Why are we the focus of your anger and frustrations? Why are we the recipients of your sadness, rage, and insecurities? Why are we the ones to suffer for your selfishness? Why are we the game pieces in your life? Constantly moved around the board, kicked out of the game, and replaced with others. Why are we seen as just bodies, mindless, and heartless? Why do you get to decide if we are able to contribute to this society in the way we want to? Why do you manipulate us, coerce us, hurt us, and kill us? The very people whom this world would not exist without. Your mothers, your sisters, your fellow human beings. Why are we not believed and heard, when we speak of the violence and hurt that you have brought upon us?
Our very existence somehow threatens you, therefore you pathetically feel that we must be put down. Somehow, you believe that we must not have the freedom to do as we want: to speak, to feel, to clothe, to love, and to refuse. Somehow, you believe that we must be repressed, silenced, and compliant. You believe that we must not have a say. That we must not have our own thoughts. That every single one of us must be kept in a little box to your liking. Smile more, sweetie, it was just a joke, we are told. Don’t be so serious, relax, you taunt. You believe that we exist to gratify and oblige you.
Moments throughout our lives that will alter and change us for the rest of our existence on this Earth, the moments you prompt yet you refuse to take accountability for. Because you could never be held accountable for any of your actions. How could you? You think you are owed something from us, from the world. You believe that you have a right to us, our bodies. And the system believes that too; the very system created to protect all, constantly throwing us out into the mud. Is it impossible that we did something to offend you, anger you, provoke you? Therefore, we are in a place where we are at fault for whatever happens next. Would you describe yourself as dramatic? How many partners have you had? What were you wearing?
Excuses. Constant and neverending excuses. Every little possible thing that you so-called suffered or felt can be used against us. He was drunk. His girlfriend broke up with him. His mother wasn’t around. She rejected him. Every bit of sympathy the system has goes to you, not us. We are belittled, mocked, minimized. We are met with hostility and blame, and we are somehow made to feel guilty for whatever happened. We are tired. Just tired. Tired of a world and society where its very foundation was built to oppress us. Our thoughts and feelings are nothing to you. They do not matter to you. We cry and beg for help, but we are ignored, our voices muffled. When we are able to squeeze through and insert a bit of our voices into the conversation, we are immediately branded as crazy. Man-haters, we are called. We are being too emotional. We should be a little more sympathetic. We are expected to be quiet, nod our heads, and look down at our feet, even when we are constantly picked and commented on. Even when you believe that you should have an opinion on whatever we might do. That your opinion is the only thing we care for, and that we should listen. But even with whatever you think we should or should not do, we will never be able to fulfill your ideal. We are told one thing, and then the other. We cover ourselves in bright colors and gems, You’re trying too hard. We clothe ourselves in the darkness, Try harder! We wear less, Cover yourselves up more, you need to respect yourself. We wear more, Why don’t you show off a little? We will never be enough. We will never satisfy your ideals and standards, your wants. But we are not here for your accommodation and amusement.
Not one of you thinks that you will ever be held accountable for the violence and hurt you brought on us. Who could ever possibly believe us over you? After all, you are the pinnacle of the world we live in; the very top, the people that this world was built to coddle. We are all the same to you, every one of us, replaceable bodies. You forget that each and every one of us has a mind of our own, a heart of our own, a soul of our own. We have desires, wants, and aspirations of our own - we have our own lives, separate from yours. We do not exist for you. We do not exist for your satisfaction, for your pleasure, to fulfill the hole in your heart, for whatever you feel that you are entitled to. Every time we are told to be more logical, less emotional, less sensitive, that it is all in our heads, to be reasonable; every time we are somehow blamed for what happened to us at your hands; we remember our anger, our frustrations, our sadness, our rage. The more you put us down and resist our fights, the harder we defy you and the system that protects and spoils you. We are tired of being made invisible and silenced. This is us being reasonable.
About Niko (She/Her)
Niko grew up predominantly in Japan but is currently a university student in the U.S., passionate about feminism, mental health, and other social and political issues in both Japan and the U.S. She hopes to speak out and use my experiences to inspire others.
Written by Niko
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphics by Satomi Shikano