and what I’m saying is sometimes you don’t get a trigger warning before someone pulls the trigger, before you’re a body in the hot wet heat pressed by bodies hunting insides. there are sixty thousand women in my country—at least—and I want more for them than our painful avoidance. Yes! I want you to cry. I want you to feel the things you don’t want to feel, which are anyway only a shadow of the things they did not want to. I know I’m being polemic. I know I’m being unfair. I know that you don’t deserve this but neither did they. There is so much unravelling which we are permitted to turn from and I’ve lost interest in your feel-good Netflix binge, your escape from the escape that is your comfortable middle-class life. No one deserves this but some people must bear it and I want revenge for the sixty thousand women who did, the sixty thousand women who didn’t get a trigger warning and what good would it have done them anyway. You don’t get to opt out of genocidal rape. Not if you’re the victim and sometimes not if you’re the man with the gun.
[Trigger warning: rape]
[Trigger warning: torture]
[Trigger warning: war]
[Trigger warning: genocide]
I’m not usually like this but yesterday a friend said this is too much for me and we have been friends for so long and her past has never been too much but mine, my people’s, is an unbearable burden. another time my friends could not watch a documentary about refugees and had to leave the room and me, here, the only refugee in the room, knowing the value of not looking away, of swallowing hurt that is not yours because it should not be theirs either and if this is the least we can do, we must do it. because sixty thousand women could have been saved and a hundred thousand people could still be alive if only we hadn’t been watching Law and Order, if only we hadn’t left the room. I said look at me when I’m talking to you! You won’t believe the things I remember, the things I have seen and heard, the things that live rent free in my body and make my flesh a roiling parody of survivor’s guilt. I have so much pain to milk—don’t even get me started—but I’m not trying to force you to drink it, I just want you to know where it’s from and how dare you deny us that?
I said look at us when we’re talking to you.