She grew up watching her older sister and cousins get scolded and whipped for wearing clothes
Clothes that seemed ordinary to her but to the adults they were an invitation
She grew up watching her older sister and cousins get scolded and whipped for their behavior
Walking alone at night or dancing in public was simply asking for it
She grew up watching her brothers and uncles call out to the pretty girls on the street
Pretty bodies and pretty skin
She grew up watching her brothers and uncles go to clubs
With the hope they would bring a sleeping beauty home that night
She could not comprehend why both participated in such matters
But as she grew up
She began to believe that maybe it was because her sisters had to ensure that their safety would not be put at risk and her brothers, well, maybe they just wanted to
Perhaps it was inevitable that girls had to change their behaviors and appearance for the sake of their safety
And boys could go by whatever means necessary if it meant that their lust would be fed
She allowed this thought to be of reason as to why things were the way they were. It was engraved in her mind as default and eventually said matters did not bother her or make her question why.
She herself experienced it
She was raped at night
On the street
By a stranger
And was greeted with the question
“What were you wearing?”.
Followed by a beating.
Because she had worn a dress and was wandering off at night, she was raped.
It was her fault.
But her mind was flooded with questions
And her heart ached with confusion
Is she not the victim?
If she was, then why did she receive a beating?
Why was she supposed to have changed when being harassed on the street was never noted on her bucket list?
They say it is for her “safety”, and that they simply “care for her”.
And yet why does she feel uneasy?
Why had she, her sisters, and cousins, all received beatings and were taught how to prevent men’s actions imposed on them while her brothers and uncles freely behaved in the same manner without having to face any consequences?
Why did she have to change because men would not control themselves?
It is her fault