I wrote this piece and performed it at a Spoken Word evening when I was 20 years old in New York City after a few incidents with powerful and not-so-powerful men in the theatre industry. I was scared shitless, shaking as I recited the piece in front of some of the said men but somehow even back then I knew that speaking out was important. I knew that I had to do to speak in my own way.

I used to think that men older than me knew something that I didn’t. I used to think they could teach me something.

Now I’m 20.

I’m a

Full grown woman

with an ass.

A full grown woman

with street smarts.

A full grown woman

with intelligence and spirituality.

A full grown woman

with a FAKE ID.

I’m not legal to drink yet.

Three years ago I was 17 and in high school.

2000. The Y2K bug about to hit the country.

And men older than my father were asking me out.

Not only asking me out, but hitting on me, trying to kiss me, trying to have sex with me.

But you see, I was too young for you.

I am still too young for you.

Still too young for what you want to do to me.

Because I could be your daughter.

Like that time you were 15 and messing around on the couch in the basement while your parents were upstairs watching “Our Lady” and you snuck in this girl who went to the mixer last Friday night and was “kinda cute” and you forgot to use a condom because the pharmacy was too far away to walk to, you had no license, and it was past your curfew anyway. So, you stuck your dick in her with no rubber and for all you know she became pregnant because you never bothered to call her after that night.

That is me.

I am your daughter.

I assume that you would have the respect of me,

Of a lady,

Of a lady who hasn’t been around on this earth,

On this physical earth,

I’m not talking spiritually or metaphysically,

But on this existing reality that we call Earth,

as long as you have.

I show such respect for you.

I hold you up this pedestal.

I want respect from you. I want respect from you.

I want you to take responsibility of your age and your status.

You think it’s ok.

You think it’s ok to hit on girls younger than me.

You think it’s ok to not only hit on girls younger than me,

But to try to kiss girls younger than me.

I think

I don’t understand.

And I rationalize.

Maybe you really do just want a young girl to call your girlfriend.

Maybe you’re insecure and don’t feel capable of having a relationship.

Perhaps you never had a good role model in your life.

Perchance you’re an opportunist and I was your opportunity.

I mean, there is no law against it.

Hell, I was legal to have sex with you when I was sixteen.

Sixteen. The legal age of consent where I come from.

But does that make it right?

And besides, most of the time it’s just some innocent flirtation, right?

I’m mature for my age.

It’s deceiving. I look like a grown woman.

I understand a lot of things.

But then again, when I was eight I felt like I understood a lot of things and I was eight.

But somehow still you think it’s ok to try to worm

Your 30, 40, 50, or 60 year old tongue

Down my


You think it’s ok to try to worm it down.

In the hopes that it will be able to lick.

You hope that that tongue will be able to lick,

Will be able to lick my throat,

Will be able to lick inside my




You hope that as you’re licking my cleanly waxed


That you’ll be able to whisper something,

To whisper something that will ooze inside my head.

Something that perhaps my seventeen or twenty year old naïve self would think was genius.

You think I think:

This man is a genius and his tongue was just inside my ear. He’s a genius and he wants me. He’s genius and I would do anything for him, I would give anything to him. But why does he want me? I’m just a little girl from Baltimore who doesn’t know anything about the world. I have nothing to give him, except my body. And what a small price to pay for all he has to offer. He can teach me things I’ve only dreamt about. He can take me in his arms and protect me from this evil chaotic world we live in. he can protect me. My father was never there, but this man is. Maybe he could be like the father I never had. I’ll give him my fresh 20 year old body.

I really think:

I’m really fucking scared.

And then, once you finished licking my

Ears and my throat, we’ll calmly go back to your place for the night.

Your place might not be much, but it seems like a lot to me.

You count on that.

We’ll walk up the stairs — –

I’ll go first so you can stare at my ass.

You have so much and I have so little.

Am I assuming too much?

Am I assuming that all you want is my body, when there’s a chance that you could want to get to know me?

Could you actually want to love me?

Could I actually want to love you?

Maybe we are soul mates who have been trapped in these bodies and our birth dates just don’t quite line up.

Maybe we are like those star-crossed lovers who were born into the wrong family, but for us, it is just the wrong time.

Maybe you can grow up and act your age and stop preying on any fresh meat that walks in the door.

Maybe you can stop looking at women like pieces of meat, and maybe we can stop expecting to be looked at as such.

Maybe you can stop rationalizing it away, and we can stop taking so much responsibility for it.

Maybe you can stop trying to define me by telling me who I am, and I can stop believing that men your age have all the answers.

Maybe you can stop saying that we’re asking for it when we wear tight clothes and put make up on, and maybe we can believe we’re not the sluts, you are.

Maybe you can realize that what makes you a man is not your sex drive, your cunning charm, or how many girls you got in bed

Last week

Under the age of 25.

It’s your discretion, your inner wisdom, your integrity and your respect

That makes you a man.

And maybe, hopefully….I can realize that what makes me a lady is recognizing the power of my youth

Of my sexuality

Of my beauty

And of my womanliness.

Being a young woman, it’s like…the men are out to get you, the media wants to put you on display, the law no longer protects you, and all the older women think we’re out to get their men.

It’s not that easy.

Unless there is a man who will stand up and say:

“No, you’re 12.

No, you’re 14.

No, you’re 16.

No, you’re 18.

No, you’re 35.

And that’s too young.

And that’s too young.

And that’s too young.

For what you did to me.

Because we are all your daughters, sisters, and mothers.