At 13, she is already held responsible if her shoulders are showing in school, she is sent home on behalf of the boys who are distracted.
She grew up like this.
By 16, it’s supposedly her fault if she wore the wrong skirt, drank too much, made a mistake. What did she think would happen?
She is responsible for not screaming, for being too much of a tease, for trusting the wrong person.
It’s her job to carry the baby, to mother it, to suffer for nine months for something someone else absolutely did.
But she got herself pregnant, right?
But men, god, it must be nice. Nothing sticks to him, does it?
When he does terrible things, another man shrugs his shoulders, I’m one of the good ones though, not all of us are like this.
And he can say that because men is such a big broad term and it’s unfair to use a brush under which a whole gender might be painted.
But women are liars. Women just want attention. Women make it up and try to ruin lives and are hysterical and never think about the consequences of their harsh language.
And men can look at each other and know they’re one of the good ones, even if they’re just mediocre, because they don’t think they’ve ever…you know…done something that bad.
And it’s fine that he’s still friends with that guy he knew did do something that bad.
But he wasn’t at the party she says he raped her at, and it was over a year ago, and everybody lived, and it wasn’t his fault, and it probably was just a misunderstanding, and he’d never say something like “women are whores” but he’d smile and nod because it’s just a joke, come on.
And when it is his fault, — and god, is it ever — there’s always an excuse. He drank a little too much. He didn’t know any better.
He’s still young; just making a boyish mistake.
He’s too old; he’s just from a different generation.
It’s the only way he knows how to treat woman in that way.
He was angry. He was just fooling around.
He’s a good guy, not like one of the bad ones… you know, the Black men or the Brown men, or the Muslim men, or the real problems in this country.
He’s a good upstanding citizen, and is this simple accusation going to ruin his life?
No! Because he isn’t any of those — and if he was, he’d be dead!
Shot dead by a cop. Dragged in the street. Lynched. Kicked out of his housing unit. In jail for weed.
No, he’s just a good guy who is being lumped in with the others because women are vindictive. He’ll spend three beautiful months in jail.
Or one week. Or no jail time at all.
The judge will tell him the official ruling is no sex until marriage.
Or to buckle down next time because his swim team really needs him for the championship meet.
And this is heartbreaking, god, he’ll cry next to his lawyer while he is found guilty with no time served. Does she even know the kind of stress he is under? How sad he is?
How dare she look at him and ask him to take responsibility.
He’s not a monster, women are just insensitive.
But god forbid her for having a uterus and doesn’t want something growing in it.
The judge will look at her from where he sits.
She’s 17 and an immigrant.
And the judge will decide that she’s going to carry that baby because he thinks she’s old enough to have good judgement.
It’s her fault. Her responsibility. She should have thought about it.
Written by Quincy Evans, who enjoys writing poetry.