Inarticulate woman.

I am inarticulate
I find myself incapable of justifying my positions.
I am too moderate
I can’t advocate for one side without also plugging for the other
I am sympathetic
I can’t help but try to understand other perspectives

But this, this ignites something deeper within me

I am a woman
I am white, I am educated, I am “straight”
I am so very privileged.

I am a woman
And sometimes still a girl
I was sexually assaulted at the age of twelve
“These things happen” in a world
Where walking down the street at age 15
In shorts means getting catcalled

Where even now I walk the five minutes home from school
(Or through the downtown core)
With the key to my front door clenched between my knuckles
Where I cross the street if I see parked vehicles, or

Men

(Who sometimes, lingering outside bars,
“Only wanted to buy me a drink”,
Disregard my evident discomfort)

I don’t feel safe,
I don’t know that I’ll ever feel safe,
“Just” because I’ve walked five minutes home from school
And been accosted from a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street

I don’t want to live in a culture where
“These things happen”
Anymore

I don’t want to feel obligated to justify why I can’t tolerate
Intolerance – let alone
Outright hate.

I don’t want my own someday children to feel
Sympathetic to their abusers
Just to excuse their very own existence

Or to have to rationalize to the ignorant why
HATE-SPEECH
Of all forms
Against any group
Makes them feel unsafe
Takes away their voices

Renders them inarticulate.

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