"No" is both one of the easiest and hardest things to understand. On one hand, rejection should stop you in your tracks, but on the other, romantic comedies and personal anecdotes suggest that trying harder is the answer. One mom has some words for a boy who won't take her daughter's "no" at face value.
This video, made by YouTube personality Doe Eyes is brilliant in its directness as well as its poeticism. Watch it through once, and it's a cautionary poem. Watch it again and it's a life lesson someone should learn at a very young age. And even though it may seem harsh to some, what this mom says should be shown to children everywhere. Not just boys, but anyone who wants to make a meaningful human connection with someone without being a creep or impinging on someone's rights.
Of course, the comments on the video are filled with personal anecdotes of people getting into longterm relationships after wearing someone down and suggestions that the mom in the video doesn't know what she's talking about, but her point isn't that young men shouldn't try, it's that they shouldn't try after being rejected. Sure, some people may end up in happy longterm relationships after being worn down (like in the movies!) and some people do want to say yes even when they say no, but the point is that one should take the initial no at face value. If they say no and actually might mean yes, it's not up to the pursuer to determine that. Their task is to accept the response and move on, no matter how much it might suck or how much they believe that the object of their affection (because that's what the person becomes, an object) will come around or doesn't know what they're missing. There are no soul mates, time heals all wounds, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Go try somewhere else (in a respectful manner).
And here's another thing: Whenever a video like this surfaces, people uncomfortable with the idea of someone being rejected start making comments such as "what if the person's autistic?" or "wow, did you really need to shame a teenage boy on the internet? What are you teaching your daughter?" which are hard for me to understand. Why cast aspersions on the person being pursued instead of the pursuer? The responses to this video, which is both kind and straightforward are partially in line with the intended message and partially parroting back the societal belief that women shouldn't hurt men's feelings and that people should give each other a chance. But there are less allowances made for the victim of harassment (neither she or her pursuer are identified and Doe Eyes' daughter's identity has never been revealed online), who's really the one embarrassed and suffering.
We need more videos like this and teenagers starting out on the road to love (or at least second base) absolutely can benefit from lessons on respect, rejection and consent. Better to learn them early, feel the sting of rejection and move on than believe that the world is yours for the taking and others' consent is just a matter of course, something you can win with a romantic gesture and persistence even after they've said no — and even "go away" — multiple times.
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