I

I am writing.
I am writing, because I cannot speak.
I am writing, because I am crying.
I am writing.

I am writing, because the phrase “Don’t touch me” is less powerful than “I have a boyfriend.”
I am writing, because my ass was grabbed once, twice, three times tonight.
I am writing, because my ass was grabbed three times tonight;
…………..And I was told that I was “working for that tip.”
…………..And I was told that “these things happen.”
I am writing, because I feel my body is not my own.
I am writing.

I am writing, because – somehow – consent is unknown;
…………..Permission is unimportant.
I am writing, because I hear that “women want to be dominated”;
…………..And agreement would hinder the excitement.
I am writing, because I have to explain the difference between passionate sex
…………..And rape.
I am writing.

I am writing,
…………..Because agreeing once does not mean agreeing always.
I am writing,
…………..Because permitting a kiss does not permit penetration.
I am writing,
…………..Because consent is consent, and my body is MY body.

I am writing for those who cannot speak;
…………..For those who cannot write.
…………..For those who cannot cry.
I am writing.


MaryElisabeth Kimbark is currently a resident of Tampa, Florida. After living her first 23 years in New York, her transition to the south was a culture shock. Three and half years later – and with much experience in the restaurant and spa industries – MaryElisabeth is tired of remaining silent.

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