We were grabbing a bite of lunch at a small cafe, in a mall, right across from a booth that sold jewelry and where ears could be pierced for a fee. A mother approaches with a little girl of six or seven years old. The little girl is clearly stating that she doesn’t want her ears pierced, that’s she’s afraid of how much it will hurt, that she doesn’t like earrings much in the first place. Her protests, her clear ‘no’ is simply not heard. The mother and two other women, who work the booth, begin chatting and trying to engage the little girl in picking out a pair of earrings. She has to wear a particular kind when the piercing is first done but she could pick out a fun pair for later.
"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.
Female voters in the US have been called “soccer moms” and “security moms”. In 2004, single women were “Sex and the City voters”. Now – because apparently women can’t ever just be “citizens” or “voters”, or more likely because conservatives prefer to call us names instead of delving too deep into women’s issues – we are “Beyoncé voters”. Bow down, bitches.
Most single ladies would generally be thrilled with a comparison to Queen Bey in any way, shape or form, but the cutesy nicknames for politically-engaged women need to stop. Surely pundits and the political media culture can deal with the collective electoral power of the majority voting bloc in this country in some better way than symbolically calling us “sweetheart”, complete with head pat.
A farmer was out in his field, and he counted 196 cows, but when he rounded them up he had 200.
The case around Mike Brown’s killing by a Ferguson police officer is only getting murkier.
After releasing images from a gas station robbery to the press Friday morning with the suggestion Mike Brown was pictured in them, the Ferguson police department is now backtracking. In a second press conference hours later, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson admitted that Brown’s shooting was unrelated to the incident.
Jackson told reporters that Brown and a friend were in fact stopped, “because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”
He also admitted that Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, didn’t suspect Brown at the time that he stopped him.
When Chief Jackson was asked by reporters why his department chose to release the robbery tape if it was unrelated to the shooting, he replied that he had to because “the media asked for it.”
Who says social media doesn’t make a difference? Their police chief having to backtrack after everyone calls them out for bald-faced lies.