Editor’s note:  For optimal experience, try reading this piece out loud.


All these stats are just driving me crazy
But are they driving you crazy too?
‘Cause I don’t see it.
When these dying survivors are trying to tell their stories
To the stone-faced, unconcerned juries
But that’s only the few able to share
And once they do the prospect of doing it again is so rare
What about those who we’re shunned to hear from?
The news can overplay it, and so the case is simply done
Rape is so rampant, our feelings towards it become numb
There’s assaults and mass exploits but it’s a given when it comes to war
And does anyone ever talk about Darfur, Bosnia, the rape of Nanking, comfort women anymore?
It’s funny what we call survivors these days
“Comfort women.”  Are they really comforting as military sex slaves?

Then they’re sluts, easy, whores, hoes
We can’t understand how “promiscuous” some women can go
And how has it conquered our minds
It’s been ingrained into our cultures since the beginning of time
Let me paint some pictures for you because I can’t list all assaults
When our US is also at fault
As women are raped every 2 minutes and beaten every 9 seconds time
So many crossed lines
Fathers molesting sons and daughters
Can’t even go on myspace, aim, websites without sexual predators so free
There’s never an email address that comes without sex ads and pornography
Sexual harassment laws have been on the rise
As employers are faced in a bind when the job of their dreams
Ends up being one to forfeit and soon despise
Sex trades are still flowing in cash as young’ns are stolen and sold
As if their bodies were made to be possessed to follow what they’re told
Prison rapes, statutory rapes, date and acquaintance rapes
Harassment, assault, battery, abuse
So many ways, to be shamed and used
Our body image alone is already flawed
Because as I watch the news and advertisements I grow so awed
At the focus of the camera lens on sexualizing certain body parts
As if that were all that mattered, above any person’s character or heart
And it all comes down to…
Objectification being ensued
So it’s not sex we’re talking about
But power and control
Taking its toll
No matter where you look
Double roles and stereotypes are so overbooked
And overlooked
Stories can haunt me day and night…
To that high schooler who was gang raped at the park while others passed on by
They tried muffling her cries
While in a state to deny
To the boy who lost his dignity
Once his uncle crossed untouchable boundaries
To the bruised and scathed-
Whose broken noses and bodies,
Leave scars to this day
To us all, so bent up and confused by what the world’s been trying to say
We need to figure out a better type of way
To end these shades of grey
I know it gets tough, the darkness engulfs the sun’s rays
Withholding needed light, to get you through each day
Even with statistics ringing doubtful sounds in your ears
Telling you the road’s only filled with more struggle and tears
You gotta recognize that there’s still the good, the hope, the strength
The team of advocating supporters who’d reach beyond an arm’s length
The only way to turn is on,
Gotta get some respect going on
To return bodies back where they belong
Before apathy makes us all long gone
Keep pressin’, no matter how many detours cause you to stumble over past wrongs
You’d be amazed at what you’ve had in yourself all along

lili-squareLili Kim is a high school teacher in and a social activist based in NYC.  She is a firm believer in the phrase “Carpe Diem”  (Seize the Day). Her artistic outlet comes through writing and performing spoken word poetry.