Random: Battling Insecurity by Shanelle Gabriel


Shhhhh… Okay, it’s taken me a while to admit this aloudI've been dealing with a LOT of insecurity over the last few years. Yes, boo, YEARS! What I thought was me protecting myself, my finances, my life, was really fear. I was scared to create because "someone didn't invite me to a writing retreat _x_ years ago, so I must be whack." I was scared to consider a new business because "I'm comfortable where I am, and what if I get sick again?" I dated a guy I wasn't REALLY that excited about because "well, even though he's not what I really want in a partner, he's consistent." I had all of these negative and limiting thoughts about myself that was very much reflected in how I treated every aspect of my life. Feeling like something was wrong, broken, I got a therapist to help me process the thoughts that seemed to only come when I was in my car driving home or when I was home alone on a Friday night. I began to think about the ideas I had about myself, things I would NEVER tell someone else, mostly forged from solitary, specific moments (many of which could have been taken out of context or were told to me by people who have no control of my success). And after I finally began the process of unraveling this tightly wound up ball of insecurity, a shift happened...

First, it was Milan, Italy. Someone who heard me years ago made it her business to book me for the Fast Company Magazine's European Innovation Festival. She gave me the seemingly impossible task of creating 5 poems on the spot inspired by the tech and health-based panels the two days of the event. For someone fighting an "am I good enough?" bug, this was a visit from an exterminator. While failing would have made the bug reproduce and infest my mind even more, but my desire to go to Italy for the first time made me risk it. And low and behold, I rose to the occasion each time! I actually liked what I wrote, and I can't remember the last time I was so proud of myself. (Check it out at Anywho, it’s bananas that I had to go abroad to kick-off the thought that I was, well, I am fly.

I remember meeting my mentor-in-my-head Andre 3000 a while back. To have him confess that he hadn’t released any of his music because he wasn’t in love with what he was creating should have foreshadowed where I’ve been the last few years. Almost 15 years ago, I created poems and songs, not because I was the baddest mamajama that picked up a black pen, but because I just wanted to share. I created as my world unfolded. I was hungry, I was happy, and living my best artistic life. What changed? My emotional life. Losing my mom, my faith in God, so many no’s, being hospitalized on the road, terrible dating experiences, and watching others’ lives pushed me into a place where I no longer knew what I was supposed to be doing. It made me second-guess what my life was supposed to be. The words “supposed to’s” can kill any dream and any vision.

Knowing all of this, where am I now? I’m still fighting to embody the following premises:

  1. God doesn’t give you talents that He doesn’t want you to use.

  2. Comparison is how you miss the blessings laying at your feet waiting to be picked up

  3. Don’t believe IG (so many people flaunt things on their profile that they only have access to on the day of the shoot. Ex. rented cars, borrowed clothes, their husband/wife, etc.)

  4. Do your thang because you love it. If they love it too, that works. Lead with your passion, not your head.

  5. There are numerous “experts’ who are in actuality NOT experts who are living life, making money, touring, writing books, and living their best life. Why do you think you, with all of your talent, experience, skills, ambition, and natural ability, think YOU CAN’T WIN??? COME ON NOW!

I just felt like sharing that with you all. I know someone else is going through this as they figure out their life goals and next steps. I’m still figuring it out, but I feel in a much better place than I was before to make it happen.

Peace y’all!

When Liquor and Lupus Meet at a Party by Shanelle Gabriel

Originally posted on my blog on

“Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!” The chant is repeated by my squad of friends at the bar. It’s my friend’s birthday and celebrations go hand in hand with alcohol. For many, it’s not a good birthday if you can walk a straight line at the end of the night. The definition of “turning up” is clinking plastic flute glasses around an overpriced bottle of rapper-endorsed liquor, dancing at whatever beat or pace the mixed drinks tell you to, and doing things that you will laugh about the next day over a post-hangover brunch. This was me in my 20s. Not anymore.

