This is Life, Based on a True Story  

A poem about rape

My daughter and three of her classmates recently decided to tackle a controversial topic among their age group.

It was their final English assignment for the semester and the teacher asked the kids to group up and write a poem about any topic they wanted.

The four girls chose to write about something that has long been an issue n the schools and a source of frustration for teachers for generations.

It has been a cause of arguments between many a teen girl and her parents … the issue?


And, as is often the case for teens, what they choose to wear is a contributing factor to pre-teen and teenage angst.

As mom to a 17-year old, I have had my share of eyebrow-raising “you’re wearing THAT” moments. On one hand, I shake my head at my daughter and think surely you can find something more, 'er, appropriate to wear.

But I too have ventured into many a store and seen what the girls — even the younger ages, have to choose from — and I understand where their questionable wardrobe choices stem from.

Clothing designers and manufacturers need to be held somewhat accountable for what our girls are wearing when the only choices they offer are the scantily clad ones.

I’ve heard people say things like we should all just stop buying the clothes, so the designers will have to change them. But the reality is, that will never happen. It would have to be a North American wide movement to just stop buying what’s in the stores.

Good idea in theory, but realistically …

My daughter and her friends feel strongly about this topic and based their poem upon this subject. They all contributed based upon their own knowledge and experience.

Yes, I realize that parts of this are hard to read. But as they say, out of the mouths of babes. This is the very age group that is affected by this more than any other.

And for the record – the teacher gave my daughter and her friends 100 per cent on this final English assignment.


Boys Will Be Boys

By: Jenna, Kate, Myah, Sanj

We don’t teach boys not to rape.
Instead we tell girls,
“Keys between your knuckles.”
“Come home before dark.”
“Never walk alone.”

But boys will be boys.
Even when names are given to the suicide driven.

“Drunken slut.”
“You were asking for it.”
Even the cops first question is a suggestion,
That you were “asking for it.”

They ask
“What were you wearing?”
You wonder,
“Was the dress too daring or baring too much skin?”
He didn’t care when he was tearing,
And playing you like a violin.

You wore red lipstick,
But you weren’t quite quick …
To outrun the lunatic you tried to kick,
While he silenced your screams,
Ripping you at the seams.
But boy will be boys.

Quit punishing the girls.
We don’t teach the boys to focus and practice respect,
Instead we shame the girls, telling them three fingers wide,
Shoulders aren’t distracting, what do young girls need to hide?

We’re sick of the body shaming,
The blame put on us.
Because of our, 
Bra straps,
Crop tops.

Our clothes are not the ones that chose
To rape a girl today,
To disobey.
But boys will be boys
And girls will be sluts.

This won’t be the last rape poem
And stories of injustice toward women will continue to be told,
Until my voice speaks louder than my clothes.

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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