No Means

NO MEANS

*Uncut*
by
Shirley Pierce

No means … One in five … No means …. One in five …  No means no more.  Enough.  No means it’s time.  To speak our power. 

One in five … women … harassed at school … at work … What if it were you?  What if every day … it … was … you. 

No means … no more screaming in the dark.  With only empty arms around silent pain.  No means … no more laying back and taking it.  No making the best of a bad situation.  No means … my God did not intend this. 

No means …  The sand has run out and history’s hour glass no longer contains me.  Here I stand … I stand … I stand …

on the volcano of an evolutionary explosion where … the fairer sex … the weaker sex …

the objectified, cheated, assaulted, defunded, grabbed, judged, airbrushed, bullied, violated, underpaid and repressed … finally … have had enough. 

It’s time. Hand in hand … side by side … To shout from the boardrooms, workrooms, bedrooms, alleyways, farms and mountaintops.

No means … we turn the page and focus our rage into a wellspring of support … for ourselves.  For each other. 

70% unreported.  70%.  No means … to report it … … to be deaf, dumb, blind … no more.  To my sister’s truth.  To her story … my story.  My story. 

I will listen and believe.  Listen … and believe.  To stop the nightmares of shame that echo in our minds so we can all walk forward together with clarity. 

Call me what you want … frigid … manaphobic … feminist … banshee … she-devil … bitch.  Yes.  I am for myself.  Not against you.  When I rise, you rise. 

If you can’t comprehend then your locker room jokes and your chatroom trolls say it all …  About you. 

But hear this.  Your words are busted by this new role of gender that is starting to roll.

No means …  No longer broken we are breaking the walls.  We are breaking the rules.  We are breaking … the silence. 

No means … we are reclaiming our voices. Our bodies.  And, yes, we are reclaiming our time.  To save my mother … her daughter … your sister.  To save our lives. To save our souls.

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