Arts featured Inclusion

Rebecca Thomas: For all the women out there who were never believed

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – One of several very powerful moments at the Halifax Women’s March was Mi’kmaq woman, activist, and poet Rebecca Thomas’ performance of For all the women out there who were never believed.  

Here it is, re- published with her kind permission.

Rebecca Thomas at the 2017 Women’s March Halifax. Photo Foundry Photography – CMG-CFU

For all the women out there who were never believed.

Can you believe I was made to feel ashamed of my body when I was 3?
Can you believe when I was 13, a male friend of the family,
Asked me about the sex scenes in the book I was reading?
Can you believe when I was 18, my ex-boyfriend said he was disappointed he didn’t take my virginity.
Can you believe when I was 27 I got my first dick pic?
Can you believe it was 9 years after I was roofied with my first sip.
Can you believe I was 30 when coworker revealed,
His thoughts and feelings on how my legs made him feel.
Can you believe I count myself as lucky?
Because I’m not missing and murdered, the subject an inquiry.
And every time I’ve been followed, I’ve made it home safely.
Can you believe I was lectured on how to protect my drink?
Can you believe I was taught leave clubs with other women in sync?
Can you believe it was my fault if I put myself at risk,
That I should have been nicer when I turned down his kiss.
Can you believe that putting my safety first could make me such a bitch?
Can you believe that I am more likely to be raped because I’m Indigenous
But still more safe than my trans family because I happen to be cis?
Can you believe there are hundreds of thousand of untested rape kits?
Can you believe the reasons why these women were dismissed?

Just because she waited to tell her story.
Just because “he is such a good guy and he’s really sorry.”
Just because she knew him from before.
Just because someone called her a whore.
Just because she said yes once.
Just because she dated him for couple of months.
Just because she didn’t say no.
Just because she was polite and said hello.
Just because she was too ambitious.
Just because she posted pictures of her tits.
Just because she has three dads to her kids.
Just because she likes to flirt,
Just because she loves short skirts.
Just because he bought her a drink.
Just because he didn’t stop to think.
Just because she walked home alone.
Just because she has naked pictures on her phone.
Just because she is brown.
Just because she didn’t make a sound.
Just because she’s trans
And you’re not kind enough to understand.
Just because she isn’t from here.
Just because she cares about her career.
Just because she has a lot of sex.
Just because he has a rep to protect.
Just because she’s a tease.
Just because he said please.
Just because she was drunk.
Just because she had too much spunk.
Just because she took a cab.
Just because it was her dad.
Just because she wants attention.
Just because there was sexual tension.
Just because she’s a stripper.
Just because no one would miss her.
Just because she’s on the pill.
Just because he paid for the bill.
Just because he had all the power.
Just because he brought her flowers.
Just because she had to be put in her place.
Just because she didn’t see his face.
Just because he was famous.
Just because she was nameless.

Just because it wasn’t me.
Just because you didn’t believe.

I believe you.

Photo courtesy of Foundry Photography , proudly unionized photographers Trevor Beckerson and Melissa Bellefeuille

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