Listen to Me

Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/banlon1964/46324162/">banlon1964</a>

Photo by banlon1964


I was walking back to my apartment after getting take-out chinese for dinner. I was just walking down the street minding my own business and I walked passed this parked limousine. A guy all dressed up in a nice jacket leaned out and said, “hey baby, wanna come take a ride with me?”. I kept walking, very angrily, the whole time wondering why I cant just walk down the street just and feel safe and secure. Why do I have to speed past groups of guys and cringe every time I see a man look my way, wondering what he is going to say.

So I got home and wrote this poem, which I later performed at a poetry slam. This is a ‘Holla Back’ to all the harassers and abusers out there….

Listen to Me

No, I will not get into your car just because you ask me to.
No, I will not allow you to put your hand up my skirt.
No, you are not entitled to anything of mine or any part of me.
No, I will not flash you and show you my breasts.
No, you cannot take me home just because you bought me a drink.
No, I will not have your degrading comments hurt me.
No, I will not kiss my girlfriend for your viewing pleasure.
No, I will not tolerate your harassment.
No, I do not wear these clothes for you.
No, I will not change my body to look “hotter” for you.
No, I will not pleasure you and then expect nothing in return.
No, I will not let you use me and discard me.

I am a human being.
I am not an object.
I have a heart that beats,
blood in my veins,
lungs that require air.

I love, I hurt, I feel joy and I feel sadness.
I have dreams and desires.

I have lots to offer,
just take the time to get to know me.

Location: Nebraska and Wisconsin

Submitted by Emily Willard on September 17, 2009
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

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