my short skirt

I’m worried about kids today. I’ve said it before that I think kids now are horrible to one another and so much meaner than they were when I was younger. Maybe that’s true, and maybe not, but I just think it would be horrible to grow up nowadays. Bullying is out of control, especially cyber bullying. I just get sick to my stomach hearing about all the statistics, bullying rates, and suicide attempts. I’ve been particularly concerned with how mean girls are to one another. I really don’t think things were that bad when I was growing up.

With my new job, I will hopefully have the opportunity to run a girls group in a local middle school. I would love this opportunity to impact the lives of young people and perhaps change some of their viewpoints. In discussing similar groups that have already been implemented, I was shocked. The facilitator conducted a survey at the beginning of the group in order to determine weekly topics, and included the open-ended question, “What is your biggest fear/concern for your future?” The majority of girls answered with “being raped.” WHAT?! Middle school girls should NOT be most concerned with being raped. Yes, it happens, and yes, girls should know how to protect themselves, but as a #1 concern?! That is unbelievable. A few weeks later, for Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, the girls were creating posters to hang up at the school with info about ways to prevent violence. The discussion at one table turned to what girls can do to prevent being raped. The girls listed things like, “don’t wear short skirts,” “don’t wear tight jeans,” “don’t lead guys on,” etc. Again, WHAT?! It is horrible that girls are getting these messages. With that in mind, here is a monologue from Eve Ensler’s (of the Vagina Monologues) book “I am an Emotional Creature” called, “My Short Skirt.”

My Short Skirt – Eve Ensler

My short skirt is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it
or give it
or that I hook.

My short skirt
is not begging for it
it does not want you
to rip it off me
or pull it down.

My short skirt
is not a legal reason
for raping me
although it has been before
it will not hold up
in the new court.

My short skirt, believe it or not
has nothing to do with you.

My short skirt
is about discovering
the power of my lower calves
about cool autumn air traveling
up my inner thighs
about allowing everything I see
or pass or feel to live inside.

My short skirt is not proof
that I am stupid
or undecided
or a malleable little girl.

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off
this is who I am
before you made me cover it
or tone it down.
Get used to it.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

My short skirt is a liberation
flag in the women’s army
I declare these streets, any streets
my vagina’s country.

My short skirt
is turquoise water
with swimming colored fish
a summer festival
in the starry dark
a bird calling
a train arriving in a foreign town
my short skirt is a wild spin
a full breath
a tango dip
my short skirt is
initiation
appreciation
excitation.

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.
Mine.
Mine.

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