Letter to the Editor | 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 Dame, Saint 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
He grows up and he
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%?
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.