This Is Mine

Location

67042
United States
37° 49' 30.6048" N, 96° 47' 32.0496" W

This is mine
This is my body. Not Yours.
Don’t get overwhelmed- Im not asking you to keep score.
Just know that this- this is mine.

These are the hands that build every opportunity for me
These are the feet that move me passed every obstacle I see
These are the thoughts that come straight out of my mind
This is the voice that I’m asking you to listen to- even when its not kind.
This is mine.

I am not a slut, a skank or a whore.
I don’t solicit sex or make my money on a corner.
At 17 I was Ivy League bound- out to make it big as lawyer upstate.
But whether I took debate or used my body as bait-
It shouldn’t matter- my body is not yours, its mine.

But you wouldn’t know that from the politicians on capital hill
Using FOX as a mouthpiece to tell me I’m going to hell
They say it’s their job to legislate this country
But they’re not the ones who gestate to populate this country
It doesn’t matter if I’m African, Asian, or American-
I’m a woman first and citizen only secon’
So while you can increase my taxes and make it hard to put food on the table
You may not control my womanhood with any kind of regulatory label.
Because my body is mine.

It’s interesting though after so many years
Of men marrying women and seeming to care
That these leaders in Washington still honestly believe
That Im asking for it if I don’t wear long sleeves
That Im in control if a man attacks me
That my body should no if I want it or if its brutality
Most importantly- that rape is legitimate in some cases
And it’s my body’s responsibility to make sure that my rape doesn’t produce new faces.
After all, this is the one time they will defend that my body is mine.

So why should I care that this rhetoric is used?
Why should you care about the language leaders abuse?
It isn’t just that this could affect your sisters, daughters and mothers
But also that this desensitizes rape, which hurts so many others.
It stigmatizes, it minimizes, and it crystalizes
That women shouldn’t speak out if there bodies have been brutalized.
So what? You don’t know any one whose been attacked?
Well guess what, if you stay Ill tell you what its like to smacked.
To be held down, to be violated and intruded.
I may be 17, Harvard bound and a perfect student, but I’m certainly not excluded.
Because some boy at a party forgot the bottom line
My body isn’t yours- its mine.

I never drank or smoked- I knew it was a waste of time.
I knew that to be successful I had to walk the line.
I went out to that party just to see some friends
Looking back, I never would have gone, had I known how it would end.
I was in the kitchen when he grabbed me by my ponytail.
Drug me into the bed room as he described what my night was going to entail.
He told me to shut up, that I had asked for it always dressing so risqué
But I screamed for help so loud that I thought it would scare him away
Instead he decided he needed to shut me up,
So in one fell swoop he pulled out a knife and cut me up.
As I fell into an unconscious state of mind- I remember thinking my body is no longer mine.

Hours later I woke up bleeding on the floor,
Alone and scared, I had never felt so empty before.
I walked to the bathroom and cleaned myself up,
I left that house as the sun was just coming up.
Despite the beauty I saw driving home in the sunrise,
The fear, pain and emptiness never left my eyes.
I knew I should go to the police and report the crime
But I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, it wasn’t worth my time.
I knew no one would believe me, when I said my body was no longer mine.

So look here’s another chance for you to blame the victim-
If we never speak out then its our fault, not the system.
But please, ask me why I never pressed charges
Honestly? I didn’t want to become the next victim of a system that is so heartless.
I would have to go through years of litigation and face my abuser,
But statistics show Id likely be the only loser.
Only 1 out of 50 see their rapist punished by the law,
But all 50 face stigmatism, discrimination and societal withdrawl.
We, as a society, instinctively blame the victim.
She shuldve screamed louder, fought harder or listened to those with wisdom.
Why was she at a party? She was probably drinking and asked for it.
She must have thought she was pregnant, needed someone to blame and threw a fit.
So yes, I didn’t speak out, yes I regret it.
But don’t say that in some that made me deserve it.
After all, regardless of what I did or who I am, there is still the bottom line-
My body isn’t yours, my body is mine.

So please Mr. Congressman tell me what I did wrong?
Was it being a leader, getting all A’s, or always being strong?
Id love to know by your logic why my body didn’t shut down my rape that night.
Why my rape wasn’t legitimate enough for me to have rights.
Please, tell me why women only get paid 80 cents to ever dollar.
Or why I’m half as likely to become a recognized law scholar.
Statistically speaking, my abuse should make me end up a failure
But in reality I will succeed and continue to try and change your behavior.
Because your behavior will be my only savior- you have to remember my body is mine.

I hope this isnt to much of an imposition
But its time for a you to craft a piece of legislation that puts women in a good position
Something that doesn’t view our bodies as a tool for use by the government,
But rather preaches the gospel of letting women out of perpetual internment.
So the next time when you laugh off a discussion about rape
Remember that the woman bartending or the one tending her children had no escape,
That your daughters, mothers and sisters are all equally susceptible
And ignoring rape is no longer socially acceptable.
I know my story alone may not be capable of changing society’s perceptions
But the collection of our voices can change the direction.
We are an unstoppable force if we all combine
Because the world should no its not their body- its mine.

Poetry Slam: 

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