On Consent – In a Seventh Grade Classroom

Hey, you!
The mom of that
twelve-year-old boy
who leers like some
fifty-year-old drunken uncle.

Start teaching him
that no means no.

Right
Fucking
Now.

You should have been
teaching him this already.

Teach him that consent
is as real
as the shoes on his feet
and the laces he
ties in double-knots.

Teach him that girls
are not for beating
and his slick and sick
little hormonal urges
do not, and should not
ever dictate his life.

Teach him about respect,
for women and for himself,
and how both are needed
for him to navigate life.

Teach him compassion,
show him what it is like
to empathize with another.

Don’t ever tell him that
his hurt or his want
or any need he has
is more or means more
than someone else’s.

And
Then
Keep
Teaching
Him
Some
More.

You owe this to him.
You owe this to the world.
You owe this to my daughters.

Tell your son
how one wrong move
one selfish choice
can wound her soul
and kill his dreams.

Teach
Your
Boy
To
Keep
His
Hands
To
Himself
And
To
Respect
My
Daughters
And
Their
Souls.

Because I am teaching my girls
how to throw a punch,
twist a knife, and save their own lives.

And you can be damn sure
when it comes to fight
or flight, my girls will leave
with their flight secure
in their angel wings
and their fight streaked
across the face of any sick
fuck they leave dying in a ditch.

© Nicole Lyons 2019

3 thoughts on “On Consent – In a Seventh Grade Classroom

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