By Robyn Porteous.
My vagina is a criminal. I can’t go to the police. He’s not a criminal. The boy. 19 years old, tall, first in his class, with 8 distinctions, and the brownest eyes you ever saw. A friend of a friend. No, he’s not a criminal. I’m the criminal. My vagina is the criminal. My vagina and I, we went to that party to see him. I drank the drinks he gave me, and flirted with him. I walked around with him. Sure we were looking for my friend, but I walked with my own two legs, next to his own two legs. I climbed that staircase, and when I couldn’t find the key I let him unlock the gate. I knew I felt unsafe, but I didn’t do anything about it. And that makes me the criminal. I didn’t do anything about it. Negligence, they call it. Failure to act accordingly, literally translated as a failure to pick something up. Well I picked something up, I picked up a feeling, an unease. But I kissed him back, when he kissed me. I let him think I was that kind of girl. The cool, calm and collected kind, who’d no sooner kiss you than disappear for weeks on end. Never waiting around on a Saturday night, my vagina and I, sitting by the phone waiting for a call. Vulnerable. Never vulnerable. Yes, I told him to stop. I drew the line. I threw away my carefully constructed carefree image and told him no. I begged and pleaded with him. But by then he wouldn’t listen. And who else is there to blame? Give him what he wants, and he’ll go. One kiss, two kisses, three kisses, and he didn’t stop. I waited for him to be satisfied, all the while telling him enough was enough. I should’ve kicked, and screamed, and jumped up and run away…! But I was a fool. To be a hundred percent honest with you, I don’t remember what I did. When it was over, I got up and I left. He told me afterwards he’d only ever hurt me. That he couldn’t be good for me. I remember pleading with him, thinking if I just made him love me, or made myself love him, then everything that happened would be a bad memory and we could build a thousand good memories on top of it, bury it deep, deep under all of them so no one would ever know. But he could only tell me he’d never be any good for me. And I could never love him. I’m the criminal. I have no heart. Only a void in the place where it once was. I have no vagina, not the emancipated, self sufficient kind anyway. Not the vagina that many great women before me meant me to have. My vagina is locked away, in shame. In hiding, like the criminal it is. I never told my family. I wouldn’t have known where to begin! Confront him? My vagina and I will never confront him. I hate him! I never want to see or speak to him ever again! Thinking back on it now, I can’t believe I ever thought I could fix it. I can’t believe I ever tried to justify his actions to myself, to my vagina. Date him?! I would rather kill myself before I dated him! Or him! I would rather kill him. Because of him my vagina can never wear its stilettos without a second thought. It can never dance in a club and enjoy the advances of a man without freezing up cold in fear. It can never be dressed all beautifully in white on its wedding day, nor ever fully feel the pleasure due to it by the touch of a lover. Because of him, my vagina will never shout with joy, or tell the world “here I am! Read my lips!” No. My vagina is silent, locked away in a cell. Forever staring through the bars that barricade