My Body, Not Yours

A man who thought he could steal what was mine,
As if it was okay and I should have no say

How sick, you’d think, what he did that night
But it wasn’t that night, it was in the rays of broad daylight

I screamed and kicked and fought for my life,
Yet I still lay shivering, sleeping only by light

The part that is haunting and will follow me forever,
That phone call with my best friend, we’ve already shared together

Two boys who locked her in a room, at a party when we were 16
Or that one who lied to get me behind the shed on New Year’s Eve

A stranger who thought he’d feel down her clothes when she was alone,
And now a man who waited in the bushes for me to come home

We cried together, miles apart
As we have before, and will again, no doubt

Of course we’ll criticise the ‘backwards’ cultures in these parts,
It’s easier than seeing the bigger issue that’s at large

It’s that I grew up learning the tricks of the trade,
Don’t drink, don’t show your skin, and just don’t get raped

Whilst my brothers were treated with a dangerous assumption
That they’d never violate their girlfriends when they’re drunk past function

Never told that “no” does not mean convince me,
Never taught the terrifying effect of a haunting history

You don’t want to believe this is something that should be taught
But why does the responsibility land on us after we’ve fought?

They tell us to be careful, it starts from nothing, then grows,
Don’t do this, don’t do that, until it’s simple – Don’t be alone.

And how far does that go? Was it her fault she was sleeping on her own
When her roommate’s brother unstripped her clothes?

She asked him to stop and was told to shut up,
Then she sits wondering if she should tell her boyfriend or not.

The man who took so much from her that night
said, “At least look like you enjoy it,” when she failed to fight.

Now that’s a dumb punch line for a joke that people don’t realise
Is much too real for the girls who have been held down.