EMERGING FEMINISMS, Safe Space – The Feminist Wire


By Anonymous

*”Collective Voice of the Voiceless”: Campus Violence, Resistance, and Strategies for Survival Forum Contribution*


Our movement is a safe space, they say

Inside, I’m cackling and sobbing at the same time

totally incredulous

the fuck?

Outside, I’m stone faced

totally speechless

deep breaths



I want to interrupt the press conference

I want to tear down every sign

and then my clothes and hair

and cry the tears I never shed when his hands were on me

when I couldn’t get out of bed

when I looked for miles and could find no one who knew the dull dolor of clipped wings

and scream exactly what I think of all the people who did not see

and throttle every last activist who thinks they’ve reached a point of enlightenment, exemption

I want to look each of them in the eyes and say

Just because I gave my body to your protest

does not mean you know the lines it has stepped over

or the walls it runs into






But I keep my cool

and isn’t it funny

how cool means silence

I keep myself distracted through the rest of the press conference with an ironic imaginary

conversation between me and resurrected Audre Lorde in my head



Safe spaces are like rainbows

Just slap a sticker on


coalition work done here

check that one off the list



We know better

don’t we?

We know that an oft-used synonym for safety is security

a word which begs a question: who?

It would be easy to say

I should have just called campus police

but then I would not be holding my community accountable

but then what do I tell my Black comrades who fear in the night?

but then what would I have said when my queerness

came to refracted light?

No homo, officer

No homo sapien, I renounce my human chains

I’ll fly home, no escort needed



I did not know the sick ironies of reclaiming space

until I knew the pounding of my own slowed heart on a couch far from home

Whose streets? Nah, the question should be Whose legs? Whose bones? Whose breasts?

Who can walk about in their own skin?

And who gets to walk all over that skin?

White women before me have already reclaimed the streets for SlutWalkers™

the streets paved by Brown hands over Native lands

They were never not mine

and yet no street could have stopped the pain the fear the immobilization

No street could have wailed LUZZEM for me when my voice died on my tongue

I never needed a street, I needed a friend

I needed the distance between my hand and my cellphone

I was inside

and you see,

we are often inside

entertaining company with a smile plastered onto our lips

pretending to be asleep

praying for one of us to stop breathing it doesn’t matter who

to interrupt the fable



This is more than skirts more than waiting more than condom parties

but somewhere between the wired late night meetings

and the groggy early morning greetings

and the midday press conference-zoos

somewhere between my tired body and the groping hands of someone I trusted

this was all forgotten



I’ll saunter away from the press conference

I’ll exhale loudly to be sure that I breathe

and watch as the sigh-cloud floats away in the cold afternoon air

and I wish

I wish I wish

I could fly away with it too