Embracing Ugly 2
By: Hana Abdulla
“Maaaaaan, look at this hoe, talkin bout ‘proud mommy’ all over Instagram ,” Manny said as he passed his phone to his boy broadcasting his latest discovery. Brian started laughing, “showing her tits one minute, postin her kids the next & mad proud! At the same damn time!” They sat there laughing at the pathetic nature of the women they’ve branded with their body juices through out the years.
A stench of arrogance filled their breathing space while shooting the shit on Danny’s patio.
Danny stared at some pictures on Instagram then started his drive down memory lane, “you guys remember Milly from that huge party junior year? I had seen her blasted and went up to her, she had on this tiny ass skirt, looking super fine!” He winked at the boys then winked at himself while admiring his reflection in the window.
“We started talking & she was stumbling so I suggested she sit down n directed her to a room.”
Brian and Manny cackled while egging their boy on in pride to continue with the Odyssey of Milly.
“Once we were up there I kissed her then she started tripping and getting annoying. She would kiss me back but then was like no, then yes and so I told her to just relax.” Danny scoffed, elated at one more pat on the back.
“That’s my nigga!! Getting it since we were jits!” Brian said while giving his boy daps.
“I asked that hoe if she was straight, she said yea, so I dipped!” More high-fives and daps were exchanged in the who-got-more-show-off-party they were having. They laughed and continued reminiscing on the women they found on Instargam, creepin with curiosity seeing what life made of these hoes that they ran through during their years of youthful entitlement.
“Can u believe that bitch actually thinks he’s faithful?” Sandra nervously laughed at her discovery, knowing she couldn’t take back the comment or close that door without Milly questioning it.
“That dog doesn’t have a faithful bone in his body.” Milly passed the phone back as her heart sank and her body froze with the memories polluting her mind. “God, I hate seeing his face and that bitch smiling with their kids. I know it’s been years but, like how do you just do that? I couldn’t even stand up right!” The photo was an instant time capsule, it took the women back to high school with no filters to help with the emotional suffocation.
Silence fell upon them and the staleness of an energy that owned her soul for years prior had started to fall on her again. Milly finally spoke, “All I wanted was to have a good time like everyone else, I wanted to drink it all away even if it was just for the night. I shouldn’t have gone with him but I did. I couldn’t believe Danny was talking to me and wanting to spend time with me, I loved his attention” The giddiness of the prior moments produced a morbid grin that was quickly swept away.
“The memories of me telling him I didn’t want to go far re-play in my head and the thought that I could have saved myself had I not been drunk haunt me. I guess he thought I was playing hard to get. For years I’ve told myself I shouldn’t have been wearing that, shouldn’t have been drunk, I could have left, I could have…”
The anguish swallowed her skin color and the life in her eyes seemed to fade as she drifted further into the memories of that night and the years that raised what was left of her. “I got used to just letting these things happen, it’s all I knew.” Milly sighed with defeat, her heart burned & she clenched her fists, acknowledging that her journey wasn’t over.
She looked up at Natalie who was around when it all happened and the years of bullying after. She watched her best friend crumble over the years and then got to witness the healing of brokenness filled with blame owned without question. Natalie looked at the survivor in front of her, she remembered the several times Milly attempted to take her own life because she couldn’t deal with the name calling anymore. She remembered when Milly would hide in the bathroom because the girls at school would taunt her and call her a slut for having slept with Danny at that party, knowing that no one knew the truth, they only knew what Danny told them and how he told them. No matter how much Natalie tried, she couldn’t erase Milly’s pain and it killed her. Natalie grabbed Milly’s hand as she always did. Milly’s subtle rage took the stage, “I wonder if he thinks of me when his daughter is going to parties? I wonder if he even knows the mark he left on my life? I wonder if his son will be a rapist too?”
We live in an age that craves sex. Everywhere. Everyday. Not too long ago, I was eating at Lime (Mexican restaurant) and they had an advertisement that referred to the restaurant as “being your new friends with benefits.” I can’t remember what it was referring to, but I remember being dumbfounded at my tacos being sexualized. There seems to be no boundaries. Blaming music, movies and magazines seems to be a generic response to the “when did our society become so hooked on sex” topic. Having used that excuse for so long it holds no value, has no weight and it just seems to be passed off as a “duh” moment when the medias influence is pointed out. Sex is being force fed to us at very intense levels and it is affecting how we communicate and how our youth perceive the world around us.
