GirlSense and NonSense Nov. 2014 - Page 37

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Bio-politics is the bullet and you carry the gun.

Resolved: Ballots have the power to further oppress and silence identities that are begging to be heard.

Resolved: My sexual assault should matter.

In my spare time I coach high school speech and debate.

I tell the class of the value of this activity by explaining the power of discourse and how it can shape reality.

Yet, when the bell rings, a bright young woman approaches me.

Her voice quivers as she gestures to the paragraph of underlined and bolded words scribbled across her ballot.

And I watch as the dark ink bleeds into her skin.

Resolved: Your misogynist ballots will not break us.

At the awards ceremony, they call my name.

My team cheers, and I walk to the front of the stage-

click clack click clack

Shaking my hand the man says, “Good job hun,”

And I smile --

while my bones and secrets ache.

So today I stand for change, I call for voices of conviction ready to take a stand.

Her voice quivers as she gestures to the paragraph of underlined and bolded words scribbled across her ballot.

And I watch as the dark ink bleeds into her skin.

I’m not quite sure when it was deemed acceptable to tell a young girl not to be “bitchy” in cross ex.

Yet, I’ve found that it is a pervasive pattern that taunts the young women in my class who speak with confidence and conviction.

With disappointment in her voice she asks, “This, this is our reality?”

And for the first time I can remember, I had nothing to say.

Silence.

Resolved: Judges ought not hold women hostage to the performative chains of femininity. performative chains of femininity.

Resolved: Your misogynist ballots will not break us.

I take off my heels, I remove my pearls… my smile,

I shred up those stupid ass panty hose-

I clench up my fists in solidarity and demand (yes demand)

that you hear MY voice.

Resolved.