Because my body is a gift I’ve been given to cultivate and care for, not a sexual display.
Because locker room talk.
Because my low-cut shirts “show too much” – when high necked shirts bother my thyroid and make me feel like I’m suffocating. Forgive me, and my cleavage. We’ll go hide.
Because the boy who pushed his tongue into my mouth when I was fifteen after I had just told him not to probably still isn’t aware he did anything wrong.
Because it took me many years to realize he did anything wrong.
Because of that long walk from the far side of the parking lot to my apartment late at night, keys between my knuckles, ready to strike.
Because I was afraid of wearing a bikini for two decades.
Because this world is saturated with stories from my sisters that bring tears and rage.
Because short hair on my head and long hair on my legs is a beautiful thing.
Because my teenage years were filled with confusion when I wanted connection and they just wanted to touch me.
Because a white man can joke about sexual assault, and people still laugh.
Because a woman who has found love with another woman is turned into a fetish.
Because of everyone walking free who should be behind bars. And everyone trapped in the trauma of a moment who should be living their lives free.
Because men have used the words of God to control us, to place us in assigned seats in our churches and our government and our communities.
Because my life is filled with beautiful, strong women who deserve better than what we’ve been given.
Because of my little sisters, and the innocence I wish they could keep forever.
Because things need to change.