Larry Nassar was a doctor so we trusted him.
We didn’t think he would hurt those girls
not with their mothers so close by
not with them only being 11 or 12 or 13
but we were wrong
and now we know
as one woman, after another
grown but still cracked
talked about how
all those years ago
he laid hands on her perfect knees
parted her small legs
and forced his way inside
and how they carried it
the way women learn to carry the pain
of men betraying them
of men taking what they want.
One after another they lined up
who were girls
whose lives went spinning horribly out of control.
And even those women who were gone
who ended their own lives instead of live with
the memories of his touch
they had their mothers and fathers there to speak for them.
And I couldn’t help but notice how much smaller the outrage was.
I remember when we all found out about the football coach
who abused those boys.
The shock and horror, the outrage, the think pieces
and I waited and waited
but this time nothing came.
Not one essay, not one opinion piece about the man
who ruined 160 lives over 20 years
or the institutions and people that protected him
and then I realized why.
We are horrified when our boys are raped.
we expect it
for our girls.