Unlike most people, I really started drinking after college. While partygoers sipped amaretto sours, I was usually too busy dancing and sweating profusely on the packed dance floor to think about fighting to get a bartender’s attention. Besides, water was free and I was a broke college student. When I graduated, I became an “adult,” which meant it was adult-like to go for a drink or two with co-workers, pair a glass of merlot with your steak, and pose with a glass of bubbly at your Pinterest-worthy picnic. The message is: “You’re grown; grown people drink.”

However, I learned early that alcohol puts my body in a climate ready and ripe for a lupus flare. It leaves me dehydrated and fatigued, and it makes some of my medications not work as effectively. My liver is already processing prescribed drugs; I’m somewhat paranoid about making it work any harder. So, where does alcohol fit in a Lupie world of medications and the need for ample hydration and rest? Do I have to turn down everything people do to turn up?

Telling someone you don’t drink is usually followed with, “Are you on antibiotics?” “What, you prefer whiskey? I have some here.” Or even a gasp and, “OMG, are you pregnant?” Telling a group of people you want to pass on a glass is equal to telling someone bragging about their amazing wedding that you just got left at the altar; it makes them feel self-conscious or judged for enjoying their day. People bond over liquor, and now it’s like you don’t want to bond with them.

I used to feel like I had to drink to make people feel comfortable, to be a part of my environment. I still feel that way at times. But at the end of the day, I really don’t need to drink to have fun as long as the music is good and my friends are present. My true friends won’t mind if I choose to drink in moderation and will gladly pour me a shot of ginger ale if it means I’ll be OK the next morning. Somehow, people think the drink makes the party, but it’s the people around me who make the celebration happen. I can have a fun time just being high on life knowing it’s a gift to not be in a hospital bed. Still want to sip a little somethin’ somethin’? Red wine has antioxidants, so that might be a healthier alternative (no more than a glass or two). Most studies, like “Alcohol and Arthritis” by the Arthritis Foundation, suggest that drinking in moderation on occasion isn’t terrible and that you ask your doctor if the general health rule of one drink a day for women, two for men, is the right one to follow.

The questions on why you aren’t drinking can be annoying, though. I have a fun trick that I use: I ask the bartender for a glass of pineapple juice mixed with cranberry juice, make sure they include a garnish, and sip it slowly. Most people assume there’s vodka in there and, boom, no questions. Cheers!

Blog: "Should" doesn't exist by Shanelle Gabriel

I had a 1/3-life crisis (i.e. Right before I turned 30) after a few people close to me made me feel like I was SUPPOSED to have certain things off of my checklist for life. I was made to feel like something was wrong with me for not even having a checklist. How could I not be married with kids? When was I going to have the perfect job, the perfect amenities with the perfect life? When would I have all the things that would make me content? Ahhhhh!! There's the problem. Contentment doesn't come from checklists. It comes from within. Life, for better or for worse, exists without "shoulds." It's unpredictable like someone stealing your wallet on the train. It's also as unpredictable as the random friend who shows up, treats you to lunch and makes a horrible day a good one. Our focus on what we should have takes away from the things we do have. Throwing out my checklist helps me build on the now, enjoy present moments, and keeps me focused on the all the opportunities in front of me. "Should" doesn't exist. "Reality" does. Our goal is to make the best, improve on, and find the things that help us enjoy our reality. #quotes #wordsofwisdom #faith


Happy Founders Day to my sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc by Shanelle Gabriel


109 years!! Happy Founders Day to my Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated!!! Founded at Howard University on January 15, 1908, 20 women led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle created the FIRST Black Greek letter sorority that would grow to have a membership of more than 250,000 women. We are charged with the calling to be of service to all mankind.  

So blessed for my organization to be able to see another year of service, success, sass and class. Fine as wine, good as gold, the Phirst and the Phinest for all to behold... Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has had a major impact on my life both in my ability to serve my community and the world, and I'm blessed to be in my 12th Year of membership in this illustrious sorority. 

#aka1908 #1908 #J15 #aka109


Recap: Performing at the African Diaspora Awards by Shanelle Gabriel

This past Saturday, I was blessed to be the opening performer for the 6th Annual African Diaspora Awards at the Florence Gould Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Hosted by comedian and Instagram sensation, Dulo (@iamdulo), the show recognized some powerhouses who've made great contributions to the African community and the world around us. 

