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This is my body. It is not broken. It is not broken for you.

If it is to be broken for you, that will be my decision, not yours.

For I must be free to fulfill the meaning of freedom, to do the right thing not because I am told, but because I believe in it.

This is my body. My heart, my brain, my soul, it is solely mine unless I choose to give it to another. This is the medium through which I express my own decisions. This is the medium through which I at last take responsibility.

For I am responsible for my actions. And if I am responsible for them, I must be the one making the choices, else I become some pathetic scapegoat.

This is my body. This is what I use to run, to jump, to climb, to sing, to dance, to shake a finger in your face and tell you you’ve done wrong.

This is my life. I will take it where I will. I will walk, where I am not trespassing, I will record, all the things that are not secret, I will sing, unless I hurt someone’s ears, I will dance.

Believe that as I walk through life and try to do what is right that I am trying to do what is right, that I am not some ignorant intolerant misguided coward as you think I am. Believe that if you try to make me do what you want by force, you will threaten your own body, and your own heart, and your own soul.

This is my body. This is my memory. This is who I am. This is all the things about me you cannot understand, but there they are anyway. All the things you cannot understand, you can try to understand if you talk to me, if you listen to me, as I am listening to you, because, surprisingly enough, this body has ears.

As I am speaking to you now. Are you hearing me? What are you hearing? Do you believe that the fact of my birth, my shape, my livelihood makes me less respectable than you? Do you believe that because I’m a female, vegetarian, socialistic athetistic poetic do-gooder, I am less than human? That you’re just allowed to treat me like garbage because I think differently than you? I am everything you hate, and yet I am still human, I still have a human body, a human mind, hard as it is to believe I am as much a part of this world as you, and we can either stand here all day insulting each other or we can share a beer and stop being so uptight, as you want me to be.

Because I would like to be less uptight. I would like to let it all go, but I can’t when you’re sitting there making laws that assume you know what’s best for my body. I can’t relax when you’re standing there yelling about family values, and turning my body into a poster for everything you fear about sexuality. I can’t relax when you think you have all the answers and I should just shut up and sit down, get back in the kitchen, make me a sandwich, pour me some coffee, don’t worry your pretty little head about a thing. I can’t relax when you sit back and condone the violent young fools who want to violate my body, just because you think I ask for it, deserve it, invite it.

News flash: If someone wants to rape me I can be wearing a giant baggy overcoat and saggy pants, and it would still happen, because they probably already know what I look like, because the vast majority of rape cases are between people who know each other. News flash: I shouldn’t have to wear a giant baggy overcoat and saggy pants just to escape the whistles of men who have better things to be doing than collectively obsessively re-affirming their heterosexuality. News flash: Marlon Brando was one of the manliest men to ever live, and he was bisexual. Oscar Wilde could stand up and cause a champion boxer to flee in terror. The Sacred Band of Thebes could beat any army they met. Heterosexuality and manliness have never been one and the same. Heterosexuality and manliness have never truly depended on keeping women in subservient roles, and if you think that’s how it ought to be, you condone thousands of years of assault, rape, murder, cruelty and bullying of women all done in the name of keeping women down, of women’s bodies belonging to someone other than themselves.

This is my body.

It was never, and never will be, yours.

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