Happy Birthday

By Adia Lee, TIWP Student

I often think back to the night my friend and I spent days planning her birthday dinner and finally set the plan in motion on April 24th, the day of her 13th birthday. I think back to the moment it was instantly ruined, when we finally got our food, and the men three times our age at the table adjacent to us wouldn’t stop bothering us, asking us to dance, to go party with them, and just making rude remarks. But what troubles me most of all is when we finally left, and got in the car to head home, anxious to tell her mom all about what we just experienced, her response was, “What did you expect? You went to a bar dressed like that.”

To the little girl that went through something awful, and who wanted to seek support and answers in someone she was supposed to trust and look up to, but was left hurt and confused, I’m sorry. Why is it that we as women are trained to be responsible for what men do to us rather than the man himself? There is enough shame and judgment on women from the ones who surround us; why contribute to it when we could be lifting each other up and supporting one another in navigating this cruel world so that other little girls can be excited about their birthday dinners again.

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