#RedefineNormalToday: ‘No Means No’ Applies To Everything In Life

no means no more than consent
Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Consent is a loaded word, isn’t it? Post the #MeToo movement, we have finally begun to give it the attention it deserves. Due to this, many of us are aware that ‘no means no applies’ to consent aka permission in the context of sex. But is that all it is? I believe ‘no means no’ applies to every single thing in life. Especially in Indian society, where forceful behavior is the norm. For eg:

A is invited to B’s house for dinner. During the meal, B keeps forcing A to “eat some more” even when A has expressly said no because they are full. The result? A leaves B’s place feeling nauseous and bloated.

That doesn’t sound serious, but this is only a tame example. It escalates from here to more concerning matters like career choices, marriage, childbirth, etc. Decisions are often forced by parents onto their kids by the art of wearing them down so much that they say yes.

Of course, consent is more complicated than a simple yes or no, but that’s a topic for another day. For now, can we all please normalize the application of consent to everything? Because ‘no means no’ is not just about sex.

This post is a part of The Normal Project. 

2 thoughts on “#RedefineNormalToday: ‘No Means No’ Applies To Everything In Life”

  1. My family used to say no all the time – that’s the other side of the medal. Thanks to them, I have a hard time making decisions or taking (even small) risks.

    But in terms of stating your own boundaries, in whatever field, I say you’re right. No means no. No honour pressuring someone into obedience.

    1. That’s hard and so relatable. Since my mindset is different from what’s socially and culturally acceptable, I’ve heard no pretty often myself. Weirdly enough, I tend to feel more sure about something when I hear a no…

      Exactly! Free will is one of the few good things about being human. We really mustn’t take that away from anyone.

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