When did the little girl I was stop wearing whatever she wants?
When did the little girl I was start to notice the cruel and humiliating taunts?
It started with a whistle.
I was just walking down the street
Innocence still nipping at my feet
I looked down in embarrassment at my then size six feet.
The first time they whistled
The first time they whistled someone told me, ‘that must be for you’
Don’t look so scared.
it’s a compliment, it means they are admiring The view, you.
It was my fault, I thought. Maybe if my skirt hadn’t been so short? Maybe if my tops v neck cut, hadn’t been so bold.
But my top was a v neck, and my skirt was short because I was only thirteen years old and that kind of attention hadn’t thundered through my mind, a train wreck though-thought!
That was the day I stopped wearing tight pants and crop tops, trading them for anything baggy and loose.
Anything that would act as a little bit of armour against the boys who would whistle then in their cars, pump the gas and into the distance boost.
I loved the days when I was walking in town with my family, because I knew if I walked really close to my dad or my little brother, no one would whistle from their van at me.
Now I’m older, I am taking back the reigns.
I have a voice now, a voice to speak up for all that thirteen year old shame.
Shame that shouldn’t have been mine.
Shame that should have been placed on those boys that whistled.
My consistent embarrassment and guilt made me blind.
Guilt about my body. Guilt that sowed dangerous questions, deep into my souls seams.
Was my body for me to use or others to verbally abuse?
Now the answer is obvious, but back then all I could think of was what deed had I done to suddenly become seen by these boys that used words about my body that were so unsettlingly obscene.
Because when you whistle at girls from a car, that’s speeding past, to fast.
You remove our power to fight back. You remove any ability to turn your act of harassment, into an even match.
You don’t give us a chance, that’s what hurts the most.
Since those boys that whistled, my voice I have reclaimed.
But I still have some good bad habits that remain.
I walk the streets, quick look around, then look down.
To cross a mans path, I look at the ground with a frown.
But that’s slowly stopping.
Because I am not the view.
Go whistle at some fucking trees