A Dangerous Fox Trot

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Sculpture by kick ass artist and amazing woman (that I’m lucky to know), Liz. Check her out here

Just an hour or two ago, I finally got the name for this blog post and poem, if you want to call it that.

I was at a lecture on Beyonce and Reproductive Justice it was just as fantastic as it sounds. And the lecturer, who I happen to know and admire, used the phrase “a dangerous Fox Trot” to explain the dance that women do around whether or not to speak up about reproductive injustice; among other issues of inequality that women face. They have a choice, do you speak up and risk losing your job or your standing in a community or do you remain silent and risk your soul not being allowed to live and voice the issues you’re facing in that life.

And while I did think a bit about whether or not I wanted to tell this story, it was a very easy decision for me to make. Because I’m lucky (privileged) to be able to speak up about experiences I’ve had and try to be a voice for those who don’t feel comfortable speaking up without having to fear losing my job or standing. In fact I feel a duty to be vocal on topics about women’s rights an equality because there are still women out there who have to dance this dance and choose to be silent because it’s what makes the most sense for their situation (which is just heartbreaking that that’s a truth). I could go on and on but I’ll spare you for now…let’s get to the dirt.

This one requires a bit of backstory. A couple weeks back I had a hell of a week and a half. On a Tuesday I went out with a friend, he left after a couple drinks. I decided to stay and work on my writing. I didn’t really want to leave when he left even though he encouraged me to. We had gotten into a bit of a debate and I misinterpreted what he was saying and was being pissy. (I’m really good at being pissy.)

That night I had my drink spiked by someone at the bar, after my friend left. I don’t know how I got home, I don’t remember driving, I don’t remember the mess I made in the kitchen once I got home trying to feed myself, I don’t remember getting sick after making food, I don’t remember anything. This was shocking, this was the first time I’d ever had something like this happen to me. I felt so out of control. How could someone take my control of my life and my body away that easily? Thank god I woke up alone, in my bed.

The following week, at a work event, I had a client of a client sexually harass me. He came up behind me and in a very commanding and sexual manner grabbed my hip and the side of my chest and pulled me into him. Before I knew what was going on I squirmed away and was just in shock. A colleague walked the guy back to the hotel.

The next night another person that was there on business asked me what had happened, even though he was there the night before. I told him and followed up with the fact that it was kind of unnerving because of my experience the week before. He started questioning me, questioning whether I was telling the truth, whether I was misinterpreting a guys meaning, or whether I was asking for it…what’s below is my response to that.

Don’t get me wrong, I let him have it in person. I yelled and I pointed fingers and I did everything but throw a punch, even though I really really wanted to. I ended up walking out after a 20 minute round robin argument where he would just counter with “how do I know you’re not making it up?” He even had daughters…you know what he said? He would “raise them better” than to ever be in a situation like I was in. I’m sorry, you mean raise them to never leave the house? Because that’s the only solution until men pick up the slack and start owning their responsibility in the whole rape culture thing.

While my story is a Disney level fairy tale compared to what some women have faced I feel compelled to put it out there. Because I’m fucking sick of this shit. Women shouldn’t have to tone our selves down, to look over our shoulders to wonder what that guy is thinking. We should be able to exist in society without fear of being taken advantage of or attacked or threatened in any way.

Anyway…here’s what it inspired me to write. And I mean every, intentionally, unedited word of it.

The Dangerous Fox Trot

You don’t even know, do you.
I get to be so mean
It’s not out of spite
I’m no man hater
I’m a woman-hater hater

Fun fact, we’re our own person
Fun fact…
If I experience something, you don’t get to question it

Why
The
Fuck

Does he get to
Question
My
Reality

Are you sure?
…you weren’t just drunk?
…you didn’t just imagine it?
…he said that?

Why yes
I am

And I ask

Are you sure?
…you aren’t delusional?
…you aren’t sexist?
… you believe I have the same rights as men?
…that it’s not time?

Are you sure it’s not time?

To change course
To be better
To trust the people who say they’ve been hurt
To see another human’s story
To respect that story

If you aren’t here for all of the above, I will make you
I will be like a dog with a bone
If you threaten my tribe, I’ll attack
Like.
The.
Wolf.

Because, I’m here
I’m here for her
I’m loud
I’m strong
I yell through my tears

Because I know
You need to hear this
You won’t “like” it
But you need to see it

Because I’m fucking done

With you
With justifying
With this story line

This is for our girls
This is for our loves
This is for our women
In every incarnation

I will protect you

Disclaimer: I'm currently working with HR to remedy the harassment 
"event", this is another tale. For when the story "ends".
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