Thursday, March 19, 2015

No. Not sorry.

Why is it that we don’t let women say no? I’m not talking about society. I’m talking about women. Women don’t let other women say no. We don’t say it nearly enough.
Instead we politely agree to do things we don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, and just plain don’t like to do. We can’t say no. 
If we say no, that’s mean. It’s mean, rude, ugly, and selfish to say no. Women aren’t allowed to do those things. When a man says no, we sort of understand. We accept it as a possible outcome of asking the question and we move on. Why can’t we do the same thing when a woman is asked? Why can’t she say no?
It’s not just that the person being asked feels guilty or pressured to say yes, it’s the person asking the question too. I’m a woman. I know women can say know, should be able to say no… but if I ask another woman to cover for me at work for a little while, I’ll be miffed if she says no. Why would she say no?
We don’t expect it. We can’t wrap our brains around it. Women can’t say no. Women shouldn’t say no.
Says who?
Maybe if we started letting other women say no, we wouldn’t be so afraid to say it ourselves.
Maybe if we started accepting no as a possible answer, we could gain some ground here.
Maybe if we started saying no, we wouldn’t be so tired and burned out.
Maybe if we started saying no, we wouldn’t feel so obligated to do things we don’t want to do.
Maybe if we started saying no, our daughters could say it to.
We could the next revolution with just that word.
So no, I won’t be able to do that for you today.
And by the way, I’m not sorry that I said no, because that’s the other thing we have to stop doing. We have to stop apologizing for every choice we make that we’re afraid someone might not like.
No. I’m not sorry.
There. That feels better. My shoulders feel lighter already.

Try it and you might be surprised.