We're Being Raped And Burned At The Stake, But They're The Ones Afraid
LifePoems About Feminism

We’re Being Raped And Burned At The Stake, But They’re The Ones Afraid

It’s a terrifying time to be alive for a man, they say.

Meanwhile, there’s a little girl being taught silence by a man who couldn’t count their age gap with two hands. There’s another one being taught the word blame by her older cousin; she’ll spend her whole life hating her body, and hating its owner with the same ferocity. They’ll both live their lives swearing cobwebs taste better than words ever could, that if you paint over something in yellows and pink enough it starts painting a different truth, that maybe the only way to send anything resting into the ground is ignoring it long enough.

It’s a terrifying time to be a man.

None of them are safe from making a pass on a woman in the workplace, from offering her a little reward if she would just show how much she wants it. They’re out there laughing at us while we want to eradicate the wage gap, maybe they just want us to work a little bit more for it.

My condolences, gentlemen, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, that pre-PC world, where broads were only good for the kitchen or being put on their knees, where being a woman meant keeping your mouth shut. Here’s to your nostalgia, to the times your fingers could linger on lady’s waist, you don’t need an invitation when you’re a man, what apocalyptic times when your hand can’t do what a hand does when her ass looks like that.

What a terrifying time to be a man, they’re out there redecorating the place, packing up the furniture, what the hell happened to the casting couch?

It’s a terrifying time to be a man. Women don’t feel safe going out for a run or walking the park. They live alone and sleep with a knife under their pillow, they’re installing alarms and getting dogs. They’re keeping a close eye on their drinks and traveling in packs because damn it, we keep telling women not to get raped when we should be raising our men with clear ideas about consent. But is it really rape, I mean, if she keeps quiet because she’s too afraid to tell anybody? And if she has a big mouth, but no one even really believes her, was she really raped, when she’s only looked at like the girl who cried wolf?

I swear, this is exactly what the same brains of those with the mouths screaming about how scared they are to be a man and to have sons think.

It’s a terrifying time to be a man.

A man in Alaska (Justin Schneider) got no jail time for kidnapping a woman, strangling her, and masturbating on her face. A doctor in Texas (Shafeeq Sheikh) sentenced for raping a heavily sedated patient several times in one night is to serve zero prison time. A former UVA student, grandson of a Virginia governor (Stephen Dalton Baril), raped and sodomized a woman, got off with no jail time. Another man (Logan Michael Osborn) tied a belt around a 14-year old girl’s neck and hands and molested her. He got ten years with eight suspended, but wait, the judge on the case decided to pause the two-year term, then declined to reinstate the original sentence. This man got zero time of incarceration, even though he had a prior history of sexual assault with other minors. Minnesota man (Michael Hill) raped a 15-year old relative repeatedly, only got probation. A Colorado college student (Austin Wilkerson) isolates a woman on the ruse of taking care of her after giving her water and checking her pulse, then proceeds to rape her, even though he claimed he “wasn’t getting much of a response from her.” The judge expressed sympathy for this rapist, saying “there isn’t much good for anybody” in putting him in prison, so he walked away with no jail time.

There isn’t enough time in this life or strength in these fingers to recount case after case of stories similar to these.

It’s a terrifying time to be a man, they say. But, we’re living in a world where the justice system fails women and only hands out slaps on the wrists to men. We live in a world where the justice system, and those who are responsible for protecting ALL of our citizens, propagate the idea that boys will be boys. We are ruled by a government who tells us men are innocent until proven guilty and women are liars until proven otherwise. And even when presented with irrefutable evidence, there’s more sympathy for the man, for his crocodile tears, than there is for the woman who was violated, who will eternally carry the bruises and the unwarranted fingerprints. They ask for proof, but when they’re handed it on a silver platter, they ignore it, they still put give him a Supreme Court seat, they still keep crucifying her bravery and tainting it with branding her a liar.

