Unmasked MAG

November 22, 2013
By Anonymous

John Dominique once said,
“You cannot kill truth. You cannot kill justice.
You cannot kill what we are fighting for”

I begin peeling off a layer of the mask that once covered my wounds
Starting with the meticulously rehearsed smile hung high on my face

Revealing anger, torment, loneliness, vulnerability
I had ignored the brewing storm of frustration in my head
Just as they said to.

on moving on.
on healing yourself,
they told me.
What about working on justice?
What about having control over my own body?
That didn’t matter. Not to them.
Because somehow they had come to the conclusion
That rules could be broken

By the man who held her down by the neck and told her not to scream
By the friend who said she needed a reason to say no
By the boyfriend who never made her comfortable enough to say stop
The father who said sex was the only way to prove she really loved him
The teacher who pretended to care
And neighbor who threatened to tell

By the doctor who was only supposed to do a checkup
The brother who held a knife to her throat and told her the pain would be over soon
By the same man who others said
“would never do such a thing.”

Because somehow suffocating the cries of violated women
is the best way to solve a problem no one wants to hear about.
Because those I once trusted put a limit on the amount of pain I was allowed to feel.
They focused on the amount of skin I was showing
The way I had my hair up
The way I talked,
and smiled

They asked me if I was drunk,
or high,
or alone.

As if wearing a low-cut shirt was an invitation
A bottle of beer sign of consent
As if the way I walked made me deserve what he did
As if the amount of makeup I wore determined the amount of damage he was allowed to do
As if the time of day made any goddamn difference
As if teaching girls to hide themselves from the world gets rid of the problem.
Silencing the suppressed was easier for them than standing up for what was right.
Funny how it all works, isn’t it?
Funny, like a rape joke?

People with power play by the book as long as it’s written in their favor.
They fight only the battles they have no chance at losing
They practice hardening their hearts while preaching about compassion and persistence
They are afraid of risks that need to be taken to achieve justice
They have more interest in protecting their reputation than their people
But even a dog remains untamed until it is taught the word no.
So why are men any different?
Why do we not teach our boys
That women are not objects
That they have a right to their bodies
That relationships do not validate perverse actions
That “no” does not need a reason to follow behind it
That they can no longer hide behind excuses
That they cannot force someone to do something they do not want to.
The mask others forced onto my face
Was but a futile attempt to suppress the reality.
That is not who I am.
I will not stay silent.

I am not a coward.

I refuse to kill truth.
I peel away the last bit of my mask:
It’s about time I revealed my scars.

The author's comments:

Last year I came out about my sexual assualt along with three other close friends. I struggled with the backlash I recieved from the rest of the school. Our rapist was popular at the school and I saw each of my friends silenced by administration, police officers, counselors, and even their parents. I learned quickly about rape culture, and victim blaming. I decided to speak out about my assault and ensure that other girls would not go through what I had to, alone. We need to educate the younger generation about rape culture and give them a defence against something that happens to 1 our of every 4 women in the United States alone.

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This article has 22 comments.

on Aug. 23 2015 at 5:20 pm
simplyinferior GOLD, Ottawa, Illinois
15 articles 0 photos 23 comments
THis is amazing. It's so real and so important and everyone should be educated on this subject. thank you. keep writing

Kaxx4 said...
on Jul. 22 2015 at 4:16 pm
Kaxx4, Fq, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is beautifully written.

on Jul. 9 2015 at 5:12 pm
writer8594 SILVER, Irving, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 15 comments
I'm speechless.

Joey8 said...
on May. 5 2015 at 9:29 pm
Joey8, Garden City, New York
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" - Harper Lee

SO moving and beautiful. I am currently dealing with something similar. I was assaulted by 5 young men and your poem has helped me feel less alone

on May. 5 2015 at 6:17 pm
HelloHollywoodItsMe SILVER, Grayslake, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Always remember, your haters are your biggest fans. Those who criticize you are only begging you to get better.

