A woman’s personal space is not to be violated — that’s what slam poet Reagan Myers argues in her piece, “The Girl Becomes Gasoline.”
According to the Huffington Post, the poem “sums up the rage that women feel when our personal space is invaded,” channeling Myers’ own personal — and uncomfortable — experiences into each power-packed word.
“‘On my last flight I fell asleep next to a man…I woke up to his wedding ring digging into my waist, his hand on my thigh like an unwanted house guest. It is moments like these I feel more sputter than storm,’ she said, explaining how demeaning it is when men don’t respect our physical boundaries,” according to the Huffington Post.
She continued, saying that the invasion of her personal boundaries implies that she is occupying too much space. “I am apologizing to this man next to me, hoping that this will be it, that he won’t follow me to my next gate,” she said, something that happened to her after several other flights.
Approaching the end of her poem, Myers offered, “I don’t know when I became a space to be filled: my thigh, open lease. My neck, wishing well. His hot breath, a coin, a demand passed into me.”
But each time a “man assumes my space,” Myers says, “he is just stoking the flame. And a spark, stoked enough, will burn down the whole house.”
Thank you, Reagan Myers, for saying all too eloquently that one invasion of a woman’s boundaries is one invasion too many.
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