Editor, Daily Nexus,

Many peers and colleagues are trying to raise awareness of rape culture. After an inspiring afternoon at Storke Plaza, I found myself wanting to scream at one o’clock in the morning. I went into my room and heard, from a short distance, a not-too-foreign noise. A loud male voice was yelling from a balcony at who knows what. He made no sense, other than to say, “Hey bitches! Yo, bitches. Blah blah blah bitches!” I nearly lost my edge. I went to my bathroom window to see where the noise was coming from, but I couldn’t see. I walked outside hoping to yell, “Shut up you ignorant prick!” But I felt silenced still.

There were two main reasons. First, I simply don’t like to propagate negativity. Mostly, however, I was afraid to sound weaker than he was even though I heard the power within myself. I am enraged and ashamed that these reasons kept me from yelling.

Shame is what we must overcome. People instill shame into women. Cross your legs, smile, look pretty, be polite and don’t let anything bad happen to you. Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t wear that, don’t eat that and don’t date anyone who is not our race. Don’t be gay, don’t talk to strangers, don’t forget to say your prayers, don’t have sex, don’t mess up, don’t live your life like that, don’t pay the bill, don’t be rude.

I vow: Next time to be rude to those who are rude to me and to others, to love who I wish, to talk to nice strangers, to be proud to be nonreligious, to create my own health, to love, trust and educate myself, and to shed the shame of anything to the contrary.

To all the people yelling ugly slurs last night or any night, “You are rape culture!” Make the change.