Four young women have performed a poem about rape. Their delivery, their performance, and their words are incredibly powerful and moving. Watch the video below (it will take less than 3 minutes of your day):
The performance was done at the end of an 8 week programme run by First Give. Students were asked to identify a social issue in their community and then pick a charity that works to combat that chosen issue. The young women above picked Solace Women’s Aid.
Read the poem that was performed below:
Rape Poem To End All Rape Poems
A: We were in his room after the party,
The lights dim.
A few drinks in and everything was warm,
and smoothed over.
Then this moment was quickly punctured
With supposedly sweet whispers that felt like barbed wire:
B: “Trust me,”
C: “come on,”
D: “Don’t you love me?”
A: His hands pushed me back.
C: It’s that time again.
D: Time for another…
ALL: “Rape poem”.
A: The audience sighs, shifts back in their seats.
B: “Oh boy,” you say, “these girls are about to go off!”
C: Off about “rape” and “pain”
A: and “no.”
D: I said “no”
ALL: “he didn’t listen”
D: And you ask, why another rape poem?
ALL: Didn’t I just hear, like, three of these?
A: Yes. You probably did.
B: Unsurprising in a country where
someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes.
C: What’s surprising is the crap
people get for telling their stories,
They are all lumped into one category-
ALL: “Rape poem”
D: As if trauma is a trope
A: Violation a cliche
B: All the while everyone is rolling their eyes and asking
C: Why so many damn rape poems?
D: We wouldn’t need so many damn “rape poems” if everyone had
ALL: listened the first time.
B: We wouldn’t need so many damn rape poems
if our bodies were ours’ alone.
C: We wouldn’t need so many damn rape poems
if everyone abided by what “no” meant
D: We wouldn’t need so many damn rape poems
if magazines stopped selling our bodies stretched across a six-pack
A: And maybe we wouldn’t need so many damn rape poems if everyone would
ALL: listen to this one.
B: But it seems to us these lessons are yet to be learned
C: Don’t tell me she was sober enough to make a decision.
D: Don’t tell me she was asking for it.
B: Don’t tell me to pity him for facing consequences.
C: You complain about another “rape poem”
D: But this is all part of a culture.
ALL: The “rape poems” will continue
A: Until I can wear whatever I want and not be targeted!
C: Until I can walk alone on dark streets without being catcalled!
D: “Who’s your daddy”
A: “get back over here”
B: “Ow ow”
C: “Damn, look at that ass”
D: Until I can wear heels without being asked who I’m trying to impress!
A: Until my voice speaks louder than my outfit!
B: Until I’m not expected to carry pepper spray on my keychain!
C: Until no really means
D: Until rape means crime!
ALL: Until woman means human!
A: The rape poems will continue
until there’s no damn material left.