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


(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”

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
Of all forms
Against any group
Makes them feel unsafe
Takes away their voices

Renders them inarticulate.

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