It’s Monday. I’m going home at 6pm and a middle aged man and a teenage boy are the only people left on the bus with me. I consider the fact that because the driver is also a man I am the only person left on the bus with the correct genetic makeup for boobs. I’m automatically scared, scared because of my own anatomy. I wonder how old I was when I realized that my own body was going to be the cause of the constant anxiety and fear I feel in situations like this. I get off at the last stop and the older man smiles at me while following me up the street. His smile drips, drips, drips and my heart is pounding, pounding, pounding. He turns off down another road, but I run the rest of the way home.
Not all men.
I’m at home on a Tuesday, beginning to plan the travels I want to go on next year. I dream of wandering the streets and meeting strangers. I just can’t wait to escape the city I’ve lived in for 17 long years. But… my mum is hesitant. She’s forever worried about the danger that being a young girl traveling alone can bring. I’ll be alone and she’s scared. Surely I’m invincible. I feel invincible. But I know, I know this danger is real and I can’t help but think to myself, if I feel unsafe in my own city, how am i going to feel in a strange place with strange men who don’t speak the same language as me? If I was my brother planning this, I would probably just be wondering if European girls are going to be hot.
Not all men.
Wednesday is a beautiful sunny day but I’ve always been told that I don’t have a “nice enough body” to wear a bikini on the beach. Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve thought that having tummy fat was ugly. That skin that doesn’t have a perfectly golden glow is undesirable. I amble to a clear patch of sand in my one piece and I can feel pairs of eyes latching onto me. Hairy men in speedos who I don’t look twice at eat into my body with their stares. I’m a piece of meat. I am a piece of meat? I am here for their amusement. Please don’t let me be eaten alive.
Not all men.
Thursday night two friends and I are walking to our god damn school dance when we hear “Jesus look at you! You sluts heading to a pole?” These words snarl out of the mouth of a respectably dressed man and we stop in horror. Shivers roll up my back in fear. It’s dark. We are alone. What. Do. We. Do??? One of us pulls the finger back. I can never be sure how quickly a sexist man can get angry so we walk quickly away. We’re angry, so so angry. But also so… deflated. I wonder if we deserve this shame.
Not all men.
Sitting on the internet, Friday night and scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed:
“Haha, good job at the game today bro. You RAPED them!”
“Damn with tits like that, you’re asking for it :P”
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
I’m shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and I want to CRY because these boys don’t realize how small they make me feel with just pressing a few keys. I see these boys on the streets, I talk to these boys, I laugh with these boys. Dear GOD, dear GOD i hope these boys don’t think actions speak louder than words…
Not all men.
Three rules that have been drilled into me since I was young run through my mind at 1.30am on a Satur… Sunday Morning:
-Don’t ever talk to strange men
-Don’t ever be alone at night in a strange place
-Don’t ever get into a car with a stranger
I break all 3 of these laws as I pull open the taxi door. Making light conversation with the driver, he doesn’t see my sweaty hand clutching the small pocket knife I keep hidden on me at all times. He doesn’t even realize the fear I feel at his mere presence. He cannot comprehend it, he never will. How easy would this 15 minute car ride be if I was born a boy?
Not all men.
It comes to Sunday, another snoozy, sleepy, Sunday and someone has the AUDACITY to tell me not all men are rapists. I say nothing.
I’m a 17 year old girl.
When I am walking alone and it’s dark, it’s all men.
When I am in a car with a man I don’t know well, it’s all men.
When men drunkenly leer at me on the streets, it’s all men.
When a boy won’t leave me alone at a party, it’s all men.
Not all men are rapists. But for a young girl like me? Every one of them has the potential to be.
a piece i wrote for an english assignment about my personal experiences with rape culture, in particular with the saying “not all men” which i know has been makin a lot of controversy on the internet recently! idk just wanted to share (via trueho)
I am almost in tears because this hit me so hard
This is beautiful.(via pluralfloral)
I have felt every single one of these things.(via lucilleintheskywithdragqueens)
I’m looking through your pictures
Reading into your expressions
I can’t stop hoping
That one day you’ll be ready to love me again
you use the word like a weapon
i wish it could actually cut my skin
You grew up on top of hill, it makes sense that you are comfortable there
It took me years to climb the hill to join you in this city
I assumed that you would want to keep climbing with me when I reached you
I’m starting to think that I was wrong
There’s plenty of food and beautiful weather here
But I don’t belong. I know it. It feels like I’m just visiting for a while
The people on this hill treat me like a criminal
You are kind and loving, but it feels like you’re waiting for me to change
We have been through everything together
We have been everything to eachother
But I need to keep climbing, to the top of that mountain and over the other side
I wish you would come with me, but I fear that you won’t
i find myself planning for a future without you, I know how selfish that sounds
Shouldn’t I wait here for you until you’re ready?
