Halsey's Speech

Trigger Warning- The following contains language about sexual abuse and assault.

Halsey at the Women's March

 The Women's March happened last weekend and sadly I couldn't go but at the end of my shift I sat down at my work station and watched a few speeches. The first one I watched was Halsey's where she spoke of the assaults, rapes, and following situations that has happened to her and her friend from her childhood. It had me biting my lip and digging my nails into my skin so no one would see me cry at work. I ended up driving home and replaying it so I could really hear it because certain lines struck me and stuck with me. If you haven't watched it, do so now with the video below or read it further down.

 I want to discuss hers because I read her story about the night in Chicago a while ago, I've been a fan of hers for a long time, I see a lot of who I want to be and am in her, I even have a tattoo ready to go of a song title of hers. A lot of her lines towards the middle and end of the poem stuck me and I started crying while listening to it in the car. The pressuring of a boyfriend was the stanza that really got to me since it relates to my own story that happened in my life. The way she speaks those words are filled with emotion and it sounds the like the voice in my head that said similar words to myself two weeks into my last relationship. "He's my boyfriend, so why am I filled with unease?"
 The next stanza discusses the thoughts I had while growing up before any of my assaults happened to me- "I'm invincible and I'm so fucking naive". I never thought it would happen to me. I had friends who discussed it behind locked doors so no parents would come in and hear what happened to them. I had older friends warn me of college parties where entitled guys lurk around with mixed drinks- spiked with more vodka than they said. I had heard stories and scenarios of what girls have gone through and took them all in but still always thought it couldn't happen to me.
 And then it did- as a friend left me with a known abuser to hook up with some guy in the room next door. As a guy took advantaged of it being just us at his cabin by a river. As a guy showed up constantly to the parties I just happened to be at swearing he wasn't stalking my Snapchat Maps  and shoving drinks in my face that weren't just lemonade. As my ex boyfriend said just two weeks in "well you seemed like you wanted it" when trying to 'just slip it in' though I said no to him. Where I drew my lines and he pushed them and crossed them.
 I was so naive thinking it wouldn't happen to me and then next thing you know I'm screaming to myself "what do you mean it happened to me?"after the most recent assault. I was supposed to be safe then.
 In the las two stanza's she speaks of how no woman is safe as long as she lives and breathes. That every friend she knows has a story like hers and every girl I know has a story like mine. The world tells us to take those cat calls, the fact that men just can't keep their hands off us, as a compliment. But then heroes like Halsey and many other women speak up and speak out- and with 2017 being the "year of the witch hunt" on men, this is only the beginning and not the end. 
 That is why all those women (and men) went out to March. From the 300,000 in Chicago with my cousin, the 200,000 in New York, the 600,000 in Los Angeles or the 12,000 here in Cincinnati. That is why so many more women marched all over- and all over last year too. It shows that we need to keep coming to these protests, keep telling our stories for those who can't, keep fighting this fight that we have. We still have so much to do in 2018. And so here is the last full last stanza and what I want to leave you with before sending you back into the world. 

Halsey - A Story Like Mine

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, and the walls are that not grey, but green / And the lights are so bright they could burn a whole through the seam of my jeans / 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 textbook beside her / And he covered her mouth and 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 friends, too, 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 am 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 whiskey neat and he's paying for everything / This 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 / This much I owe to him / He buys my dinner, so I have to blow him / He's taken to forcing me down on my knees / And 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've earned my protection, eternally clean / Until 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 / Is that my blood? / Hold on a minute
You see I've worked every day since I was 18 / I've toured everywhere 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 earned it
It's 2018 and I've realized 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, Aly / Remind me this is the beginning, it is 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 and stilletos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in 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 / They tell us take cover
Thank you.

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