The Club

harassmentK. Barratt



You patted me.

You grabbed me, you groped me,

You reduced my humanity into

Two circles and an inverted

Triangle. You mangled my

Skin with the acidity of

Your touch, you unwanted,

Unrequested touch, a worm

Among the roses. I was fifteen

The first time you pinched

My bum; eighteen when you

Put your scrawny hand over

My leg, as part of a friendly

Job related talk; twenty-one

When you halted at the bus stop,

With your ridiculously big car, an

Invited me to the hotel, unfazed

By my school books and the

Fact that you didn’t know my name.

You don’t care about names.

Nor about my soul, nor about myself,

Even as we are part of the same species

And share culture, values, life,

You have never seen me for who I am.

I am your mother.

Your sister, your daughter, your bestie,

Every woman who ever walked,

Whom you ever loved, is me.

And they all revolt within when

You refuse to see me

As a worthy human being,

I am not your game, your bet,

Your thing, your five minutes

Of satisfaction, your tribal

Right to chase and hunt.

This, my friend, has got to stop.

I don’t care about your boy’s club,

Your locker room talk, your

Urgent needs, the weight of

Your balls, the size of your penis,

The fact that you don’t speak to

Your wife and are still together

Only because of the kids.

I belong to my own club,

The I’ve been Touched club,

And we are closing the doors.

Not more women will

Need to cross them. No more

Women will weep their story,

Wondering if they will be believed.

Your time is up

And I stand in front of you, whole,

Vagina and breasts and brain and heart

And legs, and eyes, and ears, and arms,

And dreams and ambitions and talents

And skills. I stand in front all

Of you, complete and unafraid.

And you shall harm

Not one more mother, nor sister,

Nor daughter, nor friend.

Not one woman, any woman,

Will you ever hurt again.

The time is up.

We are no longer alone.

And we are telling you,

In no uncertain terms: not one more.

Not one more.

Not one more.


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