I was asked to write a poem for the event which is below. It was great to see the other performers grace the stage including Ayo (who was EXCELLENT and a privilege to meet), Afrobeat artist Owen, soulful singer Mayoa as well as the internationally known Sarcodie.  

I opted to wear a dress that formerly was my mother's. It felt appropriate thinking about legacy and ancestors within the Diaspora who've bestowed their spirit to us in their passing. Check out the photos below! 

Pre-show posing with Dulo, our host

Pre-show posing with Dulo, our host

A blessing meeting Ayo.  

A blessing meeting Ayo.  

The Kingsmen Band backed me up for my performance. They were so dope (and quite dapper!) 

The Kingsmen Band backed me up for my performance. They were so dope (and quite dapper!) 


"If you wan chop frog, make you chop better frog, make you chop better frog, make you chop better frog"

I found this saying odd/ until I learned the importance of/ always doing things big/ huge/ tremendous/ If you gonna do it/ then you better do it/ in some cases less isn't considered more/ especially when it comes to hands, to hearts/ to black skin/ that melanin that holds fast to the legacy within/ call every tribe kin/ whether naija or Brooklyn/ whether from the soul of the Congo or the streets of Chicago/ we're not as different as we seem/ the same history/ the same painter but varied color schemes/ your heart pumps fire from heaven just like mine/ and it's a waste of time trying to keep us divided by bloodlines/ we're in the same family connected by ties that are divine/ whether African or African-American/ Caribbean/ or if you   Reside in another nation/ you're still the Diaspora's foundation/ and if we come together/ imagine the trails we'll blaze/

So let's be butterflies y'all/ but with caterpillar ways/ flap our wings always shine but never forget the ground from which we came/ take the hard world around us and turn it into silk/ no reason bridges crossed and broken can't be rebuilt/ whether it's by plane or via ship/ whether dropped off at islands during the trip/ whether hands were bloodied with liquid, solid gold or sugar cane strips/ whether cotton or coffee/ we lived to see this/ we breathed to be this/ We fought to be this/ unified by clenched fists/ unified by clenched fists/ unified by clenched fists/ Let them know we were born to be this/ we were born fly like this/ yes we woke up like this/ yes we woke up like this/ we rock our crowns like this/ and we're united like this/ we dragging a painful past/ together reclaiming our worth/ Baanu so a emmia/ When two carry, it does not hurt/ So here's to he Diaspora united/ Sprinkling our blessings on this earth

The Steve Urkel Factor (Why Nice Guys Don't Always Get the Girl) by Shanelle Gabriel

After watching several reruns on cable, I see that nice guys have some lessons they can learn from the high-water pants and suspenders wearing, overly nasal character from the long running ABC/CBS American sitcom.
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My AMAZING Day at The White House's "South X South Lawn" by Shanelle Gabriel

Out of nowhere, I was selected to attend the first festival to ever be held in the White House called South By South Lawn this past Monday, October 3rd. South by South Lawn, an event inspired by Austin, Texas' South by Southwest, gathered a dynamic group of creators, innovators, and organizers who are working in their own unique ways to better their communities and the world. Other attendees, speakers, and performers included Common, The Lumineers, Baratunde Thurston, Ryan Leslie, and more with a closing conversation between Leonardo DiCaprio and, the man who's backyard we gathered in, our President Barack Obama. It was so surreal walking through the White House only to arrive at the beautiful Lawn filled with so many interesting people and new friends!

I was able to get a few quick photos with Nick Cannon and Brooklyn's own Senator Kevin Parker but it was dope having a conversation with producer/entrepreneur Ryan Leslie and shaking Common's hand. I was so geeked to explore the exhibitions presented including two virtual reality simulations, one that took viewers on a trip through Yellowstone Park (narrated by President Obama) and the Guardian's disturbing 6x9 which places you inside a US solitary confinement prison cell and tells the story of the psychological damage that can ensue from isolation. All of this plus great food, perfect weather, and some laughs while "Swag Surfing" in front of the White House made this day epic.
Being able to be a part of this event was life changing and humbling. Being numbered among the vast sea of people connecting, building, and doing amazing things in the community, I felt a sense of duty to figure out the impact God wants me to have on this world. It was an honor to have been selected to attend, and it is still unbelievable that I was present to see history being made. I don't know who will be President next year (Not TRUMP!) but I doubt there will ever be another opportunity for me to Swag Surf in front of the White House building. Blessed...


