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Who Owns Our Experiences?

Primary school.

After watching Animal Planet:

"I know how geckos mate.

Butterflies too-"

"Can you please not discuss this

at dinner?"

People on TV

in bed, naked.

Channel changes in a hurry,

"You don't need to see that."

Secondary school.

After Biology class:

"Humans mate too??"

"Plants mate too?!"

"I have a crush.

One day we'll be married."

"Ew, humans mate though."

"Ya, sounds weird... Kisses are ok."

"I have a crush."

"But she's a girl!"

"I know... I don't know.

Maybe I'm joking."

The new boy tells the class

he got in her pants.

A jokey lie. It makes him so popular.

"Maybe you should hang out with boys less."

"Maybe it's the way you dress."

They're all fourteen.

A new boyfriend, her first love,

gets popular when he tells.

Her friends don't seem as pleased.

"They're talking about you."

"You're ruined."

"There's no going back now."

They're all sixteen.

Something is very wrong here.

This is not as simple

as Animal Planet

or Reproduction in Biology class.

It hugely complicates

crushes and love and bodies.

The females of our species

are expected to give up our sexual freedom-

and society will decide to whom.

We must preserve our inexperience,

and nothing we are able to feel

should be for ourselves.

Society hovers over us,

rewarding the boys who weed out the bad ones,

rewarding the boys for tricking us into failing the test

when we give in and think

our bodies and lives belong to us.

The punishment is huge

for a girl who doesn't follow the rules.

What a genius weapon

Reputation is.

What control it facilitates.

What unruly freedom it prevents.

What equality can exist

while we can be ruined by Reputation?

I refuse to bend.

I won't give up.

This body, my thoughts,

my feelings and experiences

belong to me.

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