I wish I could Teach You to be Safe in Your Body

By Gethsemane Herron

I don’t know myself.

“I should be safe in my own body”. I heard this quote recently and it chilled. Spoken with such passion from a teenage girl, it vibrated in both our bodies like a scream off a canyon, like a shout in a psych ward.

I know exactly what she means. That I should be able to visit relatives without comments on my hair, my skin, my clothing, my choice in name, my weight. I should be able to walk without concern of being followed. I should be able to travel without horror stories of the travesties women face. That these stories exist. That I should be to exist without the constant warnings about clothing, travel, attitude etc. because women should be able to exist without threat.

There are amazing things about being female bodied and woman identified. I am often grateful for this skin. It isn’t all dreary.  Being a woman in the United States is grand and small and contrary and adornment and plainclothes. It’s the fight for equality, the fight to be your own person or to be someone else’s person. It’s a snowflake life, different for everyone and brief when the time comes.

Lately, I’ve been reading and seeing women’s bodies in every word I absorb .  Just as Egyptian pyramids signaled to grave robbers “Hey! There’s a ton of valuables here.  Break in and they’re all yours! That’s how I feel about my body right now. That in my resting place , there are assets of value. And just resting here, just by being inside a body or a pyramid, people read being female as a neon sign to break in and take what isn’t there’s.

I long for a guard. My guard, I mean myself using my autonomy to make sure that laws to protect women are enforced and the thieves not vilified, but asked why they are thieves.  I long for a revamped sexual education system and gender system that ultimately sees bodies not as buildings of wealth, but of the souls resting inside it. How do you all think this will happen?

I have no doubt that it will happen; it must happen. Because we deserve to be safe in our homes.  In our resting places.


If you want to to know of groups that deal with  how unsafe  our bodies are, please check out “My Body Is Not an Apology at http://thebodyisnotanapology.tumblr.com/ to learn more about radical self love!

What do you think? Do you know any methods to help someone feel safe in their body? Please comment below, or share this article!


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