Enough: Robbed of Innocence

Author's Note: 0.2 miles. 2 blocks. 5 minutes. That is all it took for my friends and I to be catcalled three times on the walk from school to the local bookshop. One man walked past us. One rolled down his car window. One was on his bike. We were just 15 years old; still carrying our school bags. Usually, we would brush it off as something “to get used to” in the Downtown Miami area, but that day something took over us. We were furious. That day, we were robbed of our innocence.

This slam poem was our emotional response.

  Image: Gurl

Image: Gurl

Enough

Oye Mamita!

Baby, smile more!

Nice ass!

 

I’m tired of being told that feeling unsafe should be a compliment.

Walking down the street is a battle, and I am an unarmed soldier.

Since I was a child, I was told to be careful.

But when my skirt was pulled and I felt uncomfortable,

you told me– “boys will be boys”.

 

  Image: Radical Buttons/Etsy

Image: Radical Buttons/Etsy

I’m walking home alone, and his car pulls up.

Which will win? The keys in his car or the ones in my hand?

Is this what you meant when you said “boys will be boys?”

 

I look over my shoulder. He’s still following me.

You’re so beautiful, babe.  

And also underage.

I pull out my phone and dial 911, ready to call.

Should I run?

Don’t tell me you make me run down the street

because I’m the prettiest face you've ever seen.

  Image: Feminist Apparel

Image: Feminist Apparel

I’m tired of feeling defenseless.

I’m tired of your bullshit excuses.

I’m tired of living in fear.

I am not an object in need of your approval.

And neither are the other 3 and a half billion women in this world.

ENOUGH.

 


Author: Melanie Rodriguez

Melanie Rodriguez from Miami, Florida is a rising college freshman at Florida International University majoring in Journalism. In addition to her love for the written word, Melanie is also an avid performer and producer. She combines her passions with her dedication to political activism to approach these topics in a creative manner; she hopes to create a non-profit organization in the near future to address these issues through youth interaction. Melanie is eager to work with Make Muse to enact social change through creative means.