Blog: Neglecting Lupus- The Brat You Never Asked For by Shanelle Gabriel

There are times when I neglect my lupus so much that someone could call ACS on me. Lupus is a part of, and like a baby, I should nurture my health. But I go through these seasons where I pretend lupus isn't a part of me. I mean, I never asked for this cranky child that changes lives, expects me to plan around it, makes me go to bed early, stay up late, cancel dates, stop drinking, sit still, and pacify it with meds. I'm expected to keep my lupus close to my chest because at any point in time, it can wake and it will scream into my joints and bones.

I think anyone with a chronic illness has seasons where they want to pretend it doesn't exist. We watch our friends giggle and chat during a day at the mall, not wanting to be the one to say that your body is ready to go. We let the adrenaline take over as we ignore the late hour, keep dancing, and pretend that, coupled with the dehydration from your friend's birthday shots, we won't feel it the next day...and probably for the next two days. We forget pill boxes on the counter, reschedule doctor appointments when they conflict with work, and miss infusions. We wish our Lupus fog would help us forget we have Lupus instead of forgetting where we put our keys. This brat of a disease sometimes quiets down. But as with real children, quiet can feel like it's getting into something and trouble is a'coming.

Lupus is so unpredictable. But honestly, sometimes it isn't. We know our triggers and what we should do to keep it from acting up and showing out. But it seems easier to try to live life like the young parent whose mom is always down to babysit. Drop lupus off and keep the party (or just the regular life) going. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

Our stints of disconnecting our lives from our illness, as if the two can't work hand in hand, can put us at risk for severe flares and hospitalizations. Sure, we can have a couple long nights and fun days. But pretending Lupus doesn't exist can cause it to bawl at your joints, keep you up at night, leave you drained during the day, and throw a tantrum so terrible, you'll only desire to be in fetal position for weeks.

I understand wanting to hold on to the life you had when you were single and not paired with a chronic illness. But learning how to have it, grow with it, hate it but still live with it will only benefit me in the long run. Neglecting lupus meant I was neglecting myself. It took a lot to be able to remember that Lupus is something that forces me to listen to my body's cries and nurture my body (something we all need to do with or without an illness). I don't feel guilty for needing to take breaks, power naps, and saying no. I realized the parties I missed were the same as the last ones, and being sober made everyone seem even more hilarious. Even though this brat called Lupus continuously tries to mess up my good time, I still truly believe I can still have a life filled with joy if I just paid it a little attention.
-Shanelle Gabriel

Upcoming Show: TRAPKARAOKE- The R&B Edition 9/23 by Shanelle Gabriel

The video of my feature at the R&B Edition of TrapKaraoke (sponsored by the 2016 BET Awards) is below this email and here:

Enjoyed it? Sad you missed it? Well, after a nationwide tour, TrapKaraoke is back in NYC and I'll be headlining again at SOB's. Get your tickets ASAP! They sold out a week before the show last time!


(Friday, 9/23 @11pm)

S.O.B.'s (204 Varick Street, NYC) $25

Newness by Shanelle Gabriel

This is new
First breath
For sale sign removed from
Emerald grass
Awkward playground kiss
Leaning back in heated seats
Kicks wiped with licked fingertips
I'm treasuring this

This is fresh
Blueberries handpicked
Or just picked out
Hand on hips
Neck rolls and bent wrists
Back spins and windmills
Dookie chains
Flat tops with the part
You too fly

This is love like
Bottomless mimosas
Wet noses and protection
A seat on the train after a long day
Broken windows turned to stained glass
Your favorite song sung on a stage
Faucet mics
Finding a missing piece to a game you once played
A piece of you you didn't know you missed
This is life
Loving this fresh newness

