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Published on 21 Mar 2014 | over 2 years ago

"Rape Poem To End All Rape Poems" by the Rutgers University slam team. Poets: Justice Hehir, Lindsey Michelle Williams, Kate Thomas, and Lillie Hannon.

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All poetry posted with permission. Video by Lindsey Michelle.


A: We were in his room after the party,
The lights dim.
A few drinks in and everything was warm,
and smoothed over.
Then this moment was quickly punctured
With supposedly sweet whispers that felt like barbed wire:

B: "Trust me,"

C: "come on,"

D: "Don't you love me?"

A: His hands pushed me back.


C: It's that time again.

D: Time for another...

ALL: "Rape poem".

A: The audience sighs, shifts back in their seats.

B: "Oh boy," you say, "these bitches are about to go off!"

C: Off about "rape" and "pain"

A: and "no."

D: I said "no"

ALL: "he didn't listen"

D: And you ask, why another rape poem?

ALL: Didn't I just hear, like, three of these?

A: Yes. You probably did.

B: Unsurprising in a country where
someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes.

C: What's surprising is the shit
people get for telling their stories,
They are all lumped into one category-

ALL: "Rape poem"

D: As if trauma is a trope

A: Violation a cliche

B: All the while everyone is rolling their eyes and asking

C: Why so many damn rape poems?

D: We wouldn't need so many damn "rape poems" if America had

ALL: listened the first time.

A: These poems are our prayers
to beat the fucking odds in this country
of apple pie and roofies.

B: We wouldn't need so many damn rape poems
if our bodies were ours' alone.

C: We wouldn't need so many damn rape poems
if everyone abided by what "no" meant

D: We wouldn't need so many damn rape poems
if Budweiser stopped selling our bodies stretched across a six-pack

A: And maybe we wouldn't need so many damn rape poems if everyone would

ALL: listen to this one.

B: But it seems to us these lessons are yet to be learned

C: Don't tell me she was sober enough to make a decision.

D: Don't tell me she was asking for it.

B: Don't tell me to pity him for facing consequences.

C: You complain about another "rape poem"

D: But this is all part of a culture.

ALL: The "rape poems" will continue

A: Until I can wear whatever the fuck I want and not be called a slut!

B: Until I can trust my drink to someone at a party when I need to take a piss!

C: Until I can walk alone on dark streets without being catcalled!

D: "Who's your daddy"
A: "get back over here"
B: "Ow ow"
C: "Damn, look at that ass"

D: Until I can wear heels without being asked who I'm trying to impress!

A: Until my voice speaks louder than my outfit!

B: Until I'm not expected to carry pepper spray on my keychain!

C: Until no really means


D: Until rape means crime!

ALL: Until woman means human!

A: The rape poems will continue
until there's no damn material left.

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