For every finger you point at us
there are three fingers pointing back
at you who make the claim that we are preposterous
for carrying the fear of attack
that happens on the streets behind our backs
and sneaks up on us in both broad daylight
and the blacks
For every comment said to ridicule our fears
and label us crazy and paranoid
what does it take do you enjoy our tears
that brim with anger as we shake
to have our voice heard to have you say the words
that we understand
that we are men who will never know what it's like to walk in a women's shoes
but even that is untrue
as we women have to tiptoe to silence our presence
so that we can not be found there is evidence
that we choose not to walk but to run in the shoes
that you say we should always carefully choose
when going out but how ridiculous
Do you think that we wish it upon ourselves to be the target
of your kind that preys on the weak
instilling chills that we shall never forget
of what it feels to be power-less
in the presence
of lived experience,
it is traumatizing no less.
Was I to blame for that night I was alone
hoping for peace on my own, but no
they said I could not choose my safety
for I will always be to blame for actions that somehow always make me
the one whose name you cannot say
because you dare not look me in the eye
and tell me that it must have been her but not the guy
do you see the reason why
this is unacceptable.
You would rather clean your image
and restore your reputation
than save a woman from another
hoping you'd be spared her explanation.
Do you ever wonder why our thoughts are flooded
with scenarios that could happen
with deep fear we are gutted
in our minds just waiting for when.
I have pride for myself
but feel so much shame for the moments
where fear overcame
and I threw away my identity
for a second I would blame
that there was an ounce of woman in me
because had I not been a woman
maybe they would just leave me be
and let me walk on the streets or enjoy a nice drink
to walk with no fear and be free means
to be he.
But I am a woman
and for some reason that gives you the right
to shut me down and doubt
what sights I have seen with my own eyes
have you ever seen a man stare at you with hunger
while you wish his patronizing gaze
would go away and not linger
upon your face as you look for a different way
to escape even the look in his eyes says every reason to be afraid.
It is privilege to be able to stare back in return
and not have it be an invitation
for them to approach it makes my stomach churn
to think that you gave yourself permission
to enter my space and violate
the only body that isn't yours to take.
How often do you take no for answer
or how often have you had to say no
to fight off an advancer
why don't you ask her
how many times she's had to tell her story
for someone who wasn't a woman
to say he didn't ignore me
but that he heard me cloud and clear
that enough is enough
but why did I have to say enough twice
didn't you hear me the first time?
We go about our day
hoping to stay out of your way
but you place yourselves in our path
and have the audacity to say
that we could have done something different
to avoid it.
You may not be him
but the fact that every woman is she
is not based on a whim, but that
we were all in a place where we wanted to be
anything but she,
a woman said to be crazy
who couldn't out run he
should've valued my safety
but instead questioned
the few things that could break me
How do you ask for help
from those who wish not to be blamed
that it is not about them, but about you
who to them has no name,
but a face and body to prey,
I pray not to go insane and live up to the name
that we are given
when asking you to hear us
yet you refrain from opening up the possibility to
believe that is us
but never you.
Even our name belongs to you
there is men inside women and man inside woman
this concept out loud reads out the words rape
yes it is a word do not silence what is true
that we are desperately trying to escape
even these bound chains attached to you.
We are always on the run from yes you the son,
have you ever looked at your daughter, your mother
your friend, your wife, your sister,
and wondered that if you had just listened
she wouldn't fear
those around her and feel sincere.
You say "you women"
and generalize us collectively,
but for once I'd agree
because "you women" refers to the idea of she
that girl and every woman has been and will continue to be.
Do what you do best when you strip women
and do it till all that's left
is men so that
"you women" become "you men"
and only until then
will every woman have to continue to be she.