NaPoMo Day 29: Lifting by Shanelle Gabriel

She's been stressed lately
Can't always run from her problems
So she barbell presses
the weight of the world off her shoulders
Deadlifts what's holding her down
Getting her life in full Kettlebell swing
Doesn't give a Squat who is in her way
Not looking for kick backs
She earned what's hers
Only lunging forward
Raises her hands to the sky
Her existence has never been a skip and a jump
Left to workout life solo
Support came and then dipped
Roped into dark places
Where most people would curl into a
Medicine ball
But with every fall she pushes up
Remembering that targeting weaknesses
Leads to greater gains
Rather to raise the bar
Than live as a dumb belle
Worried over 5 pounds
Potential gathering dust on a shelf
She would rather lift the
Iron that sharpens iron
Never cared about
Being TOO strong for a man
This gym is life
Where who she is gets defined

NaPoMo Day 27: How to kill a student by Shanelle Gabriel

Tell them they're worthless
Then tell them they're perfect.
Tell them their flaws are their strengths
And their strengths are their flaws
Tell them the world is there's
But leave out the part about
It being hard and unfair
Let them feel like everything they want
Is on the bottom shelf
No need to climb
To fall would be too risky
Make these poor black and brown lives easy
Tell them about their rights
Sing songs about equality
Label their disrespect as freedom of speech
Let their tongues run free
Don't expect thought or self-control
Teach them to ignore authority
Skills they'll need when
Approached by police
Called out by bosses
Bend rules frequently
Consequences are too hard a concept
Let them believe someone will always
Be there to protect
To save
Keep on trying to save them
Hug them
Cushion them
They are the teddy bears you cuddle
Destined to sit on a prison barred shelf
Let them learn to expect the coddling
So many years of cotton picking
Only to have this generation
Filled with cotton stuffing
Forgetting the strength of steel backs
That silenced a whip's crack
Teach them slavery is a thing of the past
That there's nothing they lack
Tell them the world is colorblind
Tell yourself you see no skin
Only skeleton
Give the kids only bones
Barely scratch their surface
Make graduating their only purpose
If they're not complacent
Tell them they're worthless
Separate them based
How well they fit the status quo
Create futures for those who's tongues
You can hold
If they question you
Or suggest that you don't know what you think you know
About them
Hold them in contempt
Silence their recognition
That somethings wrong with their education
Blame their struggle on themselves
It's their fault if they don't do well
Regardless of hunger pains,
Misdiagnoses, and family strains
They should be able to excel
Suspend and expel
Anyone not compelled by your rhetoric
those that challenge your thinking
Suppress anyone who knows they don't need
Another pillow to catch them
That Brillo pad type of scrubbing
To be made to shine
To be able succeed
Through the subconscious destruction
Within every human interaction
And an inherently racist system
Smother them
Watch them bleed their potential
Choke on the White guilt
You shove down their throats
Give them your smiles
Give them your soft touch
Your praise and hi-5s
And pray that it will be enough
To keep them alive
To keep them free
To keep them employed
To keep them warm as an adult
Wandering through life

NaPoMo Day 25 by Shanelle Gabriel

I started hating him/ For not loving me/ for not seeing my efforts and my ability/ for not making life easier for me/ for seeing me drowning and still pouring salt water on my head/ for being salty/ for seeing my failures and labeling me a failure/ for not seeing that it's easy for an island to sink beneath the sea/ I started hating him for turning chameleon/ for making me mistake his smile for kindness/ his open hands were handshakes/ and now slaps to the face/ I started hating him for making me hate myself/ even if it was for just a second/ for that moment I didn't know how to defend my action/ and let your crooked words hurt/ I almost hated you/ I still kinda do but I'm slowly realizing that there is a gift in every person's curse/ that there is a healing that comes after every hurt/ that my soul is a mattress for my heart/ I can bounce back/ this end taught me how to keep my pride intact/ how to separate someone's disrespect from someone's own lack of self-respect/ how to set myself up so when someone tries to set me up I got enough to back myself up/ I know how to store enough gangsta for a rainy day/ Store enough perspective to be able to put my attitude in the right place/ I know that when someone comes out their face/ a lot of times it's cause they don't know how to save face/ and some would rather throw people off the train/ than admit the conductor instructions they gave were a mistake./ I'm learning not to sit in hate/ but to run away/ from anyone and anything meant to kill my spirit/ I won't be like him and lose my mind or my grace/ Any person or place/ that's fine with breaking me down/ Will have to learn to be fine without me around/ cause this curse blessed me with the urgency to search for the gift/ that I have now found.

