It's no secret that women globally experience street harassment on an a daily basis.
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.
The excerpt begins by recounting the things men have said to her novel's main character, Xiomara, since the age of 12:
She goes on to mention that this harassment happens regardless of what she's doing:
And that she's never used to men feeling like they're entitled to her body:
Xiomara's only escape from this fear and agression is to write poetry:
And it often times seems like this harassment will never end:
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."
You can check out Xiomara's entire story, including this poem, in The Poet X.