It's not the same, he says.
It's not worth the same fight,
it doesn't mean the same thing,
it doesn't hurt the same way.
Except every now and again I hear
a man yelling after me, I'm a bitch,
I made eye contact and looked away
and he called me a c--- and told me
he'd r--- my a-- for that.
I hear another man bragging to his friend
he was going to get me into bed with him
to feel my a-- around his c---
and I remember running off the subway
when he got into the same car as me.
I feel a hand on my a-- and another one
wrapping around my throat,
like it was okay to nearly choke me on a dance floor.
I see a man touching himself outside
the window of my cab, giving me a toothy grin
when I look away terrified
and then get told by the driver, that happens a lot.
It does happen a lot.
Getting flanked by two men on either side
as I try to walk home, telling me to take
my headphones out and talk to them.
Being followed to my work place,
being followed to my dorm building,
and then having someone attempt to
follow me and having to call security
to drag them out and away.
Being told to smile and then being called
a c--- for not doing it.
Being told to smile and then being told
that he'd take me out when I do do it.
Being touched by a man on the street
and then him running away like the
useless, stupid boy that he is.
Being touched on the subway
by a man who swears he lost his footing,
except that he touched you five times
and no one else seemed to ever fall but him.
It happens a lot.
It happens every day, on every street, in every city.
And we get told "it's not that bad."
You can't complain because it's not that bad.
What were you wearing and what did you do?
Why were you out alone and why were you taking that street?
It's never, why did he think it's okay to touch?
Why did he make me see something that I see
when I close my eyes or make me hear something I hear
when I lay my head down on my pillow at night?
Because it happens all the damn time
and for some reason the fear we're left with
is just not that bad.