November 7, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts: One Color

First off, if you didn't read Helene's post yesterday, go do it now.

I am 1.) appalled that a college would actually print an article like this in their newspaper.
But 2.) I am glad that this issue is being pressed into the public conscience and being talked about instead of staying silently hidden behind closed doors.

Many of you who have been reading my blog know my support behind #NOMORE, so I am so happy that people are talking about this!

Thank you, Helene, for informing us about this ignorant article and sharing your own story. It's when I read posts like that, that remind me how proud I am to be a blogger.

I would also like to share that, in hoping to do more to spread awareness about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, I am currently taking a Victim Assistance Provider course and have signed up for multiple webinars relating to these issues. I've always loved learning and am excited to educate myself more on the issues I feel passionate about.

Finally, I stumbled upon this Slam Poetry video on Tumblr the other day. It was performed at the 2013 National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis. It is powerful stuff. You should probably have some Kleenex handy.

My school was fairly progressive. They even taught contraception in our sex ed class.
When I was 14, my dad handed me a box of condoms and said, “You know how to use these, right?”
We were taught which preventative methods were the most effective.
I was in Texas, so dad’s with shotguns.
And where to go if something broke.
What to take, how to fix
This mess you’d gotten yourself in.
We were taught about herpes and gonorrhea and syphilis and
How to keep all your fluids to yourself.
My friends taught me which clinics wouldn’t tell my parents.
Which ones handed out free condoms.
But I was never taught that there are worse things that could happen than a baby or a disease.
Yeah, we learned about roofies.
We learned to respect when a woman says no.
We learned about protecting your drink, carrying pepper spray.
We learned what to do when a woman is assaulted.
But not that this could happen to me.
I was a virgin when I was raped for the first time.
When it happened to me, it was 10AM and my parents were home.
My textbook hadn’t described the way I wouldn’t even try to fight.
There was no paragraph for how to stop her without making a scene.
There wasn’t a worksheet for how to stop him without waking my sleeping parents.
There was no correct answer to her threats of suicide when I wasn’t in the mood.
There was no manual for the polite victim.
You know, it wasn’t like they said it’d be.
I was sober. He was sober. We were 17.
They didn’t teach me that I wouldn’t know how to protect myself.
That my lungs would close up and we would make pretend husband and wife, make pretend love.
The thing about pretend
Is that it flattens everything into one color.
It makes it too simple.
It makes it one syllable and
That syllable is always captioned as a yes.
They didn’t teach me that I could want to be with someone, but not always want them.
That being curious about sex doesn’t mean I was asking for it.
What I learned
Was that I was supposed to want it.
I was supposed to feel stolen. I was supposed to feel like less of a human being.
I learned that if you don’t scream
No one will listen to you.
They don’t write about the ones that got away.
I learned that foundation comes in 14 different shades.
No one wants to hear
How your skin is changing colors.
They only ask how you’re doing
To hear you say, “Fine”. I learned. I was supposed to feel fine. We were lovers after all.
With a love like that
You hardly have to ask, right?
I don’t want to blame my school.
I don’t want to blame her.
I don’t want to blame my church or my mother or even the boy.
We were just children.
But this is preventable
So someone must be responsible for preventing it. We can teach this better.
Some paintings are built from a thousand points of color.
If you stand too close, a sunset becomes just a series of red dots.
We teach that rape is always a man in an alley.
Always a clenched jaw and a closed fist.
Always a stained white shirt.
But I never used my pepper spray.
I never had to worry about an uncle or a locker room.
Do not confuse one story for all stories.
Do not stare at a red dot and say
“The whole painting is just one color.”

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1 comment:

  1. thank you so so much Brie! I love this whole post. I agree with you 100% and so proud of what you stand for! I am sad that the message and ideology that people still stand by is just so backwards. Rapes are still occurring at a rampant pace and it needs to stop.