content note: discussion of situations analogous to sexual assault
I vividly remember the day my mama taught me the concept ‘No means No’. At the time, it had nothing to do with sex.
How did my mother teach me skills to reject unwanted sexual activity without ever talking about sex? She empowered me to assert my boundaries.
I was 7 years old, and I was wrestling with my brother. Despite the fact that he was only 4, we were a pretty good match in strength. Throughout the time we were playing, I was saying “No!” and “Stop!” playfully, in a giggling high-pitched voice, with a smile on my face.
But then, my brother really started really hurting me.