This is a huge deal for me, and I figured it out through watching my mother. She would say things like “Is anyone cold? I’m sorry it’s so cold in here.” and what she really wanted to say was “I’m cold.” Finally, I asked her why she doesn’t just say what she wants, and she said she thought she would sound like a bitch.
I used to do that, too. I used to ask people if they were hungry if I was starving, and if they weren’t, I wouldn’t eat. I used to ask people if they wanted to go out when I was stir-crazy, and if they didn’t want to go, I’d stay in.
I’m tired of having to give kind smiles to the perverts who creep on me on the train and corner me, and ask for a fucking hug from me. I’m tired of cab drivers who grab my arm to write their phone number down on it, without even asking me if I want it. I’m tired of being afraid that my ‘no’ will mean being hurt.
If I want something, I’ll say it. And if I don’t want it, my no will be loud. And if you touch me without my consent, you will carry a reminder of it wherever you go, because I carry my knife with me wherever I go, and I’m not afraid anymore.