"An Ode to the Rapist" by Kelly Czyzniejewski

I sit down with my little brother and tell him of women being increasingly bothered.

“So, I know this girl, and the hardest thing she ever had to do. Sweaty palms, 

stuttering breaths, face blue, deciding who could take the truth. Who can? Who will? 

Listen to what’s inside, bruised by a man who knew he had more strength than you.”

She swallowed the spoon, holding the medication of realization, but gagged on 

words she couldn’t speak.

She lays down her head and tries not to think about a friend, a caress, and

falling asleep, then waking up with him more than skin deep.

She kicked and punched, but it wasn’t enough to cool her sweating palms at 2 a.m. 

still feeling his calloused touch.

How can she look another man in the eyes without hearing in the back of her mind 

his pounding on the bathroom door begging for compromise?

Her kick and punch can’t breach how she has to re-teach herself how to breathe 

every time lips like honey seem intimate not for he and she, but three.

Because he’s there in her vulnerability and so she’d cry about his lie scared her co 

side will leave when he hears “its no longer just you and I”.

Pushing him away wasn’t enough to control her shaking through sunrays,

because there is no right way to claim peace with a man and his waiting game.

Vulnerability isn’t like finding a needle in hay. He who saw her close her eyes knew 

rejection would pay as she lay away her conscious thoughts for the day.

How do you politely say she woke confused, sore, and beat and that feeling is still 

tattooed where no one can see, without leaving tear droplets of tear on your knees?

She’s carving through emotions we hope our whole lives to be lucky enough not to 

meet because we look the other way when conversation reveals defeat.

I tell him, you know nothing of the fear in women. It’s enough to paralyze her sexual 

drive, taking the back roads until the world its correct mode.

She remembers his glasses, and the terror in his eyes when she woke up to realize 

this moment will always play on repeat. The caught red handed stroking meat, and 

satisfied release all over her back and lily bed sheets.

He knows what she said but did all but lie down in the bed.

He got away with it, just told her she wanted it.

 “You grabbed me in your sleep”. 

Daring her now to speak. But it’s a he-said-she-said game, and not a word she would 


It took her a week to scrub his stench free then ask her mom if she should tell the 


But here…is the thing

There’s much more to deciding if you should come clean. Just look at our world in 

newspapers and magazines. There are plenty of stories told by women and no 

justice was seen.

Because here are the facts we live in a world where boys are allowed and a girl’s 

intentions are crap.

Where that girl I was telling you about is too afraid to look pretty for the subliminal 

message society says she’s sending.

“Did you see how she grabbed his hand? There’s no way that woman wanted 

anything less than what he had planned.”

“Girls choose to drink.” So you better think about every single man

hiding in the brink. 

What I would like to say is that there is no way that we are in 2015 and letting 

people flee from charges of molestation and raping.

Because there is so much more violence than just the act itself. How about a 

pregnancy? Her doctors scraping? The therapy she now needs? 

We aren’t made to pay for the satisfaction of a man who is too afraid to face a 


When a man only has to fear a no for his pride, a woman is afraid to say no in fear 

for her life.

Please tell me what kind of world this is if a woman says no it makes her a priss but 

can't accept women who say yes as humans who enjoy sex.

Some sacrifice their sexual independence for the chance that a man will hurt her if 

she chooses to wait a couple more dances. But a man can take a woman on a date 

and if he wanted to He. Has. The. Choice. To. Wait.

We need to become a team. The new American dream. Where guys and girls become one on the

same page and safe.

How many lives will it take?

End girls having to educate their brothers after being raped. 

End the one in four women living their lives in fear, having anxiety attacks over the 

triggers they hear.

End using the day after pill as penance because it’s 2015 and 'date' and 'rape' can exist 

in the same sentence.