In Response to the Song “NO” by Meghan Trainor

“All my ladies, listen up
If that boy ain’t giving up
Lick your lips and swing your hips
Girl, all you gotta say is…

My name is “No”
My sign is “No”
My number is “No”
You need to let it go
You need to let it go
Need to let it go
“Nah” to the “Ah” to the “No”, “No”, “No””

Meghan Trainor’s song, “No,” was released in 2016, and, since I avoid pop music, I didn’t stumble upon it until only a few weeks ago. As the artist explains, “No” is a female anthem with a message of empowerment for women. However, although the message of “No” is important, the lyrics are infuriating as a sexual assault survivor. In the song, “No,” Meghan Trainor explains that women simply need to say “no” in order to terminate an interaction, action, etc., which is to say that sexual assault survivors simply needed to say “no” in order to prevent their attacks (a horrible inaccuracy promoted by rape culture). The devastating truth that so many people come to discover is that “no” is only sometimes interpreted as “no” by only some people. Further, “no” is often perceived as “yes,” “convince me,” etc. With that being said, “no” is often not enough to cause termination. 


When I told my first rapist “no,” when he wanted to have sex with me, he interpreted my statement as “convince me,” and eventually raped me when I continued to deny his advances.

And then, when I said, “no,” to my second rapist when he wanted to have sex with me, he said, “what do you mean ‘no?’ You can’t say no. You have been flirting with me all night,” and then he raped me. 


You’re right, Meghan Trainor, I SHOULD HAVE JUST SAID ‘NO.’


2 thoughts on “In Response to the Song “NO” by Meghan Trainor

  1. I thought I was the only person thinking about that song like this. Thank you for writing this. I can already imagine the responses if I would say it out loud in the world to people who haven’t been raped and aren’t empathic enough (such as the people who are paid to help me with it) “you’re just too sensitive”, “you have to make everything about you”, “too negative”etc. But now I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this about this song.


    1. Of course–I’m glad that I’m not the only person that feels this way!

      Yes! Especially those that make comments such as, “you should have just said no” (or something to that effect) and “you could have prevented [your experience].” I understand that sexual assault and related experiences are hard to understand if one has not experienced them personally, but there is never an excuse for inappropriate comments such as those and others of that nature. With that being said, I’m sorry that you have been subjected to such inappropriate comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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