My mother constantly told me “no” when I was growing up, especially when I would ask to go places or do things she didn’t think I needed to go or do. When my request turned into begging, she would calmly and firmly say, “no means no.” And that was that. My response (sulking and writing my true feelings in my diary) had nothing to do with her being a woman — I was 13 and wanted to live my 13-year-old self’s best life, whatever that was.
I'm 27 now, and when I say no to adult humans — *ahem* men *ahem* — it’s sometimes taken as a light suggestion, an opening for a debate, or it goes completely ignored. I'm pretty sure this response does have something to do with my being a woman.
I designed these posters for the Women’s March, which takes place across Canada and the world this Saturday, because me saying "no" and it meaning "no" should have nothing to do with me being a woman and everything to do with respect. Feel free to download, print, and carry them at your march. The posters are meant for everyone; respect is not gendered. And no means no, no matter which way you look at it.