There’s a lot we can learn from 11 year old Zoë.
We live in a society where it is normal for a woman to reluctantly accept any untoward advances that a man might make. Most of the time, the thought of putting up a stand ends up being just that – a thought. It takes courage and self confidence to raise your voice against something that makes you uncomfortable, which is why we should all applaud what little Zoë did.
In a hilarious, but firm letter that she wrote to her classmate Noah, Zoë listed down a set of ‘Rules & Regulations’ that were supposed to tell Noah how to behave around her.
My friend who’s a 5th grade teacher just sent this to me! I’m dead!!! pic.twitter.com/FSDBxs9Vtq
— Denny Dimples (@WhosDenverJones) September 15, 2016
This is the complete set of rules and regulations that she noted down in her letter:
1. Do not touch my shoulder.
2. Do not get behind me with all that playing & foolishness. (Don’t get behind me at all.)
3. Do not speak to me unless it’s a greeting, which will be never.
4. Stop playing with me on the bus.
5. I have a short temper with people and you ruin my day because you play 2 much.
6. Reread 500 times.
7. You like me (as a gf) but I don’t like you (as a bf) I’m 2 young!
After which she added a disclaimer about what would happen should he break any of these rules:
“… I’m calling my dad, my mom’s friend, my fake mom, and a janator (don’t mind spelling) I know!!!!!!
If you ruin my day I’m going to have to go to counseling!!!!
Stop playing with me!!!!!!”
The note, which went viral in September 2016, was shared on Twitter by user Denny Dimples after she received the photo from her friend, a fifth-grade teacher.
Chances are that 10 year old Noah probably didn’t intend to make Zoë uncomfortable, and was just acting out immaturely in the wake of a crush on a fellow classmate. But that doesn’t mean that you should let these kinds of situations slide.
There are a lot of men in this world who still need explicit instructions on how they should behave with women, and an early heartbreak like this would have probably helped them understand that you need to respect a woman’s boundaries.
Zoë’s letter brings to light a very important point that most men tend to miss: consent is necessary and you are not entitled to someone else’s affections unconditionally.
We hope that Zoë’s letter helps other women find their voice and that even a small event like this becomes a harbinger for change.