Things I Never Wanted to Say #MeToo

After the #metoo movement broke, I resisted posting my own “#metoo” echo on social media. I felt this fierce resistance, for several reasons. Firstly, it felt shameful to go into the specifics of things that happened to me. I also wondered, if I couldn’t name the offender- what was the point?

Most illuminating though, was that reading everyone’s stories made me REALLY uncomfortable, because it meant that what happened to me wasn’t even special or abnormal, it was just the way things were. I felt a huge amount of rage around this… that these things I had quietly accepted and internalized were not only wrong, abusive, degrading, but they were actually common.

I was asked to perform a political spoken word piece a few weeks ago in Berlin and wrote this poem on the #metoo movement. This is about my resistance to #metoo, but ultimately why it is so important.

#MeToo Things I Never Wanted to Say

This whole time, I thought I was okay because it wasn’t really rape.
Even though my first kiss felt like a gun shoved in my face…
In this body, I should have known
I Iost my innocence when I was born…
For 20 years, I didn’t want to see
Swallowed memories by necessity.
As though silence made me FREE.
I never wanted to say #metoo
Because now I have to remember why
I’m in this club that I hate.
Brett Kavanaugh, yeah BRO
Think we’ve met? Yeah #metoo
I smell the brewskis on your breath
We’ve met a hundred times like
Back in 99-
You were a freshman- Kappa Beta Sigma Fuck You Phi
And pinned me down with your knees
You watch me struggle- I couldn’t breath
I knew you didn’t even see me.
You were drunk and gone.
Eyes bloodshot, everything felt wrong
Wrangled me down, for this was
Your power, your might,
Your god-given right.
And though I cried, I said nothing
It wasn’t ENOUGH, for you to cum on my face.
It wasn’t enough because it wasn’t rape.
Because METOO means all the things, I’ve never said, never could say.
Like that man who groped me on the subway and spit in my face
My drunk uncle who forced his tongue down my throat on Christmas Day.
A man I called Grandpa whispered dirty things.
Grabbed my 12-year-old ass when no one would see.
And a boss backed by a fortune 500 company.
Paid me 100Gs to silence me.
Quid pro quo- But, I should have seen it coming, should have said no
And for 20 years I told myself it was all okay-
because they weren’t strangers and it wasn’t rape.
Blasey Ford v. Kavenaugh
We see now, politics are bigger than law.
She couldn’t breath. Feared an accidental killing.
But there weren’t enough details.
She’s lying, mistaken, not to be believed
He Said -She Said
Now he’s the judge
But there will never be justice until the courts are more
Than white men together in bed.
But now I feel this collective identity-
In our courage, in our rage..
Let our bone stories breath.
Our truth, our power,
The songs we sing.
Now I see…
The strength is to just to say
It happened to me.
This is only the beginning.

Kate Leismer

Author, ex-pat, mother, traveler, artist

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