The reason you don’t believe me Is that I’ve learned, since childhood, To smile. To laugh. To make the best of things. Keeping peace was my girlhood work. Making sure Dad knew he was right. Making sure Mom knew she was loved, And that we thought she was beautiful. The reason you don’t believe me Is because, deep down, you must know That we saw the consequences of our truth-telling. It was always mom who drive away When things got too rough between you. Her life, played by your rules. Maybe It would have been different if she earned enough To support a family of three. The reason you don’t believe me Is that I’m good at pretending pleasure After years of performing heterosexuality And that scares the shit out of you. If I could do it for 28 years, What else could I pretend, and for how long? If you believe me, it might mean You have to learn to listen more closely To a woman’s body and words Instead of benefitting from her fear of male violence To continue to get what you want. The reason you don’t believe me Is that we had a one-night stand that summer You knew I was slutting it up. You know the guy I said raped me, And he loves his mom and sisters. He would never hurt a fly. I’m here to tell you that in this world, A fly’s life is of more value than a woman’s, And there is a fly swatter in every home. The reason you don’t believe me Is because if I’m right, if we’re right, Then you have done it too, and so have your friends. If there’s anything worse than losing the court case, It’s living with the knowledge That you are not one of the good ones. In order for you to believe us, You are going to have to learn to forgive yourself. And that is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. -Rebecca Woodmass #metoo

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