Give it a Voice: Learning about my body

In response to many people reaching out who are willing to share their powerful stories as survivors and thrivers of sexual assault, we have created a forum where people can post their stories in whatever form they feel most comfortable expressing through.

You may be someone who paints, collages, photographs, writes poetry or short stories, or any other form of expression, and we invite you to submit a piece that reflects your experience of survival after having experienced sexual assault.

For more information: https://powerfulvoicesproject.com/give-it-a-voice/

Submission: August 7, 2014

Many thanks to the beautiful and articulate Jacqueline Dawn for her words.

My mother never taught me how to take care of my most vulnerable body part. She never taught me to wipe front to back, or to not wear my swimsuit for 24 hours straight, or that it was mine and mine alone to make decisions about. She never taught me to make sure it was appreciated and loved with the respect and gentleness that it deserves. My mother’s mother taught me that it was shameful. She scolded me when I was caught touching it. She taught me how to change my clothes with the utmost modesty so as to never let it show. My father taught me that the only place where it is appreciated is in magazines of Asian women with parts bald as babies butts, spread open for viewing by their long polished finger nails. My uncles taught me that it is the star of the best dirty jokes, something that is to be objectified, used, and laughed about. My brothers taught me that it was an indicator of rank, placing me at the bottom of their hierarchy. Ex-lovers taught me that it was too smelly, too hairy, too ugly except with lights off. They taught me that it was for their pleasure alone, until a better one came along.

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