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Singer Halsey Reveals Sexual Assaults In Extraordinary Women's March Poem

January 23, 2018

 

It’s been 12 months since an estimated 5 million people participated in 673 Women's Marches in cities on all seven continents, in a record breaking day of action to protest Donald Trump’s presidency and demand equal rights for all.

 

This year the Women’s Marches were held on January 20, 2018, with hundreds of thousands of women and allies attending rallies around the United States and in countries such as Canada, the UK, Italy and Japan, again protesting Trump’s first year in office.


But a lot has changed in 12 months. The #MeToo movement is helping women from all professions and walks of life share their stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment, forcing into the open what has for too long been our society's hidden, shameful epidemic. Hollywood’s shocking culture of sexual harassment has been exposed and the Time's Up campaign is harnessing the power of famous women to help support victims of sexual harassment in coming forward.


The viral moment of this year’s marches was the profoundly personal poem “A Story Like Mine,” written and performed by 23 year old singer Halsey. In the poem, Halsey shares her own experiences with sexual assault and her extraordinary honesty is inspiring even more women to share their own stories. 


Read the full poem below.

 

It’s 2009
and I’m 14 and I’m crying.
Not really sure where I am,
but I’m holding the hand
of my best friend Sam
in the waiting room of a Planned
Parenthood.
The air is sterile and clean
The walls are that “not grey but green”
And the lights are so bright they could burn a hole through the seam
Of my jeans.
And my phone is buzzing in the pocket.
My mom is asking me
If I remembered my keys
Cause she’s closing the door
and she needs to lock it.
But I can’t tell my mom
Where I’ve gone
I can’t tell anyone at all
You see my best friend Sam
was raped by a man
that we knew 'cause he worked
In the after school program.
And he held her down
with her textbooks beside her
And he covered her mouth and then he came...
inside her.
So now I’m with Sam
At the place with a plan
Waiting for the results of a medical exam
And she’s praying
she doesn’t need an abortion.
She couldn’t afford it
And her parents would “like totally kill her”
It’s 2002 and my family just moved
And the only people I know are my mom’s friend Sue
And her son.
He’s got a case of matchbox cars
And he says that he’ll teach me
to play the guitar
If I just keep quiet
And the stairwell beside
apartment 1245
Will haunt me in my sleep
For as long as I’m alive
And I’m too young to know
why it aches in my thighs
But I must lie I must lie...
It’s 2012 and I’m dating a guy
And I sleep in his bed
and I just learned how to drive
And he’s older than me
And he drinks whisky neat
And he’s paying for everything,
(The adult thing is not cheap)
We’ve been fighting a lot
Almost 10 Times a week.
And he wants to have sex
And I just want to sleep
He says I can’t say no to him
That this much I owe to him
He buys my dinners,
so I have to blow him
And he’s taken to forcing me
down on my knees
I’m confused
cause he’s hurting me
while he says “please”
And “he’s only a man,"
and these things he “just needs”
He’s my boyfriend
So why am I filled with unease?
It’s 2017 and I live like a queen
And I’ve followed damn near
every one of my dreams
I’m invincible!
and I’m so fucking naive...
I believe I’m protected
cause I live on a screen
Nobody would dare
act that way around me.
I have earned my protection,
eternally clean...
'Til a man that I trust
gets his hands in my pants
But I don’t want none of that?
I just wanted to dance?
And I wake up the next morning
like I’m in a trance
And there’s blood
My blood...
Is that my blood?
Wait hol-hold on a minute.
You see I’ve worked every day
since I was 18.
I’ve toured every where
from Japan to Mar a Lago,
I even went on stage
that night in Chicago
when I was having a miscarriage.
I mean I pied the piper! I put on a diaper!
And sang out my spleen
to a room full of teens
WHAT DO YOU MEAN
THIS HAPPENED TO ME?
You can’t put your hands on me?
You don’t know what my body has been through.
I’m supposed to be safe now
I’ve earned it.
It's 2018, and I’ve realized
That nobody is safe long as she is alive
And every friend that I know
Has a story like mine.
And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment.
But then heroes like Ashley
and Simone and Gabby
McKayla and Gaga,
Rosario, Ali.
Remind me this is the beginning
it’s not the finale.
And that’s why we're here,
and that’s why we rally.
It’s Olympians
and a medical resident
And not one fucking word
from the man who is president
It’s about closed doors
And secrets and legs in stilettos
From the Hollywood Hills
to the projects and ghettos
When babies are ripped
from the arms of teen mothers;
and child brides cry
globally under the covers
Who don’t have a voice
on the magazine covers
And you can’t walk anywhere
if your legs aren’t covered
They tell us take cover...
But we are not free
until all of us are free.
So love your neighbor
Please treat her kindly
Ask her her story
Then shut up and listen
Black Asian poor wealthy
Trans Cis Muslim Christian
Listen.
Listen.
And then YELL
AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS.
Be a voice for all those
who have prisoner tongues,
for the people who had to grow up
way too young,
there is work to be done
there are songs to be sung, Lord knows there’s a war to be won.

 

 

 

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