It’s a terrifying time to have sons, grandsons, to be a man, they say. But they kept calling Brock Turner a good guy, his future was more important than that of the girl he assaulted. His tears moved a judge more than the incredible pain this woman turned into resilience. Three months, that’s all he got, and still, he’s trying to appeal. He is what he is, even if he doesn’t want to hear it, even if he wants to erase it, he’s a rapist. It’s a terrifying time to be a man when you can’t own up to what you are, but the one you hurt is out there turning the word victim to survivor.

It’s a terrifying time to be a man.

Out there is a woman caking on more concealer than she should, trying to protect everyone who loves her from the truth, never knowing if she’ll ever be able to distinguish herself from the bruises. Maybe she’s afraid to speak up because he’s a charmer because he’s well-respected and admired. Maybe she already tried speaking up and no one believed her. Maybe she tried to speak up and then had to pay for it with his fists.

It’s a terrifying time to be a man.

He was left with the high-fives, with a first-place plaque, with a trophy in the shape of her name. She was left with the bleeding, the metaphorical and the literal, with the having to wince when she finally had to show up in class to take notes and sit. She was left with an ache so palpable, with a fucking cancer that felt she could never cut out, no matter how much she tried, And she did try. She sought comfort in a razor, in a knife, and made an art of it thinking she could one day bleed it out. She was left with the Ambien, with the nightmares, with the trying so desperately to piece together something she wasn’t so sure she wanted to remember. He was left with what they took from her. She was left with a fistful of dirt, living her life a half-step above almost dead, with a crash, with a bottle never far from reach, with the equating Xanax to survival. With the word slut. Slut. Eyes closed, the body of a ragged doll, unconscious in the pictures didn’t seem to bother anybody, because she was just another slut. Just meat. Because sluts don’t get raped and it’s funny when they bleed. It took her dying a thousand times to learn the actions were theirs and never her own.

But, it’s such a terrifying time to be a man.

Tell that to the woman walking faster, breaking into a jog while walking her dog and being catcalled. Tell it to the one being pinned up against the wall by two men. Tell it to the one learning heroes aren’t just myths, but sometimes monsters, being silenced by her mentor. Tell it to the one getting her heart broken and ideals in men crushed by her favorite artist. Tell it to the woman getting raped by the man she loves. Tell it to the little girl who doesn’t know any better and is carrying misplaced shame. Tell it to the one putting her ear up to the wall and making sure her roommate is only having good sex and not calling out for help. Tell it to your sister. Tell it to the woman sitting next to you on the bus. Tell it to your work wife. Tell it to your mother. Tell it to your grandmother. Tell it to your daughter. Tell it to me.

It’s such a terrifying time to be a man.

But, 1 in 5 women will get raped in their lives. 1 in 3 will experience some form of sexual assault. 1 in 4 girls will experience it before the time they turn 18. 91% of rape and sexual assault victims are female. 8 out of 10 times, the victim knows the perpetrator. 8% of the time it happens in the workplace. 25% of college women experience it during their collegiate years. 81% of female victims report PTSD. 33% contemplate suicide. 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the authorities, making it the most under-reported crime. A study in 2002 showed that 63.3% of men on that campus committed an act that qualified as rape or attempted rape, or committed repeated rapes. And, also according to the National Sexual Violence Research Center, “The prevalence of false reporting is between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports. A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports. Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-03 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports.” The percentage of rape and sexual assault charges determined to be false are the same percentages as for other felonies.

It’s such a terrifying time to be a man, they say, but, women are still being persecuted, still being abused, raped, and burned at the stake. It’s such a terrifying time to be a man, they say, and maybe they’re right because we are becoming louder than ever, more determined than ever to dismantle the patriarchy and the good ol’ boys club.

It’s such a terrifying time to be a man, they say. Well, it’s not, but it will be. Just wait. TC mark

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poet and bruja. still checking books out from your local library. Follow Natalia on Instagram or read more articles from Natalia on Thought Catalog.