She Died Because She Said "No": #masculinitysodeadly

January 26, 2016

A Pittsburgh woman, Janese Talton-Jackson, was shot and killed on Friday night  for  saying "no" to a man's advances.


According to the news reports, the incident began when Charles McKinney attempted to talk to Talton-Jackson at a bar, but when she turned him down and left the bar, he followed her out and shot her in the chest.


There isn't really much to say. This isn't her fault. He did not deserve her number. He didn't even deserve her attention. Period.


When my husband showed me this story, of course I was saddened, but I wasn't surprised...I'm angry. I'm angry for my future daughter who will have to have to decide if she will stand in her power, as Janese did, or live in fear because #masculinitysodeadly. I refuse to have future generations experience the everyday underlying fear many women hold when rightfully rejecting a man's advances. As a woman, we've become accustomed to men being ridiculous with cat- calling, unwanted touching, street harrassment, sexual harassment- HELL, there is a whole tumblr (whenwomenrefuse) dedicated to sharing these types of stories. 


It's not uncommon to have conversations with my girlsfriends about the ridiculous tactics of men telling me to smile while walking in to work, excessive honks while crossing the street, having a man screaming for me to give him a hug- late a night while trying to get to my car, following me into a Potbelly's- while standing at the register waiting for me to finish ordering so he can talk to me and my absolute favorite, the wrist or waist grab while at a bar.


I named this #masculinitysodealy as an offshoot of #masculinitysofragile, which trended on Twitter Sept. 23 as users in the U.S. and around the globe shared their views on how society defines masculinity -- and the damaging side effects that come with those stereotypes. We've gotten to a point where masculinity has moved on to being fragile to being a deadly weapon.This isn't about 'men being men'- check the stats.






  • In a study of 56 mass shootings across America since 2009 finds women and family members are the most frequent victims.

  • In at least 32 of the cases (57 percent), the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member, and at least eight of those shooters had a prior domestic violence charge.

  • Recent global prevalence figures indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

  • Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.


I'm tired of the male behavior apologist. I'm tired of the shamers. And I've already read commentary about how should've just given her his number. This is not a woman's problem. We've seen news segments where women try to explain their humanity, while people tell us we're being too sensitive. It's really up to men to start having these conversation with other men. We're living in a sad and dangerous world where women can't say 'no', and when things like this do happen- we are told that we don't "have to reply to harshly" or "you can just give a fake number" or "just be happy that someone think you're beautiful"- which are all real life reactions I've gotten when I've spoken up or shared my experiences. 


We definitely have to engage men in these conversations and we can use our voices. Websites like Hollaback, enables users to use their smartphones or a computer to expose harassersby documenting, mapping, and sharing incidents of harassment.


Rest in power Janese. Your "no" was valid. You stood powerfully in your "no" and we're proud of you. We will work harder to ensure this doesn't keep happening.



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