I am unbreakable
I am a compassionate fearless and powerful woman.
But you tried to take that all away from me.
You tried to take away my kindness, my voice, and my power.
You, stranger in the night, tried to dominate me.
You saw me, this unknown naked blonde girl sleeping in your brothers bed, curled up in his arms, and you thought I was yours to do what you please.
And when I awoke, to the sharp pain of your penis forced deep into me,
You thought you had won.
Who are you? Who is this stranger on top of me?
You said, “shh, you know me, its me, its Pablo”
You raped me, pretending that you were your brother
You raped me, while your brother lay asleep in the bed next to us.
But to your and my own surprise,
I saw all the colors of my courage.
And I fought back.
I fought back even though NOTHING MADE SENSE.
And I screamed
And I kicked
And I bit your hand with all the force in my jaw
as you tried to cover my mouth
Until your pathetic naked body was forced off me,
And you stood distressed in the corner of the room, terrified,
Terrified that I did not lay there idly as you raped me.
“Don’t say a word. DON’T TELL PABLO.”
You misogynistic little fucker.
I am going to tell everyone.
Because you CANNOT silence me.
Because your penis CANNOT silence me.
Because your money CANNOT silence me.
Because this patriarchal society CANNOT silence me.
You don’t know who you are messing with:
Because you see, I am a courageous fearless woman.
You see, MY world has empowered me.
You see, I hear the brave voices of my sisters and brothers that speak out against sexual violence.
Because you see,
I CANNOT be destroyed by the mighty and all-powerful force of the penis
But you don’t see.
Because it’s dark in this room.
And your money has blinded you.
I ran for my life, completely exposed, down the hallway of the ship
On that fucking Christmas cruise
I made it to my sisters room.
I knew what to do next.
They teach you this.
Of course a woman’s voice is not enough evidence
We must get proof.
So I called the doctor.
And for the next four hours,
The male doctor poked and prodded at my vagina
Took invasive photographs
Examined the areas that looked sore and swollen.
Searching for proof of forced entry.
He used his fingers, in the place where you had violated me,
to check for tearing.
He put a large cold metal plate into my vagina to look for semen.
I had three vials of blood taken.
The pills were shoved into my hand.
Just in case.
And then, they gave me their strongest drug
And this one was forced to go all the way down
I will throw it up
The truth, I will ALWAYS regurgitate.
And in my white hospital gown
With my swollen blue eyes
The young blonde girl
Lost her innocence.
I was tainted.
my mother stared at me with such sadness, and her eyes said it all.
It’s not so much what you did that I struggle with today
In fact, the hardest part was how those who were supposed to protect me the most, failed.
The first thing Sahil said:
“what did you do to get yourself into this situation, Kristina??”
Apparently I should have better judgment,
Apparently I am too trusting,
Apparently I need a NO ENTRY sign on my vagina
Or was it something I was wearing at the bar that night?
Or maybe it was because I was sleeping naked.
Victim blaming. Not you too Sahil.
And how about when the captain of the ship, the first officer, my father, and my rapists father all met up to figure out a way to silence me.
Four white males, feeling so secure in their positions of power.
They wanted this to go away.
But I was the one with the power.
I had woken them up. I had shaken them.
I was their nightmare. I AM your nightmare.
Because I SPEAK. Because I WON’T stay silent.
I didn’t get to fight for justice then.
I was told it was too dangerous.
Your family is too rich and had too much power, I was told.
My dads cowardly fear of retaliation
And the absurd hypothetical completely unrealistic idea
that if I left my room,
one of the 22 Mexican members of your wealthy family would dispose of me by pushing me overboard.
All evidence gone.
Except for the now useless rape kit sitting in the freezer
They say it’s one in four
And as I sat in the room the day after
With my three beautiful sisters
I asked them.
And in our case, it was four in four.
Rape is both a crime and a tool of social control.
I was told they will hire a great lawyer and find out all about my previous sexual encounters.
Major defamation of character.
Oh no, I thought,
I won’t fit into the category of blonde white innocent pure girl anymore.
Because they will find out,
That not only have I had a lot of great consensual sex,
I’ve had a lot kinky sex
I’ve had anal sex
I’ve hooked up with women
I’ve had a foursome
And the worst part, I’ve enjoyed it all.
Oh, I can’t even count the number of mind-blowing orgasms I have had.
Sex is wonderful, and fun,
When its consensual.
And I had wonderful and consensual sex with Pablo,
your brother, just hours before you raped me,
BUT apparently my sexuality will lose me this case.
I will labeled a “promiscuous” slut, who was asking for it.
I will be punished for stepping out.
Because you see, this rape is my ultimate punishment for my pleasure.
But you didn’t win.
I am going to keep having great sex.
I have a pleasure-affirming dream of female sexuality
Where saying yes and no are equally acceptable moral decisions.
nothing feels better to me, when I am empowered to ask my partner
to fuck me,
to touch me,
to caress me,
to bite me,
to tie me up and choke me,
to kiss and lick me all over.
I want you to know that I am still a powerful woman.
And no mighty penis, no position on a multi-billion dollar company board will ever take that away.
My mom said she wanted to chop of your penis.
My best friend said she hoped you died from leprosy.
My ex-boyfriend said if he ever saw you he would bash your head in with a shovel.
But I hope none of that ever happens.
Because I think you are suffering too.
I didn’t prosecute you.
Because I don’t believe
that putting bodies into cells will stop sexual violence.
But you are still arrested in your mind.
And although you are not locked up down under,
you are sitting incarcerated in this patriarchal society.
The one where you’ve been told its okay to rape a woman.
Instead, I hope when you go back to college this Spring,
That you take a Woman and Genders studies class.
I know its not that simple, and can’t combat rape culture alone,
But I want you to recognize the institutionalized
ways that you have learned to oppress women.
To understand you have been taught to feel entitled to dominate and use womens bodies.
Because I want to use my strength, my power, to in fact empower;
never to oppress.
Instead, I will not take, but make power,
create spaces for co-powerment,
and dismantle structures of oppression
that will destroy both you and I.
And now I am calling on my friends,
My father, my mother, my brothers and sisters
Being a silent bystander makes you complicit in rape culture
Don’t be a coward
Don’t laugh when someone makes a rape joke.
We need to bear witness to the stories of survivors,
Not engage in victim blaming by asking them what they were wearing
We need to teach men not to rape.
I ask you tonight, to have the courage to stand up against all forms of oppression.
I can still feel the gust of the wind from that night.
It was so strong, the stars so bright and beautiful,
the ocean endless.
I was excited, for all that was to come.
And now, I can still smell the stench of alcohol on your breath
as you told me to shut up.
I was stuck on the ship,
with my rapist, with no land in sight for three days.
I keep looking out at the endless ocean.
I still haven’t seen the land. But I know I will soon.