April is National Poetry Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Through my time as a performance poet in high school I developed a strong voice when it came to speaking out against sexual violence.
So, in honor of the month of April, I’m going to share a lightening round slam poetry piece with you, titled We Asked for It. It’s much better when performed out loud, but sadly I was never recorded. Performing this piece meant a lot to me because of all the friends that had been sexually assaulted in high school. I think writing this poem helped me work through the anger and frustration I felt as the time. I’m hoping that reading it from the page conveys those feelings as well as my performance would.
We Asked for It by Bailey Marshall
We girls demand attention from the opposite sex.
We rim our eyes in black, make lashes long like spiders’ legs,
Paint our lips red like the hourglass on the backs of black widows,
With web-white smiles we snare men in our traps.
It’s not that we just enjoy wearing makeup, we do it to seduce the opposite sex.
Our mascara, lipstick, and teeth spell out Y-E-S.
Remember, you have to watch out for us girls.
We’re vindictive, cunning, masters of seduction.
Fathers have to tell their sons to be careful when they go out at night
So that some strange woman doesn’t sashay over and
Trap him in her well spun lies.
We hope you know our “Yes to Consent” law is only another trap door for you to fall in to
Another California king bed we can handcuff you to the frame of,
Call the police on what you promised us was love,
Because we will try and accuse you of so – many – things.
Like when our lips, drowned in alcohol, are begging for some man to overpower us
Take advantage of us
Leave us broken, naked, and alone
And scared of every bump in the night, every drink in our hand, every man at the bar,
We ask for rape by getting drunk
We ask for rape by drinking alone
We ask for rape by ordering more than one drink
We ask to be opened up and pinned like dead arachnids on specimen tables.
We ask for rape…by being female.
We are made for picking up our own broken pieces and being blamed for being victims.
So watch out.