Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

84/365: I Don't Want to Be Here

84/365: I Don't Want to Be Here

The following poem was written after Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted of sexual assault charges this morning. Although that verdict brought forward a lot of my own history and emotions, as I am sure it has for many others, this is not about the Ghomeshi trial in particular. What this is about is 43 years of living in a female body in a culture that largely values that body as a serviceable machine primarily intended for the use and benefit of others.

It's all very simple:
I don't want to be here.
I don't want my body to be here.
I don't want you to look at it
or talk about it
or have opinions about it
or desire it
or touch it
or dress it up or down
or make it pretty or sexy or younger
or compare it to food
or treat it like a machine for your use
or post pictures of it on the internet
or prescribe it a fitness program
or tell it what foods it likes or how it should be fed
or suggest that if it did certain things differently
other bodies might not have the right to touch it
or punch it
or choke it
or rape it
or even do so little as to stroke its hair without asking
or say why don't you come over here, pretty lady? to it on the street
or touch its waist to indicate your possession of it
before introductions have even been made.

I don't want to be here.
I cannot choose not to be here.
This body has been defined as a prison
by the laws made by men to protect men,
by doctors who choose my treatments
based on babies I do not want that do not exist,
by a culture that tells me what to like and how to do it
to prepare me for the unquestioning service of men and children,
by media that tells this body how old it should be
and what size it should be and how it should dress,
by those who molested and raped this body,
by the default assumption that vaginas,
by law and heart and mind, predestine their owners
to be the affirmative answer to other's desires.

These are the rules:
bodies with vaginas should be the Yes to almost every question,
and those bodies' should pay service to that Yes they give,
and those bodies should be grateful for whatever doesn't hurt,
and what hurt those bodies do receive are a given,
because those bodies are the Yes they were born to give.

I don't want to be here.
I don't want to be here as a Yes to any question.
I don't want to be bent to your service.
I don't want to be grateful for whatever doesn't hurt.

It's all very simple.
I don't want to be here.


I am writing one poem every day in 2016, and I am using the hashtag #365poems to document my progress.

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