Young Writers Project: 'Rape Culture'

Jul 25, 2015

Tyler Harris, a recent graduate of Burlington High School and a summer intern with Young Writers Project, wrote this piece after she was talking with a friend about feeling unsafe at night and how girls feel compelled to carry pepper spray to protect themselves. “It’s sad we have to accept that. It’s sad that it’s just a normal thing we have to do. Boys don’t have to do that … That’s our life.”

Rape Culture
By Tyler Harris

It makes me sad
that when girls get together
we talk about
our pepper spray.

We talk about
those times we walked
through town on a Saturday
night and wow! Isn’t it awesome
that we made it home alive?

We talk about boys
but
it’s never the nice ones.
We make fun of
that guy that one night
who wouldn’t stop
hitting on us
even after we tried
to walk away.

We talk about the old man
who looked us up and down
without a drop of discretion
when we walked past him or
the 20-somethings that
honked their horn at us
when they drove by.

We talk about how
we put on our jackets
to walk home even though
it was hot outside because
you get a lot more sketchy looks
if you are wearing
a tank top.

We talk about how
some guy’s staring eyes
or some guy’s comments
made us feel uneasy on
public transportation
or we talk about how
we’ll never go back
to some certain place
because someone made us feel
uncomfortable there.

We casually talk about
the places we
unfortunately
can’t go and the things
we just can’t do
and it makes me sad that
at 18 years old
girls already know
that the world
is not safe for us.