It’s 2009 and I’m 14 and I’m crying Not really sure where I am but I’m holding the hand of my best friend Sam In the waiting room of a Planned Parenthood The air is sterile and clean, and the walls are that not grey, but green And the lights are so bright they could burn a whole through the seam of my jeans And my phone is buzzing in the pocket My mom is asking me if I remembered my keys ’cause she’s closing the door and she needs to lock it But I can’t tell my mom where I’ve gone I can’t tell anyone at all You see, my best friend Sam was raped by a man that we knew ’cause he worked in the after-school program And he held her down with her textbooks beside her And he covered her mouth and he came inside her So now I’m with Sam, at the place with a plan, waiting for the results of a medical exam And she’s praying she doesn’t need an abortion, she couldn’t afford it And her parents would, like, totally kill her
It’s 2002 and my family just moved and the only people I know are my mom’s friend, Sue, and her son He’s got a case of Matchbox cars and he says that he’ll teach me to play the guitar if I just keep quiet And the stairwell beside Apartment 1245 will haunt me in my sleep for as long as I am alive And I’m too young to know why it aches in my thighs, but I must lie, I must lie
It’s 2012 and I’m dating a guy and I sleep in his bed and I just learned how to drive And he’s older than me and he drinks whiskey neat and he’s paying for everything This adult thing is not cheap We’ve been fighting a lot, almost 10 times a week And he wants to have sex, and I just want to sleep But he says I can’t say no to him This much I owe to him He buys my dinner, so I have to blow him He’s taken to forcing me down on my knees And I’m confused ’cause he’s hurting me while he says please And he’s only a man, and these things he just needs He’s my boyfriend, so why am I filled with unease?
It’s 2017 and I live like a queen And I’ve followed damn near every one of my dreams I’m invincible and I’m so fucking naive I believe I’m protected ’cause I live on a screen Nobody would dare act that way around me I’ve earned my protection, eternally clean Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants But I don’t want none of that, I just wanted to dance And I wake up the next morning like I’m in a trance and there’s blood Is that my blood? H-hold on a minute
You see I’ve worked every day since I was 18 I’ve toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-a-Lago I even went on stage that night in Chicago when I was having a miscarriage I mean, I pied the piper, I put on a diaper And sang out my spleen to a room full of teens What do you mean this happened to me? You can’t put your hands on me You don’t know what my body has been through I’m supposed to be safe now I earned it
It’s 2018 and I’ve realized nobody is safe long as she is alive And every friend that I know has a story like mine And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment But then heroes like Ashley and Simone and Gabby, McKayla and Gaga, Rosario, Aly Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale And that’s why we’re here And that’s why we rally It’s Olympians and a medical resident and not one fucking word from the man who is President It’s about closed doors and secrets and legs and stilletos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in ghettos When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers and child brides cry globally under the covers Who don’t have a voice on the magazine covers They tell us take cover
But we are not free until all of us are free So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly Ask her her story and then shut up and listen Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues For the people who had to grow up way too young There is work to be done There are songs to be sung Lord knows there’s a war to be won