Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Aren't You Pressuring Us into Doing Something We Don't Want To Do?

Kid A: Do you want to go upstairs?
Kid B: No.
Kid A: Oh, go on.
Kid B: No.
Kid A: Why not?
Kid B: No. No. No.

This is Honeye Falls, a sleepy suburb of Rochester, New York State. Kid A is a pleasant, articulate, acned male of 13. Kid B is a sharp and friendly female of the same age, in a pink top. They are acting out a role play of what they would do should A start hassling B to have sex with him, under the instruction of two older teenagers from the high school round the corner. "That was good," says the first teen leader, "but some people won't take no for an answer. Remember that no one has the right to pressure you, and you shouldn't feel guilty about saying no. Turn it back on them. Tell them how you feel when they put you under pressure, and what it makes you think about them. Nobody can put pressure on you to do something you don't want to do." There follow suggested ripostes, such as, "When you keep pressuring me like this, it makes me feel like you want me to do something I don't want to do. That makes me feel like you don't respect my right to say no." "Right," says the second teen leader.

"We need some people to do the next role play."

The class tries to pretend it isn't there, by looking upwards, in the way that only teenagers and dogs think will work. "Come on, if you don't volunteer, we'll just have to pick someone." A third girl, let's call her Kid C, sticks up her hand: "Aren't you pressuring us into doing something we don't want to do?"

--Zoe Williams, "Faith, Hope and Chastity," The Guardian, October 20, 2001

(Thanks to MobledQueen for the link.)
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