Jean Page’s “Feel free to say no”

Feel free to say no

is perhaps the utmost courtesy
we can give to fellow
human beings

to women especially
and children
whom we train so well
to acquiesce.

Long before she outgrows
her girlhood
she has learned to reserve
her nos to herself

and her silence
has long been taken
as her yes.

Anyone without power

Yeses are cheap
Nos are golden.

Jean Page
July 10, 2020

Jean Page’s poem opens a series of stories by survivors and advocates being published by Time’s Up Ateneo for its second anniversary, with the theme “From Complicity to Care” and the goal of promoting more caring communities for survivors and advocates. Our call for stories is open until October 31, 2021.

Please join our anniversary events—a feminist community night entitled “Conspiring against the Patriarchy” on October 23, 2021 and a public lecture and discussion entitled “Confronting GBV in Pop Culture” on October 30, 2021 both at 8pm PHT.

Published by Time's Up Ateneo

We stand with survivors.

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