I’m scared that I’ll be waiting until I’m old and grey and wilted on the inside
There’s going to be a show down, you vs me
Who will wait the longest for the other to change?
High noon is coming to this city on the hill, and I’m wishing I could just stop time
All I know is that without feminism I would have never learned to believe that I deserve to take up space on this earth and I probably would have wasted away and let myself die. Feminism gives me the strength to fight for myself.
It was cold out. That sparkling, wonderful kind of cold. We were walking around the pond, laughing and kicking clouds of powdery snow into the air. I slipped and fell while trying to show off, and you helped me up with your cute little mittened hands. I felt so lucky to have you. You were my first friend. The first person who ever listened to my dreams and didn’t think they were silly. Your huge blue eyes were always happy and you pulled me up out of myself. You made me feel larger than life. We sat up for hours at night, talking until our voices were horse and then whispering instead. How did we find so much to talk about? I never thought about what my life would be like without you. Why would I?
It was cold out today. The sun was shining through the ice in the trees and it made me think of that day at the pond. We grew up and my dreams started to scare you. Your big blue eyes filled up with concrete when I asked questions about eternity, and you made me feel ashamed of myself. Every once in a while I think up something silly that I know would make you smile. I want to whisper it to you. I want to remember what our voices sound like laughing together. Regret sits heavy on my heart, but I know I can never go back and live in your world. If you are ever ready to leave, I’ll hold your cute little mittened hands and help you walk out.
Its hard to be a good friend when I’m still trying to figure out how to be a good friend to myself
Sometimes I’m so stuck in my internal monolog of self hate that I can’t hear anything else
Sometimes talking breathes life into and sometimes the thought of any interaction sends me into an anxiety attack
PTSD can keep me from talking for days at a time without any warning
I guess what I’m saying is that I want to be there for you and connect with you, but sometimes I don’t remember how to talk
I just want to hold your hand and try to breath slowly.
Today is the definition of autumn
You and I walk hand in hand down the quad
And this is what perfect feels like
I feel lucky and my noes feels cold
Are you aware that this is everything to me?
Free falling leaves, the long summer is over
days have passed
burning summer comes and goes
cold air does not chill the murk from my brain
i haven’t really forgetten the things that were said
those caustic words were hot like July at first
but they say that time heals all wounds
that evil falls from the trees in my mind and I think it is gone
the words are coating the ground in my chest like a damp rotting carpet
winter comes and these bitter memories decompose under the snow
and in the spring i absorb them into my mind
take them in and accept them as my own
the angry radiation is long gone and i’ve forgotten last year’s sunburn
my skin is no longer red, but underneath those words take root like cancer
they eat away at my healthy mind, they change me cell by cell
they say words are like knives
but at least a cut will heal
I am intimately familiar with the feeling called longing
Intense, sharp, caustic need
the kind that chews a hole inside your chest
like a shot of novocain, a burn and a sting
I only ever longed for freedom
burning my hands over a steaming pot
the future stretching out before me
strangled by the sameness and monotony
longing like bile in my throat
gagging, choking, my stomach in knots
fight or flight, but i could do neither
twelve years old and living in my own coffin
need is dangerous
if you acknowledge it, it demands to be satisfied
and when you can’t deliver
longing will tear.you.apart.
with sharp, curved claws
longing tore it’s way through my lungs
i stopped breathing for 6 years
those talons tore divots in my baby skin
I chased after freedom even as my lips were turning blue
flat on my belly, crawling with my fingernails
this longing is brutal
it will kill you before it will be ignored
every year i long for Fall
every fall i’d turn one year closer to freedom
it was fall when I broke away and started running
fall is a clean cold slate against fevered skin
the longing for freedom is part of being human
it’s right beneath your skin
a hungry monster you will never escape
I’d advise you to embrace it before it eats you alive
Your inside is so dark that gun smoke seems bright
Your soul is so trapped that marching seems like freedom
Your heart is so wounded that injury seems healing
You are so lost that a barracks seems like a home
One thousand times
that’s how many times you’ve killed me in my dreams
knives, fire, drowning, skinning, clubbing, worse
Don’t all kids dream this way?
I always tried to replace your face with a monster
love thy parents, must not remember this
the thing that sits in my father’s place
does not speak. its mouth is round
and full of serrated teeth
at the end of a table of grisly delicacies
it sits, unsated, claws out
and waits for the main course
open gullet, embodied hunger
i have no tongue and i must watch
as one by one, my sisters are brought
their livers warm, their hearts still beating
their screams the last sound ringing in my ears