In The World

We live in the world 

Where a man’s words are taken as more trustworthy 

Than thirty women’s truths 

Half of the human race sits silent

To allow atrocities to happen to them 

Before them 

To their mothers and grandmothers and generations before. 

 

We live in the world 

Where fathers tell daughters to be careful

Instead of telling sons to not assault and abuse 

Where consent is just a pleasantry 

That can be ignored when excuses comes along  

 

We live in the world 

Where consent is determined by the shortness of your skirt

Or the shortness of your breath after a drink 

In which alcohol is an excuse for assault 

And flirting is an excuse for rape

 

And what do we say to the battered women? 

“You deserved it.”

“You asked for it.” 

“Your skirt says otherwise.” 

“You were drunk.” 

“You are a liar; he is a good man.” 

 

And what do we say to the men? 

“She deserved it.” 

“She asked for it.” 

“Her skirt said otherwise.” 

“She was drunk.” 

“She is a liar; you are still a good man.” 

 

We live in the world

Where we do not see these parallels

And if we connect the dots 

If we dare to tell the truth 

We are “feminists” 

In the worst way 

Because we believed her over a man

Because we trusted her story was true 

Because we saw the scars and spoke up 

Because seeking equality means shame

And seeking the truth means shame

And telling the truth means shame 

Especially if it comes from you 

A woman. 

 

We live in the world 

Where evidence is evidence 

Until it comes from lips with lipstick 

Or people with higher voices

Or worse, victims

Because we the people

The jury of peers

Mostly men, mostly prejudiced, mostly abusers instead of abused

Would rather believe 

That our brothers are good 

Than to accept the fact 

That people have faults 

That are hidden from us, their closest confidants. 

 

We live in the world 

Where despite the accuracy 

Of 98%

The 98% who are true 

The 98% of men who did it 

Are insisted to be the 2% who did not 

Because if a woman says so, she is a liar 

But for a man to say so

To say he did it and to admit it 

Is a normal thing to be accepted

That’s what the numbers say, right?  

 

We live in the world 

Where the second a man denies assault 

Despite having the odds against him 

We believe him 

Because he is our friend. 

Whereas the second a woman tells her tale

Despite having a 98% chance of telling the truth 

We do not believe her 

Because she is threatening our male friend.

 

We live in a world 

Where rape kits sit in the back of police stations

As boxes of people’s most traumatic moments 

Moments they’ll never forget

But moments forgotten by society

Where the kits are collected like button caps on the back of our backpacks 

Where these kits are so common 

That they stay there 

Stuck in time 

Stuck in space

Stuck in our minds

Until the kits stack up so high they could have built a castle for you and the abused to hide in

 

We live in the world 

Where that castle and its sturdy walls

Those walls that could have protected you from your abuser

Those walls that could have shielded the accusations of being false 

And the moats of DNA tests 

And the bridges of utterly binding evidence 

Are useless 

Because a man’s words can blow the whole thing down. 

 

We live in the world

Where when a woman comes out of that castle

When she takes a step outside of those sturdy walls of evidence and truth 

We shout at her 

“You’re a liar!” 

“You’re only seeking attention!” 

And we jeer

“Why didn’t you speak up earlier?” 

“Why can we trust you?” 

But why can we trust him? 

Can they not see

That the reason women hide behind these walls of silence 

That the reason women fill moats of frustration with evidence 

Evidence that may convict him

Evidence that may prove to the world he is wrong

Evidence that may prove our innocence and our survival and our victimization was all true 

Is to avoid the situation where our own fathers call us liars? 

 

We live in the world 

Where the scars on her body 

The broken ribs 

The neck stained with where he touched her 

Where he touched “someone’s daughter” 

Are all just accidents where she fell down the stairs 

Until we see him in handcuffs 

And even then, she is a lair.

 

We live in the world 

Where women are forevermore the liars of society

And no matter how much evidence we gather

How many stories we prove true

How many times we show our scars over and over to prove that something happened until they are faded away and until the memory of him and his hands on her neck are gone 

We are always the liars

Because we are women 

And he is a man. 

 

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741