Poetry

Femme déterminée

I am an idealistic,
Interesting, intelligent woman-
I am not just a pretty woman.

I am not somebody’s girl
I am not somebody’s sister
I am not somebody’s girlfriend
I am a woman
I am myself

I am a passionate, sassy
Complicated woman

I am a woman who wants to change the world
And I will change the world
Because I am a determined woman.

Copyright © C.M.H July 2014

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creative writing, Poetry

Femme déterminée

Je suis une femme idéaliste, interessante, intelligente
Je suis beaucoup plus qu’une femme jolie

Je suis pas une fille
Je suis pas une sœur
Je suis pas une petite copine
Je suis une femme
Je suis moi-même

Je suis une femme passionée, vive, compliquée

Je suis une femme qui veut changer le monde
Et je vais changer le monde
Puisque je suis une femme déterminée

Copyright © C.M.H July 2014

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creative writing, Poems, Poetry

Pretty

Why do girls want to be pretty?
I think I’d rather be witty

And yet, the best compliment a mother would give her daughter is that she is “beautiful”.
What about her intellect, passion,
Humour?

When I was younger I would look in the mirror and think,
“I want to be pretty”,
Every time I watched myself blink
I just wanted to be pretty.
But now I’d rather be witty

Stop commenting on only the appearance of women
known to the public eye-
That I really despise
Because they don’t with men

Lily Allen may be pretty
But many would say she is witty.
Shakira may be considered sexy
But what about her linguistic skills,
Compassion, intellect?

Even if my daughter is pretty
I will comment on how she is witty,
Intelligent, or kind
we should all bear this in mind

Copyright © C.M.H July 2014

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creative writing, Poems, Poetry

La découverte d’un poète

She gazed out of the glass
Never listened in class

She let herself be flown away
To a far away, fascinating place

She lost herself in every book,
Never could put down a book

And then she thought of using her imagination to create something,
Of using words

First there were short stories, and then there was the Woman In Black adaptation,
Then a forgotten two page thriller

But it wasn’t truly her;
She needed a way to express her intense emotions,
To cleanse her soul,
To change the world.

She left a piece of her soul
In a poem.

Copyright © C.M.H July 2014

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creative writing, Poems, Poetry

Not Okay

When all conversation seems so trivial-
Why does everything seem so trivial,
Superficial, pointless?
What about important things?
What about the things
that really matter?

You don’t want to talk,
You don’t want to watch TV,
You don’t want to read,
You don’t want to breathe.

When your mind can only focus on one thing,
And you don’t know when you will cry
Or when something will trigger you-
People can really upset you
If they don’t speak with sympathy.

And you can’t motivate yourself
To get out of bed
So you just lie there instead,
Rest your head-
You really aren’t yourself.

You’ve dealt with the blame,
You didn’t let it turn you insane
But acceptance, moving on seems to take forever,
Especially after denial for so long.
Will the path to recovery ever end?

Sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.
I know I won’t be okay for a while.
You’d better be okay with that.
Don’t tell me that I’m fine
Because it will take time
Before I’m fine.

Copyright © C.M.H July 2014

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Poetry

There are no blurred lines

Yes means yes.

The popularity of Robin Thicke’s very controversial hit, ‘Blurred Lines’ provoked a lot of controversy and statements by many about the supposed ‘grey area’ and the ‘blurred lines’ of consent.

As a serious sexual assault and attempted rape survivor I believe that the ‘blurred lines’ narrative only excuses rapists of their behaviour and there is no excuse for sexual assault and rape. People do not misread signals; this is not an excuse. It is obvious when someone is being very passive and unresponsive to sexual activity or if they verbally or non- verbally express their lack of consent.

There is no such thing as blurred lines; someone either consents to sexual activity or they do not. If you are not sure if someone consents to something you should not engage in the sexual act with them as otherwise it is likely you will have committed sexual assault or rape.

The Oxford dictionary describes consent as “agreement to do something” which would mean that only yes means yes; silence is not consent. Also, if someone is very intoxicated or drugged then legally they cannot consent to sexual activity.

In light of the recent survey conducted by the Sex Education Forum that found that 1 in 3 of young people and children were not taught about consent at school, and the fact that 1 in 5 women from 16- 59 experience sexual violence, I feel that it is vital that young people are informed about consent. Therefore, I have created a consent checklist:

1. If someone is very drunk then their ability to consent is severely impaired and you should not take advantage of them and decide to have sexual activity with them just because they are much less likely to be able to say no to things, or you think they want it.

2. No one is entitled to sex or to anyone else’s body. Just because you walked someone home or they went to yours doesn’t mean that you should and can ever expect sex from them or even a kiss. They may have just wanted to have a chat.

3. It is not okay to have sex with someone when they are very drunk and just force yourself on them. No, it is not consensual just because they did not fight back. People often become very shocked in such situations and alcohol can affect someone’s ability to say no or fight back. Forced and non consensual oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex is all rape which is illegal and carries the maximum of a life sentence.

4. It is not okay to do things such as finger people without asking or coerce them and effectively force them into touching you. This is illegal and the former is assault by penetration and the latter is sexual assault.

5. If at any time when you are engaging in a sexual act with someone they say “stop” or “no”, or their body language physically says no, for example they push your hand away then you must stop immediately otherwise you will have committed assault or rape.

6. No means no. Do not take no to ever mean that they really wants it because it doesn’t. No means that they do not want to have sex with you or engage in whatever sexual act you want them to participate in.

7. Yes means yes. Just because someone does not reply to you when you try to ask them if it is okay for you to perform a sexual act on them or for them to participate in a sexual act does not mean that they have given their consent. In fact, in means that they have not given their consent and often have just not been assertive enough to say yes. Therefore, if you decide to go ahead with the sexual act anyway, you have committed assault or rape.

8. Just because someone has consented to participating in some sexual acts with you does not mean that they consent to all sexual acts and if you assume this and continue going further without their permission you are committing sexual assault.

9. Nothing ever gives you a right to force someone to participate in sexual acts. Just because someone has flirted with you does not give you the right to sex from them.

10. Your own drunkenness is not an excuse for you to engage or get away with any of the aforementioned behaviour. This sort of behaviour is just plain wrong as well as being illegal and having a lasting effect on survivors of sexual violence. If you want to be a good and moral person, always make sure you are 100% of the consent of the other person.

11. Just because you have previously had consensual sexual activity with a person does not mean that they consent to sexual activity on any other occasion and you should make sure that they are okay with sexual activity on each occasion and ask what they want to do to make sure you do not commit assault or rape.

12. Do not try to manipulate someone into having sex with you or make them feel guilty so that they have sex with you. This is coercion and is illegal.

13. Have you got a “Yes” from a sober person and was it not coerced? Then you can go ahead and continue unless they give verbal or non-verbal signs that they want you to stop.

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