How you break a woman’s spirit

She’s 5 ready to head to school

Everything is perfect, the pack is packed the shoes tied, the hair combed, until….

she spills her food

She’s slapped across the face for being clumsy

Tears fall

I’ll hit you again if you don’t stop crying she’s warned

She stops

Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd

Address change

New school

The boy kisses her

She pushes him away

She tells someone because that’s what she was told to do

She’s told it’s her fault for being in a room alone with him

She’s 8

Her family goes to visit another family

All the kids are playing together

The oldest brother decides to put his hand on her bum when no one else is looking

The rest of the day she spends standing on the opposite wall

She never says anything about it

3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th

One day she’s sexually assaulted

He tells her not to say anything

She doesn’t

The fear that it’ll happen again fades

And then he comes back

he says she’ll like it

she doesn’t but she’s too scared to move

she wonders if because she’s frozen it means she does

Days, weeks, months

Worry, fear of when will it happen again

In school they tell her she’s supposed to speak out

She gets the courage to say what happened to someone

Police?  Never called

Distance she had from assailant post speaking out? None

Safeguards so that she’s never alone with him again? Nope

She asks to do things so she can stay busy and never run into him

She’s denied

She’s told girls don’t need to run

Girls don’t need to write

Girls don’t need to explore anything that isn’t strictly taught in school

Anything that may have given her the ability to learn confidence, assertiveness or gain a voice is stripped away from her

Fast forward a few years

She’s learned about feminism, and empowerment

She surrounds herself with progressive minded successful people

Or so she thinks

One night she’s out with friends

She’s dancing and enjoying the night

Then one of the guys in the group decides it’s a good idea to slap her bum

She turns around and calls him out on his shit

He laughs and shrugs it off

She stops speaking to him

She tries dating

She wants a career

She wants to do something meaningful

All the men say they support her in this

Until the conversation about children comes up

And she’s expected to stay at home and give up any career she dreamed of

Then comes the boyfriend

Who first showered her with love and attention

But then quickly isolated her

and then humiliated her

and then threatened her

It’s feels so so familiar

She leaves

And then turns back again

Only to leave for good

Until she goes back

Oh and the instance on the train

When a stranger walked right behind her and placed his hand under her skirt

Her spirit is already weak

She’s frozen in fear

She’s back to being 10 years old again

And his image is gone before she comes back to the present of the train that she’s about to miss




They say why would you even put yourself in that situation

Instead of saying how can I help

She says she needs help

And they say it’s her fault

That’s how you break the spirit of a woman whose tired of being blamed for the actions of weak men

Weak women we are not

But you’re trying to break my spirit

And my spirit is all I got


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