Is this what it means to be woman?
Heels hit the pavement in angst and you dare slap her femininity with rabid vulgarity. A simple scream sends bitter spikes down her spine and she cannot shake this empty feeling. It is as if she has been drained from her core. Color continues to pour from her pores and suddenly, she is without pigment. Her body, now pale and frail, she is a doll to be tossed against the wall.
You see, it is a game. These tricks we applaud are what makes her feel a mere pawn in it all.
And we let her. We let her crack like porcelain for the “locker room banter”, for the “boys will be boys” and the unfortunate chanting, because why not? Why not slip into the ancient roles of victim and animal? Watch predator eat prey and sit back as it unravels.
This is rape culture.
Can’t you see the malignity in its ways? From victim blaming and catcalls to sexual harassment and assault, the allowance and acceptance of these attacks is systematic. Beginning from home and ending in court, we allow even what is seemingly “harmless” to pass as common decency. And in standardized compliance, it grows. It festers like mold until our communities are all but decomposed.
Warning: This is an epidemic. Our children are not safe. Our women are not safe. Our men, not safe. And for what? A few seconds of malice and greed.
Please understand the error in these ways. We cannot sit back as our youth tries to navigate this maze.
It is too much. Take your traditions back. I do not want them. If this is the havoc they wreak, I do not want them. If this is what it means to be woman, I do not want them. I do not want them. I do not want them.
Do you hear me? I said no. I did just what I was told and what truth did that unfold. Was it my tone? My clothes? My age? My growth? Tell me. What was it that I did wrong?
I am alone now. My body riddled with these riddles of our culture, I cannot rid myself of these vultures, and I feel vacant. Rage has fled in the wake of grief and I am left mourning the broken pieces of me.
This is what it means to be woman.
To be broken down into digestible fragments for the sake of old school commandments I never asked to learn. I never asked, and isn’t that the point? Of us. Of what we’ve become. To have the right to deny unnecessary outcomes. I thought we were better than this. Maybe not.
Rape culture is real. It is prevalent, but it is not made of steel. We can change it. Just put your hand out and raise it. Fight. Fight for the nights we cannot walk alone. For the days we are made to feel like a doll to be thrown
Away with these toxic beliefs that we are meant to be anything but kings and queens.
Enough is enough.
Do not mistake me for porcelain. I am the bull for which worlds shatter. I am the thorns blood drip from. Do not test the delicacy of my petals. I am the fire that haunts you. Bite me. Taste the venom my heart pours. Bite me. See the fury roar.
If assaulted please use the following resources:
Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) : 215-985-3333
Women Helping Women: 513-977-5541 /// Crisis: 513-381-5610
RAINN : 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
You are not alone.
For more information:
University of Richmond’s Sexualization with Dress Codes Research
Joe Biden’s PSA for Sexual Violence on College Campuses
Marshall University’s Definition of Rape Culture
The Messy Head’s Dead Men Can’t Catcall