I appreciate and admire Roxane Gay so much. My copy of Bad Feminist is filled with marginalia and I follow her on Twitter to keep up with her latest essays. She writes in a way that examines her subject from all sides and illustrates the complexity of situations that may seem black and white. Her written work is wonderful, but I rarely hear her speak. When I found this video, I watched it three times in a row. Gay’s struggles with saying ‘no’ resonated deeply with me. Here’s a snippet:
When I say ‘no’, people don’t take no for an answer. They always come back, as if it’s a negotiating tactic. Perhaps, for some people, it is. But for me, when I say ‘no’, it has taken quite a lot of energy to work up the courage to say no. So my ‘no’ is an actual no. People don’t take it seriously, and sometimes they get offended, as if I’m being too uppity. How dare I say no?