My body is not my own.
As my 18th birthday approaches, so does my entry into adulthood
As does my loss of agency.
My value as a person will rest on how sexually appealing I seem
My hard work?
All for naught.
Happy birthday, you're an adult, now you must carry pepper spray with you at all times
After all, we wouldn't want you getting raped.
For extra precaution, don't wear anything revaling or you'll be asking for it
nothing too modest or you'll be an ugly bitch who needs some
and don't walk alone
always have a buddy
preferably a man.
Hey girl, I see you're working there.
Why don't you ditch this place and come with me?
I have a nice car... we can go for a ride.
Seventeen?! Never mind. I'll be back in a year. To harass you again. Once you're of age it's okay.
Why don't you smile? You'd be so much sexier
and sexier means better business
from people like me
old men looking for someone who can't say no
is required to wear a smile in the face of everyone who comes by in order to keep their job
because after all
refusing sexual advances is rude
customers don't want to go back to a place where they were treated rudely.
So I walk to my car every night
afraid not of what danger my life is in
but what danger my dignity is in.