No Means No, Or Does It?

No means no. Not anymore!

Recent events regarding perceived rejection have left me frankly, very scared and well worried for my life.

Maren Sanchez,16-year-old, Milford, Connecticut high school student was stabbed in the neck and killed in April after refusing a prom invitation. The accused attacker, her middle school ex-boyfriend Chris Plaskton was said to be a cutter and tried to kill himself.  People said “He just wasnʼt right … he had depression.”

Maren was set to go to prom with her boyfriend Jarrod Butts, who was hit hard by her death. He created a YouTube tribute in her honor. And, on the night of their canceled prom, approximately 200 friends and classmates went to a beach, dressed in prom attire, to release purple star-shaped balloons in Marenʼs honor.

Just this past weekend there was another rejected youth  on a rampage.

Elliot Rodger, 22, a Santa Barbara City college student, shot and killed 6 people including his roommates, who he stabbed to death and others in a drive-by shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. He went on to kill himself making a total of 7 killed and several others injured.

Elliot Rodger was the son of well known Hollywood assistant director Peter Rodger. He has issued a statement saying he believes his son is responsible for the mass murder of six people in Isla Vista.

Prior to the shooting, Elliot released a bone chilling video to YouTube titled Elliot Rodgerʼs retribution. In the video, the alleged shooter said “I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut I see inside of there. ” He was referring to the number 1 sorority on the UCSB campus.

He continued talking about how he was the “supreme gentleman,” and how he didnʼt understand how girls, the girls he desired so much, could reject him.

Elliot Rodger said women made him feel like the “inferior man.” That they would throw themselves at “obnoxious brutes.” He stated that on the day of his retribution they would finally see who was superior, who was the true “alpha male.”

Reports have shown that Elliot Rodger had long concealed mental health problems. On April 30th deputies even interacted with him to make sure he wasnʼt a harm to himself or to anyone else. He convinced them he was fine.

Feminism is bullsh*t.

I hear people constantly say this … feminism is bullsh*t. When shootings like this happen, we are reminded that collectively, women and men need to speak up against injustice in order to help prevent these kind of horrors from recurring. I mean, a woman rejects you, sexually or otherwise, and it makes it okay for you to kill her? How does one reconcile this in their mind?

Maren was an honors student, manager of her swim team, class president. She had big plans. She was my age, 16 years old—stabbed to death for saying no.

Elliot Rodger allegedly killed innocent people because they said no, because, as he claimed, they didnʼt give him his “right” to sex, fun, and pleasure. Is this what college is all about?

Elliot Rodger is not alone in his feelings of entitlement. This is a greater problem. Remember Mark Berndt, the 61-year-old, Los Angeles elementary school teacher, who spoon fed his students his own semen in 2012?

Did you know that the number 1 most violent crime on American college campuses today is rape. Fewer than 5 percent of college women who are victims of this crime report it. Note that 90 percent of college rapes are by an acquaintance, i.e. at parties or on dates and rape in non-party and non-date situations (e.g., while studying). Rape on college campuses are so rampant the White House just issued guidelines to combat rape on college campuses this month.

Every 2 minutes, another American is sexually assaulted. It happens everywhere, amongst all ages. As a teenage girl, I still vividly remember my elementary and middle school years, and the themes boys would assign to days of the week, “Titty tap Tuesday” and “Slap ass Friday.” Not surprisingly, these were my least favorite days of the week.

In my opinion, it’s hard to tell the difference between a serial killer such as Ted Bundy, and shooters who kill mass amounts of people without any warning. I mean it took Bundy 4 years to kill 30 people, while it only took 20 minutes for Rodger to kill 6 and wound 13. Bundy certainly wasn’t the only cold-hearted son of a b*tch to come along and I’m sure there will be others.

Watching this story unfold has contributed to my fear of men. I do fear men. Should I have to? No. I don’t think so. I shouldnʼt have to walk out of my house and worry that the guy who whistled at me from the car window might shoot me if I ignore him. Or that my “guy friend” who offers me a ride home will pressure me for sex because heʼs spending gas.

Since when did a man being nice to a woman mean that a woman had to give them sex in return? When did saying no become something to fear. A reason to fear for your life even.

No means no.

It always has meant no. With these issues beginning to surface, it’s time to do something. Where does the change have to start? The home front? The education system? Society? Our government?

You tell me.

Madeline Derujinsky

Madeline Derujinsky is a high school sophomore attending a performing arts high school in downtown LA. She was in “Guys and Dolls” and participated in the DTASC’s fall and Shakespeare festivals. She is sophomore representative of Thespian troupe 7573 and participated in this fall’s Music Center Student Ambassador Program. When she isn’t at school, she spends her time reading, writing, baking, learning sign language, and finding new passions each and every day.

