Blythe Baird – “The Aesthetic of Rape Culture”


That boy wants you to come over
to Netflix and chill even though you know
that boy’s personal agenda involves neither Netflix nor chill. That boy wants to communicate with you exclusively via Tinder or Snapchat chat. That boy wants to play Truth or Dare. That boy wants you to pick Dare. Now that boy wants to play
Twenty Questions. He is furious when he does not
receive a reply, because that boy believes… because that boy believes
his loneliness is your responsibility. You tell that boy you’re doing homework, so he sends you a stream
of unsolicited dick pics and says, “Ha, ha, then what?” winky face. That boy knows that
the winky face is crucial. That boy won’t waste a single opportunity
to request nudes. You could tell that boy your hamster died, and he’d be all, “Ah, babe,
send me a naked pic of you pouting.” That boy makes you sit in polite silence and watch him play video games. That boy calls you everything
but your name. That boy doesn’t give a fuck
about the best part of your day. That boy hates how you look in that dress. That boy barks at you
in the middle of Target because he doesn’t get the point
of high-waisted shorts. That boy wants you
to stop wearing lipstick. That boy says you look like a pale clown. You stop wearing lipstick. You tell yourself you didn’t even
like lipstick that much anyways. That boy makes you feel smaller every day. That boy wants you to have another shot. That boy thinks you’re,
“so pretty when you’re fucked up.” That boy mistakes your alcohol poisoning
for a perfect opportunity. That boy pretends not to notice
the way your head swings up and down like a limp bird with a broken neck. The word “no” is not
in that boy’s vocabulary. That boy is most in love with you when you are drunk, or silent, or both. That boy leaves handprint-shaped bruises to bloom like bellflowers up your thighs. That boy blocks the door, yanks your arm like a leash when you question him
in front of his friends, makes you apologize
to the back of his hand. That boy pushes you against the wall as if pinning the wings
of a dead moth to cork. That boy presses your voice like a crushed tulip
between the pages of his temper. That boy is finally pleased with you. I’m thinking about the relationship between that boy and rape culture. That boy seems to have
a lot in common with a predator. That boy would never
call himself a predator. That boy would never
call himself a rapist. He thinks those are strong words. He likes to think of himself as ambitious. That boy found so much
empowerment in rape culture that it became his identity, it became a socially acceptable aesthetic. Suddenly it is clear
that that boy is nothing but the reason you didn’t get home safe, the reason you spent more time
in the Title IX office last year than you did in class. I remember when I asked him, “Why do you get to call it a mistake
instead of call it rape?” He looked right at me, and said, “That’s bro code, baby.” I remember when he asked me,
“Why are you so afraid of everything?” And all I could think of
is what a privilege it is to be annoyed instead of afraid. (cheers and applause)

46 thoughts on “Blythe Baird – “The Aesthetic of Rape Culture”

  1. “What a PRIVILEGE it is to be annoyed instead of afraid.”
    Yeah, that one hit too close to home.

  2. It’s sad to think that I could have been in her place. Rape culture is wrong. And I am glad that people are coming forward and talking about it because potentially, much like myself, someone will see the signs before it’s too late.

  3. Sexual assault is funny. In our society, sexual assault is comedy gold. We will start taking sexual assault seriously when we stop laughing at it.

    Now kick that boy in the nuts so we can all laugh at him.

  4. That boy show your fake equality feminism that boy show your metoo double standard and hypocrisy

  5. I feel then to hard… my s.o. rapped me for 3months. He has stop recently and I'm trying to get out but it's hard

  6. The pain and emotion in her voice is uncanny, poets like these make me want to pursue my passion of poetry even more.

  7. The relationship b/n that boy and rape culture. ……. well said Blythe Baird. Thanks you so much

  8. "That boy calls you everything but your name, that boy doesn't give a fuck about the best part of your day"

  9. Oh that is.. oof my ex made that "mistake"… called it a mistake, said I was overreacting a bit.. oh fuck

  10. I find it funny though that NO GIRL WANTS TO BE USED FOR SEX but uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh none want to be used for love? IRONY!!

  11. didn’t blythe do the when the fat girl gets skinny? her words always captivate me

  12. "What a privilege it is, to be annoyed instead of *afraid*."

    This just about made me break down due to how much I can relate to it. . .

  13. When I see her. I already know that she’s about to bring the HEAT!!. Love her work

  14. When they get annoyed because you jump at even expected noises. When you cringe away from a movement that was just a little too fast. Barely make it to the toilet after smelling that one scent
    Using up all the hot water because someone accidentally touched you the same way. Eyes watering because their voice gets just a little too loud or just that tone..yeah you know the "tone"
    Fighting the urge to self-harm because they said it wasn't abuse…it wasn't sexual…it was all in your head. The looks of disbelief when you say your abuser was your mother.. their response is "Oh but you're a girl". But it's your mother!!! You can't cut off your mother. Be a good southern girl and just say sorry for being such a problem she didn't have to raise you. Suck it up!! You have no reason to be crying, you need to be grateful she even had you. It doesn't matter that you claim she dumped boiling water on you, she's a good woman..an outstanding member of the community…why should we believe you when you're obviously mentally unstable. They laugh because a woman can't be a rapist. A sweet nurse who takes care of people couldn't abuse her "problem child" it's just discipline. So you walk softer, curl into yourself so that you look smaller, your hands shake at the smallest sign of confrontation as your brain screams to be ready for the pain that hasn't come in years. The pain you should be past now..the pain that still wakes you up screaming at night begging for forgiveness for being a problem child with empty promises to do better, to be quieter, to be smaller, to sit still longer, to shrink and shrink until you are no longer that problematic autistic child until you are nothing but faded background noise.

  15. i wrote a poem in my english class called "innocent until proven rapist" cuz stuff like this and feminism is important and a big thing in my life but my female teacher was super weird abt it :((

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