Twitter and Facebook are full of women telling of their own stories of assault at a young age that are much like Dr. Blasey Ford's and of the pain, fear, shame, and lasting damage they've endured. Other women are trying to comfort and support them. And yes, we're filled with rage.
Here's a poem of my own to explain to these men what they're dealing with and what they've unleashed.
is good for the soul, they tell us,
but what of the body, pressed
into service against its will but lacking
ability to say no, being female
and young and poor and only
“some little half-breed girl,
you know what they're like,
born fucking,” implicit permission
of the white man's imagination?
Backed into corners, pulled into alleys,
too small, body still growing,
to put up a good fight against grown-man muscle,
coming away with bruises, black eyes, broken
jaw one time, but fighting hard and blind spitting crazy
enough to make it not worth their while
to consummate. The refuse-to-remember first time
taught that fear-backed rage, that cunning
need to find anything at hand to inflict pain,
make them stop, lamp, end table, chair, boom box,
teeth to arm, stomp on instep, kick to groin.
Grown now, safe, heavy, elder,
if my surroundings smell wrong,
they suddenly flick me back—old, bad,
dangerous times. I forget I'm not small
and powerless. Fury fills my veins, and eyes
search for something to transform into weapon,
whole body throbbing with desire
to punish, inflict pain, drive off, destroy.
I walk through the world, a quiet lie.
Such dark lives within me
like a hidden serpent, rage-dragon,
while I politely order tea.