7 thoughts on “No Means No, Or Does It?

  1. L. Morand Reply

    I read it. Very well written. How terribly sad that such a young girl has to even think about such things. I blame society, the media even the movies. What was the big best seller> 50 Shades of Gray? I could not get past the third chapter. Once the whips and chains came out I closed the book. The total willing acceptance of degradation and suffering. It is mainstream now. I hope young women do band together to save themselves. And we older women should help them.

  2. Meryl- Bounce Back Women Inc. Reply

    This was a powerful article. I’m inspired by the writer’s wisdom as such a young age. I believe the education regarding these situations belong with the parents, the role models. It should be every father’s responsibility to educate their sons on how to behave and how to treat women, beginning at a very early age. I also believe that their mothers need to explain to them the differences between a woman’s and a man’s emotions. Without this understanding, these incidents will keep occurring. In these situations, we have to keep in mind that these are extreme behaviors and that these boys have much deeper issues going on. Non the less, young women shouldn’t have to fear for their lives if they decide to reject a boy.

  3. Carole Reply

    I am horrified for the young women today. There is so much self loathing, anger, violence and hate in the world. We see and hear it everyday in the news, in books, TV programs, films and most music. Where are the parents of these young men? Are they experiencing or seeing abuse as children in their homes or simply ignored? So many seem immune to the violence and hurt they inflict on others. Continue writing Madeline. Your article was excellent and thought provoking.

  4. Elizabeth Marie Thauberger Reply

    “NO” DOES MEAN “NO” REMEMBER THAT. I NEVER FORGOT THAT AND I WILL BE 57 ON JUNE 5, 2014. FIGHT FOR IT. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF. NEVER GO SILENT. YOU DO HAVE YOUR RIGHTS. RIGHT TO SELF IS NUMBER 1. LIVE WITH RESPECT. ETHICS. A GOOD MORAL COMPASS. INTEGRITY. HONESTY. HONOR. TRUTH. COMMON DECENCY. ACCOUNTABILITY. ALL THE RIGHT VALUES. HIGH STANDARDS. NEVER SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO THAT, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE. NEVER DEVALUE YOURSELF, NOT FOR A SECOND. AND FIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE TO. GET MAD. GET ANGRY. NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR. TAKE OTHERS TO TASK WHEN NECESSARY. NEVER, EVER BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP. MAKE YOUR DEMANDS KNOWN. NEVER BE THE “GOOD” GIRL. NEVER BE THE ‘VICTIM’. ALWAYS BE THE CHAMPION. WHEN THERE ARE LOSSES (AND THEY ARE THERE AS STEPPING STONES TO SOMETHING GREATER), BE A GOOD LOSER. BE A GRACIOUS LOSER. LEARN FROM LOSING; IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER. NEVER BE AFRAID TO GO THE DISTANCE. NEVER BE AFRAID TO TAKE THAT CHANCE. GROW. BE MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS. THINK OF OBSTACLES AS OPPORTUNITIES. CHALLENGES. SET GOALS AND KEEP THEM. MAKE PROMISES TO YOURSELF AND KEEP THEM. BE BETTER THAN THE NEXT PERSON. NEVER, EVER SACRIFICE YOUR CORE, BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER GET IT BACK. TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG AND USE IT EVERY DAY. CHARACTER IS ALL THAT MATTERS IN THE LONG RUN. STRENGTH OF CONVICTION. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY. NEVER LOSE YOURSELF IN THE JUNGLE OF ‘POPULARITY’. ALWAYS BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. YOU ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS. NEVER FORGET THAT. REMEMBER THAT GOD MADE YOU A UNIQUE PERSON WITH SPECIAL GIFTS AND POWERS SPECIAL TO YOU, ALONE. USE THAT POWER TO EMPOWER OTHERS THAT NEED IT. NEVER FORGET THAT WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER. THAT IS WHAT BEING A SOCIETY IS ALL ABOUT. LEARN FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES; YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE THEM ALL YOURSELF. GOD NEVER GIVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE. BOUNCE BACK AND RUN WITH IT. PEOPLE WILL FAIL YOU, BUT GOD NEVER DOES. I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST IN ALL YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS. GOD BLESS YOU, ALWAYS. LOVE, ELIZABETH.

  5. J Michael Walker Reply

    Wonderful, heartfelt, and ultimately tragic essay: Thanks..

    There is a whole culture of entitlement at the white-hot heart of American culture –

    ironically so, given that the white male culture accuses everyone Else of feeling entitled!

    Even the Supreme Court has historically recognized the “right to be left alone.”

    It is something fathers should learn and teach their sons.

    Not only does No mean No: Only Yes means Yes.

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