"I hate your face" by Becca DeMent
One of my chick friends and our friend who is a freshman boy went to the Vagina Monologues this semester to support one of our chick friends who was in the show. It was fantastic, compelling and empowering. We all went to Quickly’s to celebrate and hangout after the show. As we exited the car in the parking lot, two men older than us were hanging out outside of the establishment two doors over. As we started towards the Quickly’s entrance, they started to holler at us. The first thing asked was “are you drunk?”. “No we’re not interested thank you”. I’m not sure if it was both or just the one man who continued to pry us asking “how old are you”? It seemed that my group wanted to shake them off , ignore them and were afraid. I kept trying to tell the persistent one, “we aren’t interested, that’s none of your business, please leave us alone”. He followed us and dipped into the doorway seemed to target me as the one who was speaking up. “How old are you?” “That’s none of your business. We aren’t interested.” and now since he was harassing us, “You need to leave”, I told him. Even the young woman at the Quickly’s counter stepped in and told him he needed to leave. The whole place was quiet and the employees asked us if we were okay. The men were still lingering outside.
I called my boyfriend who lives only a few minutes away. I was shocked and controlled panic. I told him there were men harassing us and that he needed to come here. Now. In about two minutes he pulled up with one of his roommates. By this time, a man apart from an older old man who had been inside and watching the whole thing go down, assisted with a male Quickly’s employee stepped outside to inquire what was happening. I went to the bathroom, overwhelmed crying and called my mom to tell her what was happening. Minutes later I stepped out to find one of my chick friends by the door. She said that while I was in here, the more adamant male predator had inquired in the Quickly distinctly looking for me.
I came outside the bathroom confused and angry and stood near my boyfriend. I looked outside the front windowed part of the room to where the helpful stranger and male employee were talking to the two men. I’m very grateful to them both, especially the stranger who clearly was not standing for what had happened. During this discussion outside, I watched, and saw the predator staring back at me. I’m writing this poem in response to that moment.
I hate your face. I hate your smirk. I hate the way your mouth sits. I hate your hungry eyes. I hate the way you look at me like I’m something to eat. I hate your fucking face. I hate the way you cornered me in here. I hate the way you scared my friends. I hate the way you harassed us. I hate the way you target me. I hate how afraid you made me feel.
I hate the fact that I have to be afraid at all. I’m so tough and strong throughout my life. I hate the way you instantly disarm me. I hate how you threaten me. I hate the way you look at women. I hate the way you talk to them. I hate the way you think about us. I hate the way you feel about us. I hate the way society has conditioned you to act like this. I hate that society has made it okay. I hate that society sides with you. I hate that people asked me if I was nice about the way I blew you off at first. I hate that I stood up to you, and you didn’t respect me. I hate that you don’t respect me. I hate that you objectify me. I hate that you don’t hear my voice. I hate that you can’t take rejection. I hate that you’re probably fucking wasted. I hate that you might not have been. I hate that I had to call someone to physically protect me. I hate not knowing if you were willing to hurt me. I hate that you came looking for me. I hate the way you hunt us. I hate your face. I fucking hate your face. I hate everything about it. I hate that you make me hate.
But this hate fueled up so much inside me, I just needed you to know. You looked back at me through the window and I flipped you off with both hands because I needed you to know that I would not be civil. I was not, and am not, so afraid of you that I’m unwilling to let you know that I hate you. You cannot scare me out of responding to your hatred. I needed you to know. I needed to know that I was not too afraid. I’m unsure if it was wise, and I probably would advise against such acts because unfortunately I could have been killed and worse for what I did. But I needed you to know that I hate you, that I’m not afraid of you, and that I’m willing to die for you to know.