Not All Men

You hear it a lot when it comes to feminism,

And it’s always men and their obvious egoism.

Whether it’s online, in person, or at a social event.

And, let me tell you, it’s all about consent.

When you cat-called that women on the street,

You’re treating her like a piece of meat.

It is not funny, it’s not smart, and it’s definitely not endearing.

Imagine someone bigger, stronger than you, whistling, calling and jeering.

Now imagine, that from the age of five, you’ve been taught that person is dangerous,

That talking to them, or ignoring them, always endangers us.

 

We’re told to stay inside at night, never be alone.

And maybe they don’t say rape, but it’s implied by the tone.

We’re told not to talk to stranger, to cover ourselves up,

No matter if we’re a child, teenager or grown-up.

The danger is equal for women of any age,

That if you deny a man’s advancements they’ll descend into rage.

We must not forget, that our sisters of colour are even more at risk,

Though we are all taught to walk with a pace that is brisk.

 

And we know if we were to come forward about the unwanted attention,

We’ll get ‘What were you wearing?’ as if our clothes are the only prevention.

People get raped, assaulted and molested and they themselves get the blame,

Because that is better than putting rapists to shame.

So, no, it’s not ‘all men’, but it’s enough to scare us,

Enough that it’s very hard to give a man anything but distrust.

We cannot tell who is a potential threat and who is not.

So, next time you corner a woman and put her on the spot,

Remember what she must be thinking and what has has been taught,

Because violence against women is in the law’s blind spot.

 

We will not stand silent and let this continue, 

Stand tall and feel that fire within you.

So many of us have been targeted,

Stared at and rated like we’re being marketed.

Rape, sexual assault; they’re not a fucking punchline.

So, ‘man up’ as you say, and grow a goddamn spine.

It is not your ‘animal instinct’, you can’t deny the facts.

The rapist is to blame, the one who committed those horrific acts.

 

I stand with every victim, proudly by their side

And we will take your hateful remarks in our stride.

One day, the change we work towards will come.

And women will no longer be treated as scum.

Make sure you are on the correct side of history.

Because womankind? We will have our victory.

What are you looking for?