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    Posted on Apr 4, 2018

    This Slam Poet Addressed The Effects Catcalling Can Have On Women

    "Men have yelled at me in the street since I was twelve."

    It's no secret that women globally experience street harassment on an a daily basis.

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    According to a 2014 large-scale survey conducted by Cornell University's ILR School and non-profit organization Hollaback!, "84% of women around the world experienced street harassment for the first time before they were 17 years old."

    Elizabeth Acevedo, a slam poet and NY Times best-selling author, addressed this unfortunate reality in a poem titled "After" from her new novel, The Poet X.

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    The excerpt begins by recounting the things men have said to her novel's main character, Xiomara, since the age of 12:

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    She goes on to mention that this harassment happens regardless of what she's doing:

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    And that she's never used to men feeling like they're entitled to her body:

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    Xiomara's only escape from this fear and agression is to write poetry:

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    And it often times seems like this harassment will never end:

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    Elizabeth told BuzzFeed, "I think cat-calling is a huge problem in our communities and folks don’t talk about the effect it can have on young women to be sexualized from a young age and not have any way of safely speaking back."

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    She went on to say, "This is especially true for a character like Xiomara in The Poet X, a character whose body calls a lot of attention but who has been taught to take up the least amount of space as possible with her voice."

    You can check out Xiomara's entire story, including this poem, in The Poet X.

    Harper Collins

    Get it from Amazon for $16.19, Barnes & Noble for $16.38, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

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