It is written in two distinct voices, and I will post it here (with permission) with the male voice italicised. There are several reasons I was compelled to run after the couple to see if I could share their work with my audience. At the time I was contemplating using it to discuss my experience of Denver Slutwalk, as the poem served as a refreshing change of pace, with both the introduction of a male voice, and expression of one harsh truth that had, until then, remained unmentioned; men are also victims of sexual abuse, and women can be the perpetrators.
Until the presenters of Juxtaposition took the mic, we had heard an absolute ton about some of the horrendous things many women in attendance had experienced. They spoke of their trauma, and the journey to accept themselves - some of the details were heartbreaking and confronting. But as I sat their listening, much of what I heard was further demonising of men. Sure, several women started their tales with 'I know not all men are like this, BUT...' but... But? Um, I don't know. Perhaps I am too protective of the masculine gender. I felt the day was not particularly penis-inclusive. And I guess I think it SHOULD be. Hearing Juxtaposition delivered so eloquently (I wish I had a recording!) was the highlight of my listening experience that day, and probably because it filled a gap I saw to be be gaping... This was a day of brave admissions, and the presenters of 'Juxtaposition' definitely contributed a worthy point of view.
I know he said he wasn't into me but I bet some whiskey could change that.
I know she said she wasn't into me but I bet some whiskey could change that.
The last time my boyfriend pissed me off I had to punch him in the face just to shut him up.
The last time my girlfriend pissed me off I had to punch her in the face just to shut her up.
So what if I am in a bar and some guy comes up to me and grabs my ass? What can I do about it? Slap him in the face, right?
So what if I am in a bar and some woman comes up to me and grabs my ass? Can I slap her in the face too?
Well you can, but I don't think you will like the repercussions.
So if I do what you did, I'm being abusive.
Yes. But when I do it, I am a strong empowered woman.
That makes sense right?
Where did this double standard come from?
When did gender equality turn into 'I am more equal than you'?
As a woman, I could write a million and one poems about how I have been physically, sexually and emotionally abused, and everyone will clap and support me.
In what passes for love, I've had parking lot arguments I didn't start end with a shout of 'get away from me! I don't know you!' as a cop drives by, landing me the night in jail.
Been cornered with a knife and then called 'violent' for trying to get away the only way I could.
Been told that refusing sex is a violation, a four-letter-word containing more consequences for me than all the others.
Found myself 500 miles from anyone else I know, counting blows faster than the tally marks on a prison wall at the hands of someone who says she has given her life to making sure that people who look like her don't have the same experience.
(Unison) If you aren't sure if something might be fucked up, flip it.
I have helped countless guys get drunk just to try to sleep with them, and if they regret it in the morning all they will get from their friends is a high-five or 'I guess you took one for the team'.
I have had non-consensual sex with my best friend while he was too drunk to fight back and afterwards all anyone who witnessed it had to say was 'Dude, you were so drunk last night!'
Now don't be so quick to forgive me these things because if someone with a different anatomy did them it would be almost unforgivable. Some people will say that it is 'empowering' for a woman to act this way. Then why do we call it 'overpowering' when men do the same things?
(Unison):No one should act this way. All over the place we see things that say 'Stop the Violence Against Women'. But why would we want to stop halfway?
By Jamie Pantazi and Brando ( brandochemtrails.bandcamp.com )