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Sunday, 25 May 2014

By Liberate Zealot

Because watching my drink
And white knuckling keys between my fingers
And wearing jeans and sensible shoes
Was supposed to be my contract with the world
Providing safe passage
Protection against rape from the shadowy stranger
Haunting the corners of the club or streets. 
Because in the years of safety advice
From teachers, friends, chain letters, and police
Never once did they admit I would know him
That he would look me in the eyes and smile
He would wait days or weeks or months
And say all the right words before ignoring my own. 
Because even after that night
They still won’t admit its not the stranger in the street
I should fear
Or that the predator in the clubs is the ex-boyfriend
Or that it wasn’t caused by the length of a skirt
Or having long hair and a glass of wine.
Because they won’t admit
That following the rules isn’t protection
I know other women will have
The same realization that the one that will hurt you
Isn’t the shadowy figure in the night
(Though we’ll still fear him too).

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