I just don't get it-I don't get why I even have to write this-why I have to sit here and ask for justice to such a blatant and ubiquitous crime.
I had an outline for how I wanted to write this-it was completely logical and filled with statistics and the voice I feigned in that original draft was a lot stronger than the one I'll allow myself to use in this.
I thought I could write this in a completely detached manner and create a distance between the issue and myself-but I can't.
I can't pretend this doesn't hurt me. I can't pretend this won't affect my sister or my mother or my daughter or the girl who sits next to me in trigonometry. I can't pretend like it's not happening.
I can't pretend like I'm not expecting it.
In 2014, thousands of women experienced some form of sexual assault in the US
In 2015, thousands of women experienced some form of sexual assault in the US.
In 2016, thousands of women experienced some form of sexual assault in the US.
And I can guarantee you a similar number of women will have experienced some form of sexual assault in the US in 2017.
And that is exactly the problem: it's a predictable pattern.
America has a constant pattern of women who get sexually assaulted-American culture has a quota of how many women must get sexually assaulted.
There are a million things we can blame, a million ways misogyny and rape ideology have manifested themselves in nearly all of our institutions-but today I want to discuss blame.
When we talk about sexual assault, there's always a shift in blame. It was her short dress or he was drunk or she never said no or-
How many more women? How many women must be groped on the train? How many more nights must we start walking faster on the walk home? How many women must endure passive-aggressive threats for saying no? How many more women must be blamed for the crime they were the victim of?
How many women before we blame sexual assaulters.
The answer should be none. I hope the answer is bright in your head-I hope it is clear as day-I hope it is like a sharp pain in your heart that the answer is none.
That the girl who sits next to me in trigonometry should never have to worry about getting sexually assaulted-let alone be blamed for getting sexually assaulted.
But even as I write this, another hand is forcefully closing another woman's mouth.
Even as I write about the so clear answer-we will sacrifice so many more women not just tonight-but every night-to that agonizing pain-to that raw and taught shame. How many women must we force into this-
You are hearing it ring through your ears and you feel it thump in your chest-the answer is none.
The crime is never the victim's fault. Assign blame where it belongs and demand justice from your judicial branch-do so until we walk free.
Until the fear and shame are stripped away and we are left with the endless possibilities fearless women are destined to reach.
My name is Ishrat Zahan and I'm a 16-year-old Mogul Events Reporter for Brooklyn Technical High School who focuses on both contemporary issues and agential ones that directly affect me. Apart from being an events reporter for Mogul, I am also the president of Current Affairs Awareness Forum, where [...]