“‘*No’ is not a conversation starter”: Kalki Koechlin*

Actor Kalki Koechlin pens down her opinions on women empowerment in her year-end essay.

She wrote, “We need to teach our children the meaning and importance of consent; that a ‘no’ is a no and a ‘no’ need not be always followed with an explanation. If you want to say ‘no’ it is not mandatory to explain or justify your decision. ‘No’ is not a conversation starter but a full statement in itself. We have this culture of wearing down a person... where a guy keeps at it even when the woman has said no, hoping that she will eventually get tired of resisting and will give in. So, you try and try again until the ‘no’ becomes a ‘yes’. We need to address this. ‘No’ is a rather simple word. We need to tell our girls to say no when they mean it and our boys to understand that a ‘no’ means just that and nothing else.”

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“But, it is equally important to teach our girls to say yes when she so feels. We have to stop making sex holy or dirty. Virginity is not some treasure that a girl needs to protect and then give it as a gift to her husband. When you label something as dirty, you make it more enticing. When you label something as holy, you make it a power thing,” she quipped.

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