my girls, my women
Originally Posted: 2017
My girls write stories about unicorns fighting an army of pigs, about cities full of peace and planets made of cheese.
My girls are filled with a beautiful light, shining in million different colors. They are made of stained glass windows: here is my heart, and all of my potential.
My girls play astronauts and scientists and presidents when I put them on the stage.
My women write stories of the real monsters under their beds, the villains who have pillaged their village, and the bones that they carry.
My women have skin made of stone, their light turned to a fire that will burn a thousand years.
My women play mother, wife, worker, woman when they put themselves into the world. And a million other parts.
My girls wear sleeves of ribbon and rainbows. They wear skirts that twirl to their delight when the wind asks them to dance.
My women wear armor plated by their sisters. They left their skirts behind when too many demons slithered underneath the hem.
My girls giggle for no reason.
My women laugh to keep from crying.
When a man who bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy,” moving on someone “like a bitch,” was elected to lead our country, I went into work the next day and watched my girls lay their sweet, unburdened heads down for a nap. I watched their lips twitch to a smile while they played inside their dreams. And I wept. I wept so hard it hurt for me to breathe.
Today, I see men and women fighting over what sexual assault really means. What is “innocent” and what is intentional. What is acceptable, and who should be allowed to get away with it.
My girls come up to me and tell me about the story that they’re writing, about the unicorns. They look at their creation with unbridled excitement, and with pride.
I scroll through Facebook. “Why did they wait to come forward?” “There are degrees, it’s not so simple.”
I hear another story.
And I feel the bile rise in my throat, because it is all too much. Because the answer should be easy. It is so simple.
NONE of it is acceptable, and NO ONE is excused. Don’t touch me. Don’t talk about touching me. It isn’t funny, it’s not a game. My body is my body and her body is her body and we demand the right to keep them safe. We demand the right to say enough. Stop saying “just a pinch” or “well, in context.” NO. Fucking NO. I won’t allow it.
It’s a domino effect. Here, let me paint a little picture:
If it’s okay for you to say it, maybe you’ll try a touch.
If you get away with that, maybe a more aggressive grab.
If you get away with that, maybe a kiss without permission.
If you get away with that, maybe you’ll go all the way and put yourself inside of me.
Maybe I’m too afraid to tell or to scream. Maybe (probably) no one will believe me.
You do it to my women. You do it to my girls. And I will not allow it.
I look into the eyes of these children, and I still weep. Have not stopped weeping. I cannot bear the thought of this world shattering their painted glass. I cannot bear the thought of their brilliant freedom being shackled by the nightmares that are walking in this world.
So, yes. It is that fucking simple.
We deserve better. My women, and my girls.
We were all once children. We were all once free.
My girls are always watching. They see what you are doing, they hear what you are saying, and every time you use your power and your privilege as a weapon, they remember. You are tapping on the glass.
And your sons are watching, too. Your brothers. Your boys. Your men. They are watching. They are listening. They are taking notes.
My women are always waiting. We are waiting for the stranger in the dark, for the hand we trust to turn into the hand we hate. We are waiting with our keys and with our safe ride apps and with our sisters. We are tired of waiting for the worst to happen. We are wanting, needing to be free.
Believe each other. Protect each other. Stand up for each other.
Believe. Each. Other.
And white cis women, remember your privilege. Check it. Remember those whose voices get muted even more often than your own. Who are in even hotter water. Women of color. Queer women. Trans women. We are all women. We are all girls. We are all sisters.
Listen to each other. Do what must be done.
Stop fighting, and believe us.
Did you hear me?
Stop fighting, and BELIEVE US.
Because enough is enough.
For my women, for my girls.
For our present, for our future.
For our humanity.