Saturday, February 15, 2014
Prayers For The Stolen
Children are a blessing so I've been told but what happens when a child is born to a parent that would rather not have that child just because of their gender? Oh I'm sure some would love to have a little girl, I know I would, but what if having that little girl meant that she would have a life of hardship? A life where she might get raped?
Where I grew up girls were treated much like boys unless you had parents that decided one gender was better than the other just because it has genitals that are on the outside of the body. At times I grew up wishing I were a boy just to please my parents. Later when I was an adult I often wished I were a boy just because fewer boys get raped.
As a young girl I would dress in jeans and t-shirts just like my brother did and more often than not they were his hand-me-downs. Why would I wear a dress to swing from a pine tree only to have it ruined by pine sap? I wouldn't so I didn't care how I dressed when I went out to play with the boys in the neighborhood.
For me I didn't have to worry about making myself ugly as I was usually covered in dirt and smelled like one of the boys. I was protected enough until I went to school and had to wash up and don a dress. It was then that I became vulnerable to those that prey on children.
I was just four years old the first time I was molested. Yes, I was wearing a dress. No I didn't tell my parents for fear of being hurt by the much older teenage boys who attacked me.
The second incident was just three years later when I was seven years old. I was playing outside with my brother and a babysitter's son. I was dressed as a boy and we were throwing dirt and rocks in our little war. I got hit in the chest. At age seven I was already developing breasts. The older boy told me to remove my shirt of which I didn't think anything of and he began to feel me up. I was mortified. I was upset. Again I didn't tell my parents. Later, many months later, the molestation culminated in me being forced to perform oral sex on the boy that had felt me up.
It didn't matter in the book and it sure as heck didn't matter in my real life how I dressed. If someone wants to take something from you and is determined to do it at all costs it doesn't matter how it is dressed up.
This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.