Don’t trivialize my hatred of pornography.
Don’t mock or laugh at or dismiss my hatred of blow jobs.
Don’t trivialize my rage against — and yes, hatred of — men who violate little girls and little boys and women, my daughters, my sons, my mother, my sisters, myself, with and by these these things.
And do not make me wrong. On other days, I’ll talk about other things. I may even talk about all the ways that patriarchy hurts men, too, because it does. But don’t tell me patriarchy-hurts-men-too is what I ought to be talking about today, thinking about today, when blow jobs and rape and pornography are on my mind, when they are what I want to talk about, after days and months and years and decades and centuries of nightmares and screaming and still, fearful, deadly silences. Don’t tell me other violences matter more. Don’t tell me other voices matter more. Don’t tell me other people matter more than me.
Don’t shut me up.
If you haven’t had cock shoved down your throat until you gagged and vomited and bled and could not breathe, with “bitch” and “cunt” and “whore” ringing in your ears, then maybe you don’t understand.
If you haven’t been forced, under threat of beatings with fists and belts and sticks and hoses and hangers to arrange your body like the porn star in the movie arranges hers so a man can fuck you like the men in pornography fuck her, and every day and every night there’s a new threat and a new film and a new position and maybe a new beating, then maybe you don’t understand.
If men have not raped you, raped your daughters, raped your sons, raped your mother, your sister, your friends, and so that valley of desperation and grief and rage and wanting to die is unfamiliar territory, then maybe you don’t see men quite the way I see them.
I won’t ask you to. No woman should be expected, or asked, or ordered, or even begged, to enter into that hell. It’s been forced upon us, forced upon us, enough of us, thousands and millions and billions of us throughout history. Thank god, some have been spared. Thank god, you have been spared.
I won’t ask you to go there with me. You don’t have to hold my hand. You don’t have to hold me.
But I’ll say this. Don’t trivialize what broke me. Don’t call my suffering trifling. Don’t chide me for my rage. Don’t say it’s no big deal or others have it worse or think about my privilege or what’s wrong with you, all the evil in the world, damn ungrateful bitch talkin’ about blow jobs, what the hell is wrong with her.
That’s what he said to me. That’s what men say to us. That’s what they have always said to us while they choked us with cock or beat us with fists or seared our minds and bodies and spirits and souls with images and acts we can never, ever forget no matter how hard we try, dear god, no matter what we do to make it stop, no matter how much we drink, or what part we cut or pierce or tattoo, or how well we starve or eat ourselves into invisibility, or what god or goddess we pray to, or work for, no matter the drugs, the pills, weed, it’s there, it’s there, god help us it’s still there, it never ends, it never ends. They told us we should be glad we had a man/a father/a house/food, what’s wrong with you, bitch, it’s just a picture, it’s just a weapon, it’s just a cock, stupid slut. You’ve got it good, you whore. You’ve got it good.
That’s what men say to us.
Don’t you say it. Don’t you say it.
Don’t tell me not to grieve. Don’t tell me not to rage. Don’t tell me not to scream. Don’t tell me what to feel or think, or how to go about mending my world, saving my own life.