NaPoMo Day 24: Crew Love by Shanelle Gabriel

Your guards down/ his cards up/ he's the player and the dealer/ texting him in caps cause you mad at how he treats ya/ think you gonna win when he's in charge of the game/ gave him the draws and you don't know his govt name/ you too mixed up/ give too much all these men/ getting your womb run thru and call it liberation/ used to be a 10/ now you're just a one/ Dudes don't call you for dates/ They call you just for fun/ Thinking if you sleep with a star you can be one/ left your constellation/ for bottle service and walks of shame with the sun/ Quote Amber and Kardashian/ Like they aren't exceptions/ the average chick falls quick from recollection/ Once these baller dudes get some./ Addicted to attention/ guys who only care about erections/ Women's fight for freedom/ wasn't so you could be free to be numb like men/ Equate the fight for equal rights to justify being objectified/ emotionally dead inside/ I want better for you/ but you gotta want better for you/ i wish you could love yourself instead of just loving the crewQuote Amber and Kardashian/ Like they aren't exceptions/ the average chick falls quick from recollection/ Once these baller dudes get some./ Addicted to attention/ guys who only care about erections/ Women's fight for freedom/ wasn't so you could be free to be numb like men/ Equate the fight for equal rights to justify being objectified/ emotionally dead inside/ I want better for you/ but you gotta want better for you/ i wish you could love yourself instead of just loving the crew

NaPoMo Day 22: Advice by Shanelle Gabriel

Ya lie down in strange places/ a woman of da night/ intertwined wit alla deez foreign men like making pelau wit uncle bens rice/ Ya too mixxy/ askin silly questions like "whatcha need ta do ta be a good wife"/ ya priorities float by/ cause Ya think ya need a man in ya life/ I thought like you once/ had dat sickness called "trust in love"/ but mi heal mi own body/ when Ya father and me's Union turned ta dust/ death to us put mi body in Trinidad but mi heart in the Arctic/ see, listen to mi pickney/ before dis illness kills ya soul/ the hurt will neva leave ya like da common cold/so turn ya heart into ice/so numb ya won't notice ya sick/say these words to ya reflection repeatedly/ so one day it will stick:
No man is gonna love you/ more than he love he freedom/ each lie a brick to build pyramids/ a beautiful tomb to hold ya heart/ he will watch you die/ just so he can feel like a worthy cause/ your tombstone will read birth/ under death - he'll sign he name/ just for de fame of it/ hell, he'll use your death to find de next chick/ pat the soil on ya grave/ before the grass can grow/ he in dat cemetery wanderin/ find himself another gal lookin for a man for she tombstone/ dah-lin gal/ mi daughter / mi redskin pickney/ this is for ya own good/ let these men be

NaPoMo Day 21: Desire by Shanelle Gabriel

When all you want
When all your chest pains for
When every single curl springing from your crown
To the callous shadowing
The heels of your feet
When all your knock knees
Legs that could caress arrows wants
When every ancestor within you
When your entire being...
Wants a seat on the train
You will tackle anyone
Shift anyone
Bludgeon anyone to get it.