I’ve been in the volunteer world for a few years and the stories I come across never cease to amaze me in a sad, shocking way. I hear young girls, that are comfortable with construction workers cat calling and grown men making obscene comments as they drive by, on a daily basis while walking to school. I hear the young men brag about girls and the amount of sexual activity they are engaging in. I see pre-teen baby mamas and baby daddies. The brain has not even fully developed to be fully aware of the consequences of these behaviors.
The hardest part is hearing them discuss the scenarios with “that bitch,” “hoe” and “slut.”
Words hold weight.
Whether Milly came from a broken home or not, abusive parents or not, rich or poor, whether she was fully clothed or not, the circumstances of Milly’s life do not determine whether of not she was “asking for it” or not. She was a young high school girl that went to a party, got drunk as many teens do. Then was raped. She did not have the ability to make a conscious decision to allow someone into her body or not. That is the bottom line. Then she was called a whore and a slut for the incident. Danny got to go on with his life and got high fives for another vaginal gold star on his list of accomplishments.
Another piece that makes things uncomfortable is to look at the fact that Milly was aware of what was happening. Society grants victim validation when the victim is knocked unconscious and brutally raped, but scenarios as classic as this are often brushed over and fault is given to the victim. Lets take a look at the last time you heard a parent, teacher or mentor teaching young people how to say no or that their body is theirs and no mater the circumstance they can always say no.
I always think of people like Danny and Milly, two lives that crossed paths with different outcomes from the same situation that forever changed one life. We have diminished the severity of this issue by making it so casual, it’s not casual and it is not ok. The only solution I see to ending this epidemic is education. Yes, I said it EDUCATION!!! I’m not talking about the 4th grade puberty talk, 7th grade birds and the bees talk, or 9th grade STD’s talk, or college LBQT talks.
Lets take a look at what is being taught. Women shouldn’t walk alone at night. They shouldn’t take drinks from strangers. Don’t wear something to provocative. Just get some mace, self-defense lessons, a rape whistle and anything else to announce your being attacked (what about men being attacked?). You should be more lady like. The list is endless of what is being taught to young girls, all in hopes of being little pure saints so a man hopefully would want to wife us. Lets just not ruffle any feathers so we don’t get raped a long our walk of saint hood because then well be dirty, damaged, unlovable, and disposable. With the way things are, chances will be that it was our fault anyways and no one wants a dirty slut who provokes out standing men of our communities to rape.
So many people are stuck on teaching abstinence but not, how do I know if she/he wants it? How do I know the difference between playing hard to get for spice and an actual no? How do I say no? How do I deal with my feelings of wanting a person and them changing their mind? How do I protect myself if I am in a situation and changed my mind? THESE are the questions we should be talking about.
I have met thousands of “Dannys” who have no idea the impact they had on these “hoes” lives. It was someone’s job to teach Danny that when someone is incapable of standing up they are incapable of making a decision such as, you can enter my body or not (even if they seem only tipsy, being intoxicated is being intoxicated). No one told Danny that any slight discomfort should not be taken casually and he shouldn’t proceed. No one told Danny that clothing was not to be used as an answer for consent.
No one taught Milly that just because she was in a short skirt and drunk didn’t mean she was obligated to comply with Danny’s advances or that a rapist could be a boy her age, the guy she had a crush on and was not also the cinematic Central Park guy in a trench coat or creepy guy at a truck stop.
No one is teaching the Manny’s and the Brian’s it is NOT ok to be calling women sluts, whores, and bitches. No one has been teaching our youth the impact these words have on the people targeted. Young and old, people are all effected by words, especially ones that are constantly repeated. No matter how tough we would like to think we are, we still have emotions and we are still sponges that absorb messages around us, positive or negative. None of us are immune to the affects of bullying.
We are living in a time where children who are raped or molested are being bullied and many have opted out of life because of the emotional devastation caused by these scenarios. We are condemning young people and blaming them for clothing choices but if we take an honest inventory there are people all around the world in different attire who also get raped. So what then? They deserved it because they were breathing? It is our responsibility as a community to support sexual etiquette.
If the media has numbed our senses of taming the sexual wild fire that has plagued our society then our voices should be louder! The next generations are depending on us to provide a foundation for them, not just materialistically. We owe it to those who came before us to take a stand in sexual education that is tailored to the present day. We need to take a stand against victim bullying, slut shaming and we need to stop glorifying abusers.
“Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” – Rick Ross U.E.N.O.E
If you or someone you know feels that they have been sexually assaulted in anyway please contact a help line or seek help from a professional in your area. Do not minimize your situation because of circumstance because whatever you resist will persist. (1-800-656-HOPE)