I'm honestly speechless; you blended poetry and prose perfectly to create a beautiful sort of sad story. Everything in this poem is true. #stoptheblame

on Jan. 26 2015 at 7:34 pm
OurVoices PLATINUM, Merrimac, Massachusetts
31 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are" - e.e. cummings

this is amazing, truly amazing. there are those poems and short stories that you click on and read and forget, but this is definitely not one of them. I felt so many emotions while reading it, as if the whole world had stopped but this poem. thank you so much for unmasking and sharing this with the world, it is beautiful truth and i admire you so much for the courage it took to survive what happened to you and to share it in this way, you are braver than i could ever be. congratulations.

on Jan. 23 2015 at 2:37 pm
RenHoggard SILVER, Paragould, Arkansas
7 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's always something." ~Violet Baudelaire

This is... perfect. Victim blaming HAS to stop.

on Jan. 20 2015 at 12:24 pm
EmilytheBelleofA. DIAMOND, Athens, Georgia
81 articles 5 photos 1492 comments

Favorite Quote:
To love is to be vulnerable; Triumph is born out of struggle; We notice shadows most when they stand alone in the midst of overwhelming light.

I've been meaning to comment on this, but I've been so busy; which is a bad excuse, I know and for that I apologize. I absolutely love this. This is amazing and phenomenal. There' so much honesty and feeling and rawness and bravery and beauty; and just so much. There's so much in this. It's just phenomenal and filled with truth. You're an amazing and beautiful and talented wand strong writer and person. You have talent and greatness and light and beauty in you; and so much more. All of this and just so much more. Thank you so much for sharing this, my friend! I love this, and congrats on having this published on Teen Ink's magazine because you truly deserve it. Thank you, again. :)

on Jan. 20 2015 at 8:07 am
ISeetheStars SILVER, Minerva, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The marks Humans leave are too often scars." -John Green, the Fault in our Stars.

There are no words to describe this. Thank you.

on Jan. 15 2015 at 7:41 pm
French_Gold SILVER, Waynesville, Georgia
9 articles 0 photos 70 comments

Favorite Quote:
There's plenty of sense in nonsense, if you wish to look for it.
-Cassandra Clare

It must have been a struggle to get through that experience. I know that this is a big issue throughout the entire world, and it's tragic how it all goes unpunished. Even more so when victims take their lives because of it. You are quite an inspiration for writing this and coming out. I pray that your bravery would never falter.

on Jan. 9 2015 at 10:23 pm
RosieRivtr PLATINUM, Fountain Hills, Arizona
22 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Thank you for writing this poem. Awareness for this issue is always needed. The injustice described is evil. Thank you for standing up.

on Jan. 8 2015 at 9:58 pm
Hbkooy PLATINUM, Champaign, Illinois
49 articles 24 photos 20 comments
Gave me shivers, love it!

houston SILVER said...
on Jan. 6 2015 at 6:06 am
houston SILVER, Joburg, Other
6 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know about life, there is too much to it...

fantastically brave! i may never have gone through this but it is difficult to speak and i just loved it, i totally agree that women are not objects!

Mona said...
on Jan. 5 2015 at 9:27 pm
This was beautiful. The society has become more and more susceptible to injustice, having the media focus on the small things like legalizing marijuana and not standing for rights. A woman is raped in America every hour and frankly the victim is usually the only one punished. The American government needs to stop focusing on the pointless things and do their job; provide security.

on Jan. 3 2015 at 4:17 pm
SophiaD11 PLATINUM, Kissimmee, Florida
23 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings."-Salvador Dali

I'm glad I took the time to read this. This is the kind of poetry that makes me proud to visit this site. It's chilling and haunting, and needs recognition. Thank you for sharing.

on Jan. 3 2015 at 1:30 pm
bella-nielsen GOLD, Marshall, Minnesota
13 articles 27 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"autism isn't contagious, but a smile is and that's what im afraid of."-grumpy cat

this is absouluyely chilling . thank you for speaking out

on Jan. 1 2015 at 4:58 pm
RedHadan BRONZE, New York, New York
3 articles 0 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find her way by moonlight, and her punishment is that she sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Holy crap. This was amazingly well done!

BerriBelle said...
on Dec. 4 2013 at 3:19 pm
BerriBelle, West Des Moines, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You cannot kill truth, You cannot kill justice, You cannot kill what we are fighting for."

Thank you so much.

BerriBelle said...
on Nov. 30 2013 at 12:39 pm
BerriBelle, West Des Moines, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You cannot kill truth, You cannot kill justice, You cannot kill what we are fighting for."

You're amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

on Nov. 28 2013 at 11:24 pm
recovery BRONZE, Franklin, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is amazing.

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