we don’t need to “teach girls to say no”, we need to teach boys to take “no” for an answer so that girls who learn to say no, who already say no, who’ve been saying no can feel like it’s even a viable option that’ll have an effect in the first place
Also: we don’t need to “teach girls to say no,” we need to teach girls to say “no” when they don’t want something.
My sex ed class taught girls lots of ways to say “no” to sex. The problem was that they didn’t teach that this had any connection to your actual desires—it was just something you had to do. Which is not empowering; when you teach “you’re supposed to say no; it’s not about what you want,” the implication that girls’ desires and decisions don’t matter came through loud and clear.
It also implied, to the boys in the class, that pressuring girls and ignoring “no” were the only way they could ever have sex. If girls are supposed to say “no” all the time, regardless of what they want, then maybe a girl who says “no” doesn’t really mean it. And if girls are supposed to say “no” all the time, but heterosexual sex clearly still happens… it normalizes the idea that boys are not just allowed but expected to not take “no” for an answer.
We really need consent education. Not just about sex. About things in general. About what it is and what it isn’t, and how to communicate.