You’re at a party and high school doesn’t seem so tough. The night is warm, the people are beautiful and the music is pulsating through your core. You’re numb to the taste of vodka now, and the older guys are starting to say hello. Your skirt is even getting a few compliments off of the girls.
The same skirt that catches his attention, the way it clings when you walk and rises when you dance. The same skirt that he watches stumble out of the shed. But you’re just here to dance “Just here to dance” you plead.
You see him on Monday with a smirk across his face, his gaze revisiting where he tried so hard to touch. “Prick tease” he spits. You remind yourself to never wear that skirt again.
You’re standing at a bar restlessly waiting for service. You can’t hear your friend complaining about the music and you’re happy about it. You count your drinks and try to catch the bartenders eye; when you feel a tingle down your spine.
A man places his hand on the small of your back, breathing heavily into your ear. “What did this guy just say to me” you press your lips into a small polite smile and take a step away. He tries again, holding you tighter, grazing your collar bone. All slurred words and heavy hands.
“We should’ve went to another bar” mumbles your friend as she tries to hold your dress together. You hear her loud and clear.
You’re at a gig, front and centre. Its your favourite band and they’re inches away; and its hot, so hot. The kind of heat only pressing bodies can make.
Suddenly you feel a hand around your waist and on your thighs, everywhere. “Stop that, I don’t like it” you turn to your faceless pair of wandering hands and look him in the eye. “Then why the fuck are you here?” He disappears along with your adrenaline.
At what point in your adolescence did the word no not suffice? Did you begin to wear make up and your right to reject expire? At what point in woman hood did your reasoning lose it’s value?
I can’t remember signing over my rights as a sexual being. As a woman interested in music in a pair of jeans. Not even as short skirt clad, drunken mess.
I can’t remember attraction, anticipation, nerves and adrenaline fizzling into a single moment of yes and no. A moment that I apparently no longer have any control over.
My journey began with pleading princes and the power to turn frogs into kings. My journey was being shown to sit with my legs together, to not linger around a males conversation. It was being told boys that were mean to me liked me in kindergarten. That if you had a boy a girl and a condom you were set to go in year ten.
We need to stop treating these circumstances that rely so heavily on perception with such finality. Relationships, interaction and inter course are not limited to to a mere yes or no.
These situations are a conversation between those involved; a dialogue explaining why I like that, and why I hate this. That my body language, the clothes that I wear or the way that I dance does not mean yes just because you consider it as some sort of innuendo.
“We” being the operative word because we can not blame this on one specific gender, this discussion includes the entire generation.
A generation tip toeing around a masculinity so fragile, that we teach our young girls to deny forward behaviour quietly and politely; rather than teaching our young men to accept that their efforts aren’t synonymous with some kind of reward.
Let’s teach our girls to say yes when they want to say yes; for all the right reasons. Let’s liberate and educate our youth so much so that when they enter these circumstances for the first time and the rest of their life; they understand to consider every outcome, every perception.
The more we encourage discussion regarding all of these circumstances; in our schools or our homes. The more our young men will consider every facet of their actions and in turn our young women will understand the importance of their own consideration towards these circumstances.