The One Who Will “Win You Over”

offcenterwriting:

Let’s talk about sexual harassment.  My first night in Morocco, I was stalked.

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The Middle East is notorious for its public harassment of female Westerners.  While Western feminists get angry about burqas and hijabs ‘oppressing’ women, the men in Morocco (I visited about six cities) paid those women much more respect than they did Western (visibly non-Middle Eastern) women, even if those women were dressed modestly.

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Sometimes lines get blurry.  My first night in Marrakech, I stayed in a hostel alone with the hostel worker, a twenty-eight year old man.  He cooked me dinner, told me stories about Senegal, showed me his award-winning documentaries and even talked about his gay rights activism.  But before long, he was trying to hold me, he said he was falling in love with me, and he was making sexual advances.

He didn’t force himself on me, but he was very persistent, and I was a young girl alone in a strange hostel in a strange city in a foreign country.  If he hurt me, there would be nothing I could do.  He tried to spend the night in my room.  He kept touching me sexually even when I told him not too.  He refused to leave.  He said he would pay for me to come back to Morocco and to spend a month with him in Senegal, where I would meet his family.  He called me princess.  He swore that he would win me over.

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I felt bad for being uncomfortable.  Shouldn’t I have been flattered?

No.

A man, especially if he holds power—such as owning the hostel, or having the home-field advantage over a woman who doesn’t know the city—should not abuse that power, even if he thinks he’s doing the right thing.  He thought that, as a man, he would waltz in and buy me without knowing anything about it.  Bullshit.

Then it got creepier.

I went to the desert for three days with some friends to ride camels, sleep in a Berber village, etc.  It was fun.  But when I got back, the man (let’s call him Lumiere) became very angry that I had spent so much time away from him.  He wanted me to come back immediately.  He said, ‘Your friends got you for three days!  I only have you for one more day!’

Um, no.  You don’t have me at all.  He had also found my Facebook, downloaded all of my pictures onto his phone, called his friend to bake me a cake, and—oh yeah—spent three days making me a metal bracelet with my first and last name on it, which he clamped around my wrist like a handcuff.

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I was hoping to move to a different hostel to avoid him.  Unfortunately, that night I became incredibly sick, and spent the next twenty-four hours relying on him for food, water, and medicine.  Of course he found it appropriate to wake me up at odd hours and try to talk to me, when I told him again and again that I just wanted to sleep.  The entire day, I couldn’t stop throwing up.  I wanted to die - I had never felt so alone and miserable.

Yesterday I flew back to Scotland and I spent today in my room, still incredibly sick.  I told Lumiere via Facebook that he acted inappropriately, and I also notified his supervisors.  On one hand, I don’t want him to be fired, but on the other hand he should know that that is not okay.

I meant to post more poems today, but I haven’t written anything in the past three days, and I’m feeling too sick (mentally, physically) to process things right now.  I hope that tomorrow I’ll have enough energy to write and go to class.  In the meantime, hugs are appreciated.

Bottom Line: Girls, we are told again and again that we should be flattered by attention, especially if the attention isn’t just sexual.  ”Oh, he cooked for you!”  ”Oh, he bought you gifts!”  ”Oh, he wanted to spend time with you!”  ”You should be grateful!”  That translates into: “Oh, he’s giving you unwanted affection despite your persistent objections because he thinks he has a right to own you!  How lovely!”

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Don’t be afraid to say no.  I wish that I had sooner, but it took me a long time to realize why he made me so uncomfortable.  Bottom line, if anyone—male, female, whatever—makes you uncomfortable, say something, do something, kick them in the dick, do whatever you need to do to feel safe.  Don’t sit back because you think you should be flattered.

You own yourself, and no one can take that away from you.


ceux-ci

sheets aflutter in my life flash 

there was in my path
a house with secrets inside
full to bursting 
tip top
it sang

all the while i burned it down
the young man grows old in the tub
he is growing something unseemly

as his book is growing wavy
the blood mixes creamy

there waits in my path
a house with fires inside
full to bursting 
my heels upon the stairs
clip clop
they sang
all the while i drowned in it

drip drop from the edge 
of the world

a clock ticks
i sink

divenire


he found his target defending the blue hills in the midst
of battle, stood in a battery three hundred soldiers
strong, weapons unleashed that braced them for death. 

with the raise of one hand, he felled the entire battalion, 
sending them into a sleep from which few would recover; eyes
locked on his target as he took hold, one touch reigniting

white hot desire. he took hold, breathless, as he led the way,
the soldier’s ardor rebounded, oblivious to fallen compatriots,
oblivious to scorched earth and bloody howls; seeing him only.

before the sun’s rise, he took her, mouth, heart and soul. 
sinking deep into blackberry flesh, drinking deep, he took more 
as swiftly as she offered. spilt crimson marking her

passage from life to something more. fulfilling the promise
of every misspent moan that had come before. that night,
he took her, long before the calvary came running.

Yossarian

literarystarbucks:

Yossarian goes up to the counter to order a latte. He pulls out $3.00 to pay for it, but the barista informs him the price has recently gone up to $3.50. Yossarian has to run home to get fifty more cents, walking along a street full of murderers, rapists, child molesters; fires burning in every window, the acrid smell of smoke burning his nostrils. By the time he gets back, the price of a latte has been raised to $4.00.

crux and hammer


blue divinity
ever risen

the all-seeing hand
opens

in the shadows
of sword and scales

the diurnal trial 
commences

icarian crimes 
punishable by law

to fall again
into the bottomless gorge

to eat flesh or bone
without fulfillment

to eat love or nothing
meeting death

inevitably
the council deliberates

dub, devout

thewriterscaravan:


black & gold, spitting fire from the dregs. black goku defied the chain laws, escaped reality thru the whole in his master’s head, subsisted, subsists, will subsist ever on cupake weeds and dub. from the dub, he sipped deep, UN-becoming & RE-forming;

re-born of his own volition, dismantling time ‘til tenses ceased.
they call him prophet, le petit mauvais garçon: god of music, the high-mixer, platinum king. they called to him, atremble in the dub’s kiss.

Knees Up, Chi’ren! Carpe Dat Fookin Diem! he cried, vapored, as the dub moved thru him; bass & grace to electrify their veins. black & gold. blood blurred & rushing. they died. black & gold. they were made again. raising hands, hips undulating, tied to the master’s vibe.

chef de bande, we worship, bodies praying to the sinuous miracle electronique—hard scrabble hoss, brought to reduction; by-stander, no more—

i am one, i swim with them.

brokedown, we sway & are waylaid by the Prowess of the DJ.

submitted by ozthewild