CN: sexual violence


When your body does not belong to you
When you believe in the falsehood of ownership of your own body
There’s always someone to teach you a lesson
There’s always someone to bring you down a peg or two.

When you believe your body belongs to you,
You’re ignoring the judgements, the stares, the leering that happens when you walk down the street.

When you believe your body belongs to you–
But you know that some do not believe
Being stopped by a guy in the middle of the road at night makes your heart beat frantically, trying to break out of your chest
Only to be met with relief when he asks for directions.
Directions! How could I think that he could…

When your body does not belong to you
The brain and the body are not the same
Strangers do not fully believe in your humanity
Even those who you think you know may not fully believe in your humanity.

You are the sums of the pieces that make your body, your brain, your feelings, your desires need not matter.

You are lips and thighs exposed by your mini-skirt
You are breasts, legs spread-eagled to allow them in
You are the cries of pleasure they imagine you’ll make
or the whimpers you’ll make as you are not giving consent
You are the hole to be touched, to be teased, to be fucked
You are the whore who was begging for it.

You have no feelings
You have no will
You have no identity
You have no face
and if you do, it’s really not that relevant.

You are irrelevant. Your dreams and aspirations are irrelevant. Your existence is irrelevant.
You do not matter.
Drunk or sober does not matter.

Only the heaving of your chest, your lack of resistance as they fuck you repeatedly like a rag doll matter.
Only their sense of satisfaction in dominating you matter.

You invited them, you wanted them, your smile said it all loud and clear.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s all in their head. Because the only thing that matters to them is them. You? Just an afterthought.

[When your body does not belong to you,
Scrolls of papers and laws tell you that you are in charge of your own destiny
You realise it’s all lies. ]


This poem was written by Asta Diabaté, our Digital Manager.  It appeared as part of our A Bad Kiss exhibition which took place in Michaelmas of 2015. 

Photo credit: Stas Svechnikov via Unsplash


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