Content Warning: rape
One in five is the chance
of being raped in the United States
if you’re a woman.
Fifty-four percent of rapes
go unreported each year.
Thirty-two thousand women
but, you know, our bodies have
a way of just shutting that down
according to the politicians that
legislate my body.
Did you scream? Did you say no?
Did you invite it?
These are the questions my eighteen-year-old student
was asked when she told her mom
a twenty-two year-old raped her
when she was fifteen.
“Then no, you weren’t.” Her mom said.
“But that wasn’t rape rape,” is what I heard
when I talk about the ex that laughed
when I said no.
We were on a date
and I was in his apartment.
It was my choice to be there
he didn’t lure me
so I guess whatever happened
was my fault.
Unless he had robbed me.
People would be upset if he’d taken my wallet or my car
but somehow taking my trust and
my autonomy is okay.
Every time I talk about rape there’s a moment of hesitation.
I’m afraid of what the people will think of me.
I’m afraid they won’t believe me.
But every time I talk about rape,
at least one other woman
at the table tells me her story.
Sometimes for the first time.
There’s so much power in speaking.