Art Gephyr

What Gave Him the Right

What gave him the right
To reach over my lap
Pull the lever to the car seat
So that the chair back fell
Under my weight
Thus forcing me to recline?

When I repeated,
"No, I'm not turned on!"
He surreptitiously
Activated the seat warmer
Massaged my inner thigh
Cockily cooed, "Admit
My touch warms your arse..."

It reminded me of years ago
My first date
First boyfriend
Elton John's Your Song wafting
Through McDonald's speakers
Teenage-male romanticism dripping
Along with Big Mac mystery sauce
Off his cheek
He tried to grope between my legs
And during my instinctual jump
Out of the chair
He grabbed me
Thus forcing me to dance

The grope, he explained,
Was never meant to reach the target
Only to scare me out of my "shyness"
Impossible I didn't want to dance!
He had dedicated Your Song as my song
And was frustrated I received
His charms cold heartedly

Today, I think (I hope)
We teach our sons
Rape is bad
But why do we teach them
Coercion is acceptable?
Respectable guys, all of them
High grades, career minded
College educated with secure jobs
Polite, well mannered for the parents

Why do we teach our daughters
To be conciliatory, placating
Submissive partners
Sensitive to a male's lead
He loved me, after all
And if I loved him, I would
(Fill in the blank for whatever he wanted)

No, not today
Today I embraced the label
"Frigid feminist bitch!"
Spat at me by the respectable guy
As I shoved him off me
Exited the car
And exhaled a sigh of relief