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| Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Editor’s note: This story includes descriptions of sexual abuse and violence. A list of sexual assault reporting options and on-campus resources can be found on the Notre DameSaint Mary’s and Holy Cross websites.


Pulling pigtails and name-calling

are the early warning signs, 

yet we tell our little girls that they 

are displays of affection. 

That a little boy’s teasing is 

because he has a crush on you. 

This behavior goes unchecked, 

sending the message that disrespect 

is tolerated so long as you are a guy. 


When our little boys turn into young men,

they remember how their actions 

were never corrected. 

They take advantage of this. 

Touch a girl. Kiss a girl. 

Do what you want when you want. 

This is a man’s world, right? 


We normalize a woman’s risk. 

The risk of being slut-shamed 

The risk of being harassed 

Of being raped. Killed. 

But remember it is never the guy’s responsibility.

They are not taught to take responsibility. 


They’ll blame it on her clothes, 

or her attitude, 

or how drunk she was. 

Those little boys were never told to stop

pulling that pigtail or saying that nickname.

They were never taught to respect girls. 


And so that little boy, the “great kid” that

all the neighborhood moms love, grows up

to be a woman’s worst nightmare.

He grows up with complete disregard for a

woman’s well-being. 

He grows up and he 

strips us 


Of our dignity 







He leaves us to pick up the pieces of 

our lives he so willing shattered. 

No remorse, no penitence. 

Because he did nothing wrong, remember?

There are no consequences for his actions.

The cycle continues. 


When will enough be enough? 

How did we get to 97%?

Carolina Bolivar


March 19

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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