Photo credit: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Photo credit: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

This list is dedicated to all of the young women I’ve taught at the collegiate level since 2001. Those who’ve struggled with their assaults in the light and in the dark. You mustn’t believe anything below. 

  1. They will tell you, you wanted it.
  2. Maybe just a little … Right?
  3. Deep down inside
  4. This was your fantasy
  5. Your college crush
  6. Your way of “serving it up”
  7. And not being seen as a whore.
  8. They’ll say, he’s a football player,
  9. A fraternity guy,
  10. A f—ing Rhodes scholar.
  11. He can get any girl.
  12. Why would he rape you?
  13. They’ll point out that you’re fat,
  14. Or skinny,
  15. Or tall,
  16. Short,
  17. Ugly,
  18. Too pretty,
  19. Too blah,
  20. Too Republican.
  21. They will tell you that you listened to too much rap music.
  22. Too much Lil Wayne,
  23. Young Thug,
  24. Nicki Minaj,
  25. Too much rock ‘n’ roll,
  26. Pop.
  27. You watched too much Beyoncé grinding suggestively on the stage.
  28. They will tell you, you shouldn’t walk down dark alleys,
  29. Not dressed like that,
  30. With your t—ies exposed,
  31. Legs too long,
  32. Red heels making you look like prey.
  33. They will say, maybe you had too much to drink.
  34. Maybe you didn’t cover your drink when you went to the bathroom.
  35. Why didn’t you ask for bottled water instead?
  36. Buy your own drink.
  37. They’ll say you didn’t have a father figure at home.
  38. They’ll say you lost your virginity at 15 because you didn’t have a father figure at home.
  39. They’ll say you have low self-esteem because you didn’t have a father figure at home.
  40. They’ll say you answered that DM,
  41. Snapchat,
  42. Text message … because you didn’t have a father figure at home.
  43. They’ll say you “came through” because you didn’t have a father figure at home.
  44. And they’ll say he should get a pass because he didn’t have a father figure at home.
  45. They’ll say groping your t—ies,
  46. Your a–,
  47. Your p—y,
  48. Your lips,
  49. Your wrists,
  50. Your thighs … isn’t sexual assault.
  51. They’ll say it’s only assault if it hurts.
  52. They’ll say it’s only rape if you scream.
  53. Holler “No!”
  54. Fight back.
  55. Scratch him.
  56. Get his skin under your nails as evidence.
  57. Call the police immediately.
  58. Go to the hospital and get a rape kit.
  59. Tell your friends and family — you need witnesses.
  60. Expose the bastard — then and only then is it rape.
  61. They’ll say you need better friends.
  62. Friends who don’t drink.
  63. Friends who don’t dress like whores.
  64. Friends who don’t go to frat parties,
  65. And drink Ciroc,
  66. And smoke marijuana.
  67. Friends who don’t leave you alone in a dark room with a boy you don’t know.
  68. Or a boy you do know.
  69. Or a boy you trust.
  70. A boy you thought you could trust.
  71. They’ll say it’s your fault for picking the wrong guy
  72. Did you pick the wrong guy because you didn’t have a father figure at home?
  73. Did you pick the wrong guy because you listen to too much rap music?
  74. Did you pick the wrong guy because you like to drink,
  75. Party,
  76. Dance on tabletops.
  77. And have too much of a good time?
  78. They’ll point out that girls can’t have too much of a good f—ing time.
  79. Not like boys
  80. It’s too dangerous.
  81. They point out that men are wolves,
  82. And women are sheep
  83. They’ll say it’s no one’s fault.
  84. They’ll say it’s just human nature.
  85. We’ve all made mistakes.
  86. Think about that before you press charges.
  87. Think about that before you tell a soul.
  88. Think about that before you share your assault on social media.
  89. Think about that before you ruin your life.
  90. They’ll say you’ll be known as “that girl” from now on.
  91. That no one will believe you.
  92. No one will care.
  93. No one will love you.
  94. No one will marry you.
  95. You’ll die alone.
  96. “The girl who cried rape” will be on your tombstone.
  97. The only way out is keeping your mouth shut.
  98. They’ll tell you they’re not here to cause problems.
  99. They’re the professionals.
  100. They were sent to help you.

… and they’re all lying.

Calaya Michelle Stallworth

A novelist and essayist, Calaya Michelle Stallworth is a creative writing professor in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned a doctorate in English at Georgia State University. She has published ten novels under the pen name Grace Octavia with Kensington and Harlequin. Instagram: @blackwritergonerogue