Things the men in my life have said to me:
"Yo girl, how you doin"
When I didn't respond, he repeated himself
Like I needed to be told again to respond to men
"Yo girl, bring that ass over here"
Like I needed to be reminded that all I am is a piece of flesh
A piece of ass to be admired and touched by everyone but me
No consent, like I'm some piece of property
"Your makeup makes you look like a doll"
You are comparing me to an inanimate object
Something that can not feel, can not think
The way that I am supposed to be
Not by choice, but because it's the only way to survive
You're comparing me to something that is a toy
Something to be played with, like my life is a game
"You're the president of the itty bitty titty committee"
How is it that my body is being reduced to the size of my breasts
You act like my breasts determine my intelligence
Or my ability to be a decent human being
"Don't worry, you're still a virgin"
Because the alcohol had nothing to do with my fate
Because your assault does not count as rape
At least not to you
Because I wanted it
Even though I don't remember that night
Even though I couldn't put up a fight
These phrases linger in my mind
I know I shouldn't care, but I do
I do because I trusted you
I trusted all of you
I trusted you to not throw me away like some piece of trash
Like a broken vase that used to hold flowers full of life
To not reduce me to the size of body or my ability to say no
So let me correct what I said
These are not the things that the men in my life have said to me
These are the things that boys in my life have said to me
And while "boys will be boys"
That does not excuse what they say.