Women Saying No, And The Beauty of Saying It More Often
I’ve always believed in providing more explanation than what is asked for. For me, some things simply aren’t black and white; they have hints of gray and a little yellow that need to be explained. I have no problem with this level of expression.
Lately, there’s been such a war on women’s voices, bodies, and even our decisions. From corporate and political spaces, to entertainment, to education, and sis working in the cubicle next to you. The level of disrespect and misogynoir is just rearing its ugly head in some shocking ways.
A couple of months ago, when Lori Harvey and Michael B. Jordan parted ways, social media was lit up. It wasn’t that social media was talking, because that’s what we expect. But it was what they were saying about them - about her. The rumor is that Michael B. proposed and she said no. Some called him stupid for asking “someone like Lori Harvey”, who has been connected to several high-profile men. Others called her stupid for saying no to him, in turn, making the biggest mistake of her life.
So, people were essentially saying two things: First, that she shouldn’t have been taken seriously as a partner, and two that she doesn’t have any value. Typically, if a man has a good job, is financially stable, clean-cut and articulate, he’s considered “high value.” And according to self-proclaimed experts like the late Kevin Samuels, a high-value man must date with intense discrimination to ensure that he doesn’t end up with a woman who isn’t on his level. After all, she doesn’t deserve a man like him, right?. But just because a woman has a successful career, good credit and takes pride in herself, that doesn’t automatically make her “high value” either.
No one enjoys being told no, but there are men that can’t accept being told no. How dare you decide the situation is no longer serving you, after everything they have done for you?
If you listened to the recent episode of the Drink Champs podcast, then you heard 52-year-old Murder Inc. founder Irv Gotti go on a tirade about his past relationship with singer Ashanti. He’s bitter and broken STILL, because she decided that what was going on between them did not serve her anymore, so she did what was best for her.
This man berated her, called her out her name, yet still wears a watch that she gave him over 20 years ago and wanted everyone to know what the inscription said. He’s still angry and made a point to say that he made her and she wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for him. Why should any woman have to endure insults and disrespect, simply because she chose herself?
My mother used to say it's not what you say but how you say it. There's something to be said about those gray and yellow areas, however, sometimes a simple "No" will do. No is a complete sentence and requires no further explanation. We are not obligated to provide an unconditional yes to anyone. Lori Harvey and Ashanti owe us nothing. I'm glad they honored themselves with the life they felt they deserved.
Newsflash: Women get to say no. The truth is, we need to say it more often.