Justice

5th-Grade-Girl Pens Guidelines for Pesky Male Classmate

A fifth-grade girl's message for a bothersome classmate has apparently tapped into many women's frustrations about establishing personal boundaries.

The woman who shared the document on Twitter claims it was passed on by a friend who teaches the fifth grade.

Zoe, the letter's (alleged) author, bluntly outlines six "Rules & Regulations" for a boy named Noah — who she strongly implies will not leave her alone.

Included among the prohibited actions are touching, playing, foolishness, and sneaking up on her from behind.

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"You like me but I do not like you (as a bf)," Zoe says. She also asserts that she is too young to have a boyfriend and finds his temperament grating.

"I have a short temper," Zoe admits. "And you ruin my day because you play too much." She further instructs him to re-read the guidelines 500 times. The author says she will call various adults if the rules are disobeyed and will go to "counseling!!!" if Noah persists.

Though Zoe's letter is rather strongly-worded, the experience it describes is quite common among women of all ages.

This is likely why the letter has circulated the internet so rapidly. Women can face unwanted sexual and romantic advances in virtually all areas of life, from cat-calls to sexual harassment on public transportation and in the workplace. Romantic comedies too often tell men that aggressively pursing a woman who has rejected them is a gesture of devotion. In reality, this behavior can amount to stalking and harassment.

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Adult women often struggle to speak out about these experiences for fear of the repercussions (violence, getting fired, etc.) or simply because enduring these advances as you go about your day is in and of itself exhausting.

It also doesn't help that our educational system consistently fails to educate young people about consensual relationships.

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But at least one sassy young girl is getting the message out: if a woman says she isn't interested, leave her the hell alone.