I really appreciated this response. Your quote has really made me think because you are completely right, my saying ‘no’ is the initiation of a conversation, not the completion of one.
I am going to learn to stand firm, or at least work on standing firm in my ‘no’s’ from now on and not allow others to expect or receive an explanation from me. ‘No’ is enough; ‘no’ is an answer’ ‘no’ is a complete statement.
I honestly do feel that being a woman and being firm in your stance is unwelcome in society, but you’re completely right. If we do not normalize the things we want, who will?