at the events from the cafeteria.
Little girls learn early and often that their will is not their own.
No means no, yeah, right.
Most often, for kids and others without power, ”no means force.”"
from "No Means Force" at Dave Hingsburger’s blog.
This is important. It doesn’t just apply to little girls and other children, though it often begins there.
For the marginalized, our “no’s” are discounted as frivolous protests, rebelliousness, or anger issues, or we don’t know what we’re talking about, or we don’t understand what’s happening.
When “no means force” we become afraid to say no.
- 90s Animal Planet: Animals are cool, kids! They can be your friends! But watch out, some are dangerous! Ooh, watch Jeff Corwin handle the most venomous snake in Africa! Aw, look at the tiger babies! Oh, let's learn about conserving the environment! Remember kids, we must respect this planet, because it's the animals' home as well!
- 2013 Animal Planet: ANIMALS WILL FUCKING KILL YOU. And guess what? PARASITES WILL TOO! Yes I know those aren't really animals, I guess. OH YEAH HERE'S SOME PSEUDO-SCIENCE ABOUT BIGFOOT. He's an animal too, right? WATCH THIS WOMAN GET EATEN BY HER PET CHIMPANZEE. ANIMALS ARE SCARY, KIDS. BE CAUTIOUS AROUND YOUR PET LIZARD OK. oh look kittens!
- 90s History Channel: Here kids, we're gonna talk about this society today. History from all time periods and all countries. Isn't this stuff fascinating? Watch us dig up a tomb!
- Early 2000's History Channel: So there's this guy named Hitler. And he's pretty bad. Let us tell you how bad Hitler is. Hitler. Hitler. Hitler. Hitler. More Hiltler. Hey have you heard about this guy named Hitler?
- 2013 History Channel: Aliens moonshiners aliens rednecks aliens pawnshops aliens aliens aliens hey have we mentioned aliens because aliens
- 2014 History Channel: Was Hitler an Alien?
It is not about who pays for the date. It is not about who moves the couch. It is not about who kills the bugs. It is not about who cooks the dinner. It’s not even about who stays home with the kids, as long as the decision was made together, after thinking carefully about your situation and coming to an agreement that makes sense for your particular marriage and family.
It is about making sure that nobody ever has to do anything by “default” because of their gender. The stronger person should move the couch. The person who enjoys cooking more, has more time for it, and/or is better at it should do the cooking. Sometimes the stronger person is male, sometimes not. Sometimes the person who is best suited for cooking is female, sometimes not. You should do what works.
But it is also about letting people know that it is okay to change. If you’re a woman who wants to become stronger, that’s great. If you’re a man who wants to learn how to cook, that’s also great. You might start out with a relationship where the guy opens all the jars and the girl cooks all the meals, but you might find that you want to try something else. So try it."