Trigger warning: rape themes.
Feminist anger happened today. I am sick of victims being blamed for rape. I am sick of victim-blamers moaning about how unfair it is that rape victims aren’t willing to rationally discuss the possibility that being raped was their fault, thereby forcing the blamer to conclude that it really was their fault, and all because people just won’t explain it properly. GAH.
So instead of screaming at the internet*, I decided to lapse into poetry.
This was the result:
A Woman Speaks
My sexuality is not
a red rag waved at a raging bull,
my breasts are not bread to be pulled apart
by your starving hands;
I am not responsible for the way your gaze
rakes over me like a plough through soil:
I am not here for you.
Being female is not
or an act of lunacy
when committed before some miser of skin
who’d deny me the right
to deny his entry:
I am not meat or an unlocked door;
I am not treasure, I am not silk or porcelain;
I am not the sum of the things you want from me, stranger
who judges my shape like the hooves of livestock:
I owe you nothing.
I do not care
that you saw me pass on street or bridge
and thought that day I was just for you,
the flavour of girl you’d craved all week
like a boutique beer or ice-cream cone:
I am not your sweet; I am not your lost resolve.
My body is not a provocation.
My skin is not
the threat of aggression
that intimates violence, blood-knuckled and raw
as a gutted fish. My naked legs
are not a pair of middle fingers raised
to some vile enemy in whose lands I walk –
my arms, my thighs, my stomach, throat and mons
are all my soverign territory;
my clothes are not mouths that scream abuse
at passers-by, forcing some archaic choice
of redress or dishonour;
nor am I prey, a girl-made-doe
whose life is lived with the threat of jaws,
whose survival is luck, and whose gore-streaked death
is predicted by animal nature, Darwin
or some other magic eight-ball – listen!
My flesh and blood are not the Eucharist:
consuming me will not absolve
the act of consumption.
I am not Andromeda chained to the rock,
a virgin sacrifice sent to placate
the sea-wreathed serpent of demanding lust:
I am not a house
that begs to be broke-and-entered, and if you insist
on using your wants
to extrapolate mine,
then you only succeed
in destroying yourself.
I name you:
bull and beggar,
miser and thief – a covetous, angry,
a self-made beast.
*There was still some screaming at the internet. Just less of it.