When I hear those numbers, The ones that say 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, I still do the same thing I did when I was 11 and first heard that. I look around. And I count. I count the number of other girls in the room. This time there were 10 of us. That means two of us are likely to be victims of sexual assault in our lifetime. My stomach turns and twists.
I know I'm one. And my heart breaks for whoever the other person is. Because no one, absolutely no one, Deserves to go through that. There's more statistics of course. 1 in four girls will be sexually assaulted before they turn eighteen. That's still at least two of us. There's list After List Of statistics. Every time I hear them I can't help but count. I don't typically mention it unless it’ll help the conversation. Because it's a scary thought.
Ive got it inside me. That reckless kind of buzz. You wanted to love me but I couldn’t let you And when you asked why, all I said was “ ‘cause”. Because I couldn't explain that I'm a reckless kind of love.
Ive got it inside me. That restless kind of buzz. You get it from this small town kind of life. I've got the spirit that wants to go out And adventure at night.
If I sneak out, will you walk the streets with me? Can we watch the sun come up over the trees, While you whisper sweet nothings that make me weak in the knees?
Can we live together and be reckless and free? If we’re together will you still let me be me?
We had a lockdown Tuesday. Our first one since all that's happened with Stoneman Douglas. The announcement came over the speakers, And we went to the corner of the room. The one farthest from doors, Farthest from windows. We sat on the floor, Huddled together. It went as any other one had in the past, We stayed quiet, With the occasional whisper. The sound of my classmates quietly playing out beats and rhythms on the floor. Trying to desperately keep their minds at bay. Pushing away the thought that this could be real. That this could actually be happening. As three minutes turned into five. Five into fifteen. We realized that these news stories that we’ve been tracking, We could turn into one of them. As we begin to wrap our minds of what could be happening, The door opened and we all froze. There were no more smiles, No more drum solos on the floor.
No more of this “boys will be boys” shit. Or “He’s a teenage boy, what do you expect?” Because it's not fair to anyone. Girls are being held responsible, And being told to act mature, Act ladylike, All because they’re not men. Since when does being a lady mean never getting into trouble, Or fights, never being loud. Why do we have to be delicate, When they don't. Boys never get a chance to show their maturity, Never get the benefit of the doubt. No one is expecting them to be mature. Boys are not mean, rambunctious, Uncontrollable, dirty, or loud, By nature. Why should we treat them like they are? Why do we treat them like animals?
Why are women being held accountable for their actions, along with some men’s? When boys can go out, And have their actions excused, All because they’re born a boy? Boys will be boys? No.
February 14th, My brother and I sat in the living room, Neither of us saying a word, As we went from news station To news station. Streaming live from Florida. Trying to gather the whole story. Trying to piece together the numbers, The reasons. Trying to survey the aftermath. My mother came in, And she told us to turn it off. She didn't want to hear about it. She didn't want to acknowledge the fact that this is real. She would walk away, And we would put the news back on, Because we had to know. We had to know what was happening, What damage has been done, And what we could do to stop this from happening again. My mother didn't realize that by walking away, ‘ Changing the channel, Muting the subject, It would make it worse. Because not talking about it, Is just as painful as talking about it. If we don't talk, There will be no change.
My experience in Vermont? My experience is small towns with tight communities. Friendly people with big hearts. Everyone knows everybody, And we all get along. Bright green trees surrounding us, Jagged rocks overhanging the water, Littered with kids from the high school.
Is that what I’m supposed to say? That I love it here? Or that it's perfect? Do you want the answer everyone gives, The lies you can accept and live with? Or do you want the truth? If you heard the truth, Would it change anything? Maybe not, but it's worth a shot.
My experience in Vermont, Is small towns, where people get trapped, After graduation, they abandoned their plans, And stuck to what they knew. They forgot the dreams they had, And stayed with their families instead. Because of that, a lot of people know each other. They know the secrets that can tear a family apart,