NaPoMo Day 19: Workin by Shanelle Gabriel

I am anointed oil
Blessing every
Midnight toil
Digging in the soil
That folk won't soil
Their hands with
They ain't got the bandwidth
To do what I do
God can call many
But chooses so few
When called to duty
Would rather say it's out of their control
Remote locations
They won't go
Too scared to go the extra mile
Their grimace is my smile
I make the hard look easy
They're swans barely making a ripple
I'm more like Crocodile
Built to Slide
In and out muddy places
Splash and silence the water
Born to make an impact
Been putting in that work since
School gave you breaks
for naps and snacks
I won't stop cause I can't stop
I have that thing so many lack
It's called a hustlers spirit
I never fold no matter
How the odds against me are stacked

NaPoMo Day 17: Mixed Signals by Shanelle Gabriel

This is for the woman who said yes but meant no. 

See, you’d label it buyers remorse

But her goods were taken not sold

Said yes

Clenched fists, shut eyes

Silent cries said no

Of course

“Who’s is it?”

Her body is his to own

Her lip trembling and tears 

Couldn’t be her mouthing prayers

She really didn't want him to stop

I mean,

Women never really know what they want

So hormonal 

Mixed signals he was never taught to read

They say 1 in 200 women are color blind

While 1 in 12 men have this color deficiency 

No wonder they can’t tell between red and green

Plowing through yellow

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Cause of years of being told her no wasn't sufficient

Told he didn't even really need her permission 

Told if she had a problem no one would listen

Cause "you know what it's like when he doesn't get his medicine"

Misogyny gave him the prescription 

She has no choice but to fill

We still live in a world where a woman's right to her body

Gets shot down by a room full of men

In senate bills

Where rape isn’t caused by rapists

But how tight the top, short the skirt

Where it makes to sense to struggle to call the cops

Who do you think will come first

So why would her bedroom be safe 

Why would he not be in charge

When you learn sex from porn

What other roles would you think there are

She should be glad to be a background actress

In the bedroom every man gets to be the star

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Cause no is too "negative"

And she wanted to keep her man

"If he gets it up

It's your job to bring it down"

Like he doesn't have two perfectly good hands

Men have needs

You should understand

Always be ready 

The place between your legs juicy

Matter of fact, it could be dry

As long as legs open wide

As long as he can force his way inside

Bend over

Let me smash

Lemme hit

I’ma beat it up

Be turned on when he makes rape sound sexy

All adjectives violent

He’ll ask you if you like it like this

But won’t wait for a response

She’s been told baby girl, 

Calm down

You'll be alright

Baby if you love me you'd let me try

If you love me you'll do what I like

Do you want me to go elsewhere

You ain't got nothing I can't go outside and find

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Cause no means there'll be a fight

So hallow tongued

Broken half smile

Taught love isn't about compromise

It's about sacrifice

Spent so many years saying yes to mans desire

She doesn't even know what she actually likes

Never reached an orgasm but has had sex countless times

Taught to repeat

Love is a body cemented on top of me

Love is a penis concrete

Heavy inside me

Pain is pleasure. 

Love hurts

And I learned how to love from my daddy

Love and Violation 

I learned synonymously

The word no was never in my vocabulary

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Taught to swallow semen and pride

Be fine

With being treated like a whore

But stay dignified in the public eye

A freak in the sheets 

Is always defined by how readily

you meet a mans needs

Wires will always be crossed

When social constructs and power dynamics 

Make men think they're in the movie weird science

And they can create and exploit a woman's sexual mechanics

They can focus on the yes

Ignore the no that was sandwiched

As long as there's a yes 

Forget the body language

She consented to the sex

So she alone is responsible for the damage

There was an "ok" mumbled somewhere

Put it in before she changes her mind

Put the gun to her head

And let her commit slow suicide

This is for the woman who was never told she could say no at anytime

Cause coerced or forced sex is a crime

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Although though no question was posed

This is for the woman  

Who said yes but meant no cause they already labeled her a hoe

This is for the woman 

Who said yes but meant no. 

Cause it would’ve have the same results.

This is for the woman who was a girl 

Who said yes because she wasn't old enough to say no to adults

This is for the woman dating a man 

Who once said yes but meant no

And continued the endless cycle

This is for the woman

Who said yes but meant no

Who said yes but meant no

Who said no but meant no

Who said no but meant no

Who said nothing but meant no

Who said nothing but meant no

Who said...