Title IX Experience

When You Give A Girl A Bad Title IX Program

She can do so much better.

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When you give a girl a bad Title IX program, they'll give her false hope.

When you give her false hope, she'll see justice for herself.

When she sees justice for herself, she hopes for communication from the program.

When she hopes for communication, she becomes confused when she doesn't hear back for weeks.

When she doesn't hear back for weeks, she asks her investigator why it's taking so long.

When she questions her investigator, they don't give her a clear answer.

When she doesn't get a clear answer, she begins to doubt herself.

When she begins to doubt herself, she believes that this is her fault.

When she believes what happened to her is her fault, she's convinced that she must have asked for it.

When she's convinced she asked for it, the bad Title IX program will tell her she's right.


They'll tell her, "You didn't say no."

They'll tell her, "No one saw him pressure you."

They'll tell her, "There isn't any DNA to prove he did it."

They'll tell her, "He denied everything that happened."

They'll tell her, "You did consent. He said so."

They'll tell her that there is nothing left for them to do.


But,

When you give a girl a bad Title IX program, she'll become an advocate for those who suffered as she did.

When she becomes an advocate, she'll find that she is not alone with her story.

When she finds she's not alone, she'll realize there is something wrong with the program and with the assaulter, not with her.

When she realizes she's not at fault, she becomes empowered.

And when she becomes empowered,

There is nothing in the world that can hold her back.

Title IX can't compete with that.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Want To Be Embraced, But Touch Triggers Me

A poem about touch.

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I want to be embraced, but touch triggers me,

Because with touch comes vulnerability.

Touch has the power to lift you yet can destroy you if it's unwanted.

We touch to feel, but the longingness to feel something—a body that isn't yours--takes the good feeling away.

It breaks you.

Over and over again you try to train your mind to tell itself that every touch is not bad; every touch won't leave you crying on the bathroom floor asking why this happened to you.

Every touch won't deprive you of your appetite.

Every touch won't leave you numb like you are when you're reminded of the person who took it all away from you.

Every touch is not meant to harm you the way their touch did.

Every touch isn't meant to break you.


I want to be embraced, because it can make me feel safe

It tells me that I am understood—

Not a body for someone to conquer, but one to nurture.

To be embraced is to be loved—by someone, by something.

But when being embraced turns so quickly into being touched, the safety net disappears.


I want to find refuge in your touch, but touch triggers me.

Because with touch came the conquering of my body

With touch, I was left to pick up the pieces of myself, alone.

With touch, I lost sight of my own.


I want to be embraced, but touch triggers me.

Because I'm reminded of the unwanted ones.

I want to be embraced and touched by you, but it's hard to differentiate between the two

The good from bad- the nurturing from the conquering.

They say boys will be boys, but the parents who taught their boys to be boys, turned into men who left unhealed wounds

Touch triggers me, but I don't want it to.

I want to be loved by you.

My mind says to let go and let you.

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