Creative | Posted by Freddy-May A. on 07/16/2010


I will sit silently as I hear another rape joke,
letting it hit the wall I’ve put up,
blinking hard when my eyes start to prickle.

I will wait until I’m around people who agree with me
to vent my discontent
at the way we’re treated.

I will pretend not to notice the hilarious comment
about domestic abuse
from my classmate.

I’ll tell myself,
“tomorrow I’ll say something,”
“if he does it again I’ll call him on it,”
but I don’t.

I never do.

For all my words, all my critical thinking—
(what good does critical thinking do?)—
I rarely say anything
when it really matters.

Later I will cry to someone, my big sister,
my friend, my RA, and they’ll assure me
I’m not overreacting.

But that won’t change anything.
Because the next day, I’ll hear another “joke.”
And it will just be another slap
in the face.

How many until I can’t take it anymore?

Am I too afraid of being seen differently in my peers’ eyes?

Too afraid of being branded as the girl who can’t take a joke?

Or am I afraid of putting my emotions on display?

I will cry inside,
and say nothing.

I will promise to be stronger next time.

The day after tomorrow,
I will cry inside,
and say nothing.

How long until I speak?

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  • Sarah @ at 11:14 am, July 16th, 2010

    This is absolutely beautiful. It really resonated with me, a survivor. There are many times where I have said nothing, though I was longing to let my tongue lash out like the whip it is. This is an amazing poem, please keep writing. For in writing, we express that which we don’t even realize is inside our souls.

  • Hope Springs Internal @ at 11:58 am, July 16th, 2010

    Wow. This is really, really moving. Amazing.

  • Megan @ at 8:54 pm, July 16th, 2010

    I am a middle-aged feminist from Australia and I just wanted to say how proud I am of you girls for making a stand. The poem is beautiful and something I can still relate to. These sexist jokes and attitudes have no age barrier. Keep speaking out with pride because this is the only way we can ever make a difference.

  • Pashupati @ at 1:26 am, July 17th, 2010

    I don’t get it.

  • Elise @ at 10:27 pm, July 17th, 2010

    brilliant, beautiful

  • Roni @ at 2:34 am, July 18th, 2010

    Wow. This is the first time I’ve visited this blog, and this was the first thing I saw. Obviously, it left a great first impression. This is a really touching poem.

  • Lenora @ at 2:00 pm, July 18th, 2010

    Just like Sarah said, This is absolutely beautiful. I remember that before I wasn’t really able to express myself than people wouldn’t really listen when I was REALLY talking. I wasn’t able to REALLY tell what I was REALLY thinking. And even when I was REALLY screaming up and loud what I was thinking about what everybody said about me, no one would listen. But I know that right now, I’m seriously able to tell what I think UP AND LOUD. And everybody listen. They listen because they like when people express themselves honestly. They wouldn’t listen because there was nothing to listen. They want to listen to someone who is able to express her/himself and tell who she/he is from the inside like the outside. I wasn’t doing all this stuff, so they weren’t listening AT ALL. But now they do, because I do. Trust.

  • Melody @ at 11:20 pm, July 18th, 2010

    Love it. Please continue to write. One day very soon you will have the guts to say something. Don’t be afraid to be different.

  • Alexa @ at 5:57 pm, July 19th, 2010

    That is so moving. It’s so scary to do the right thing when there’s no one to back you up. Good luck.

  • Rachel @ at 11:26 am, July 20th, 2010

    Very moving. Domestic jokes and the casual use of the word rape is all to common in our society. we should all work to put an end to it. just like we would stand up against people who say that something is “retarded” or “gay”

  • Samuel W. @ at 7:52 pm, July 22nd, 2010

    I tend to hear these utterly bizarre pseudo-rape jokes from my friends often, usually relating to a version of Grand Theft Auto where you can apparently rape everyone (not sure about that one), or even one guy who says he’s stalking me and he’s going to rape me, but as a joke. I can’t tell whether he’s joking about actual, brutal rape, or something else entirely with the way he talks about it. When I told him rape wasn’t funny today, he threw my words right back at me and told me that not only was it not funny, but that he bought a chastity belt (for men?!). Very, very confusing. Let’s just say I have no idea at all how to respond to the way he talks about rape…

  • Melanie @ at 4:01 pm, July 28th, 2010

    This is so spot on.

  • Halle @ at 8:12 pm, October 21st, 2010

    You aren’t the only one feeling like this!! I know when I call guys out on inappropriate jokes the just argue and defend themselves, and have the majority behind them. I don’t change my opinon, but I do let it go.

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