I finally made it to my last week of being jobless, and I can't be happier to be going back into a world of structure and employment. Daytime TV is NOT cutting it. Anyway, my body decided to go out with a bit of a bang. I had my colposcopy a few days ago and I found out today that I need another biopsy next week because the doctor needs a better sample. Then this morning while I was eating a banana... Let's just say I wish I was wearing a diaper....
This one goes out to my mama. She raised three beautiful children, works full time, cooks amazing meals from scratch, grows a garden, and laughs at my jokes. I'm lucky that she (and my dad) let me and Meshugah move back in temporarily while I continue to settle back into Minnesota. I feel privileged to be raised by such a strong person, who encourages me to write limericks. Here's one I wrote for my mom's special day:
I recently broke my silence about being raped two years ago. It has become part of my healing process and part of breaking a culture that brushes sexual violence under the rug. I don't know if it's patriarchy or an uncomfortable subject matter or a question of who is to blame, but there is a culture and a community surrounding silent victims/survivors, stagnant law enforcement, and laws that protect the perpetrators instead of the victims/survivors. There is a photo-narrative project headed by Sarah Super, where survivors of sexual violence get their photo taken and tell their story. I chose to participate because I have nothing to be ashamed of, and hopefully my words and my face can help empower other people going through a similar struggle. Here is a link to the Break the Silence Day page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breakthesilenceday/ I encourage everyone to check it out and read the stories of the brave victims/survivors (I choose to use both terms in general because I believe everyone gets to choose how they label themselves after a traumatic event). You can see if you look through the photo album that sexual violence doesn't discriminate among age, skin color, gender, or orientation. The chances are high that you know someone who is a victim/survivor of sexual violence, but they don't feel comfortable coming forward about it because they fear blame and ridicule and judgment. It took me two years to come out of my silence, which is a pretty short time compared to a lot of people. Let's stop shaming victims/survivors and create an environment where we can feel heard, where we can be believed, and where we can fight for justice. My name is Rachel Zaidman, and I am a rape survivor.
For a long time, I thought that I was partially at fault for my rape because I accepted his invitation to his apartment after our date to watch Quentin Tarantino movies. I don’t remember how many times I stated that I did not want to have sex or said no, but it didn’t matter because he disregarded it anyway. I began thinking about other crimes and how we don’t blame the victim and don’t ask what they were wearing or doing to bring upon a violent act: car burglaries, muggings, a fender bender. Somehow I “should” have known the risk I was taking by going to his apartment. Somehow I assumed some of the responsibility of the crime that was perpetrated against me because I “shouldn’t” have gone to his private residence. I had to stop “should-ing” on myself. Date rape is still rape.
I write limericks when I’m feeling strong emotions. Here’s one I wrote about my experience:
The word “no” has only one meaning
A refusal sans positive leaning
When it’s said aloud
Do not act too proud
There’s no middle ground intervening.
On April 23rd, Beyoncé released her intense and stunning visual album, Lemonade. She was angry and demanding respect. No one fucks with Queen Bey. I loved it. As a cis-gendered woman, I feel like I need to be "nice." Like I need to say, "that's okay, that's not a big deal, don't worry about it," when inside I feel fire and rage. Beyoncé inspired me to express my anger. I've been wronged, just like everyone has. I can't change what happened, but I can control my reaction and I can turn my rage into words, and I can turn these words into poems. Beyoncé was given lemons and she made Lemonade. I was given limes, so I wrote "Lime-ericks." I feel like this will be an on-going series, but here are the first few I wrote. I don't need your advice or attention You think you lack any pretension But you gave me a rise And your dick's not a prize You're beneath me on every dimension My hubris is something I claim And I may be self-righteous by name The anger I feel Will silently heal I refuse to give in to the shame
Disclaimer: Lemonade is about far more than infidelity. It's a personal piece of art with so many complexities that I don't pretend to understand. This is not a think-piece or an interpretation of Beyoncé, race, or culture. These are my own words. I am am a feminist and I preach respect and I give respect.
Tonight I had a drink with my friend Breezy at Nightingale on Lyndale. This girl just finished her second year of law school at the University of Minnesota, and she is and will continue to be a strong and loud advocate for women's rights. More importantly, she's dating my brother.
I know a young lady named Breezy, One day she'll be famous like Yeezy. She'll fight for your rights Through mornings and nights To outsmart her logic ain't easy!