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When I Say, “Me, Too”–Day Seventeen #OctPoWriMo October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017

When I Say, “Me, Too”

 

When I say, “me, too”
don’t mansplain about how some women dress
go into anatomical detail about what shows and doesn’t
insinuate they are asking for it?
Do you know what “me, too” means?

No matter where a woman goes
She has to
decide when to meet eyes, and when not to
feel guilty if she wants to dress pretty
maneuver to keep out of reaching distance
avoid an elevator
an airport shuttle
the parking garage
listen for footsteps behind her
Do you?

You have a brain between those ears
someone taught you right from wrong
that brain can overrule hormones, you know

Do you remember Mom saying,
“Just because all the lemmings
are jumping over the cliff

doesn’t mean you have to join them”?

You don’t have to participate in lewd talk
body shaming
joke that her clothes are asking for it
touch what she does not want touched
require a bribe or payment for that job, that raise
assume her silence is consent

When a woman says, “me, too”
she may shake and cry
reach into the pain
she has tried to bury
remember the stranger, the babysitter,
the boyfriend, her brother, her uncle,
her father

When a woman says, “me, too”
she is your mother,
your sister, your grandmother
your wife, your daughter

don’t make a joke
don’t make excuses
don’t shift the blame

and if somehow my words cause you to
reach inside your dark places
and grasp your own uncomfortable recollection
then hold that dark memory up to sun
examine its razor edges
Its cancerous warts of excuse
place it on your alter
as a sacrifice

When I say, “me, too”
will you repudiate the perpetrator
stop making excuses?
Will there come a day when my daughter
or granddaughter won’t have to say,

“me, too?”

19 Comments
  1. I really wanted to follow the 50 word prompt, but this poem wouldn’t be put off

  2. God I pray there will come a day when there are no more me too’s. Thank you.

  3. Hard-hitting and beautifully put, Barb.One of many lines that struck me:
    ” hold that dark memory up to sun
    examine its razor edges…”

    Thank you. xoA

  4. Exactly. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Millie permalink

    Great. “that brain can overrule hormones.” That is a winner. And I agree with Annis that your words were elegant in the para that begins, “and if somehow my words. . .” that whole para. Beautiful.

  6. Terry Redman permalink

    since i first saw the “me too” posts I have been going back over my life. When? Did I mean that? What does she remember? The woman I stared at in the elevator–please accept my apology. I am sorry I was so uncaring when women/girls faced those situations. The past is gone but I can do better in the future.

  7. Such an AMAZING write up. And that line: And if somehow my words cause you to reach inside your dark places…, is one of the bestttt.I just loved ittt 👌👌.I just loved the way you convey your message by using such precise words.

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