Cleopatra Coleman ("The Last Man On Earth," "White Famous") reads an essay about a woman claiming ownership over her own body.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the podcast is supported by the for the work messages begin to pour in. Let's give ourselves a good morning. A good morning is a moment to pause and ease into the day. It's a moment to run and chase the sun rise, or it's a gently settle into your. in a good morning as a moment to be present to find clarity and be grounded for the day ahead. Good days start with good mornings and good mornings start with Yogi tea, yogi tea tease me too.
More than just taste, good, oh from the New York Times and w you are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetron puberty yeah me too over the past several weeks. Millions of women have revealed that they too have been victims of sexual harassment or abuse. In today's episode, we bring you another me too. From graduate student Heather Bergmann Clia for common stars and foxes. The last man on earth and show times a white famous She reads: Heather's essay, my body doesn't belong to you.
When the stranger yelled at me from his car window, I was carrying my Samia caucus Zany, I Folia a large tropical plant. I had just bought at a greenhouse I couldn't hear what he said, but I don't think he was complimenting my plant his words. Whatever they were brought to mind of the derogatory comments and crude propositions. I had heard before. from different car windows and different men. All of the comments about my body and suggestions for what I could do with it. It was as if, once I turned sixteen, my body no longer belong to me, but to the world at large and to certain men who drove their cars pasta when I was a little girl playing shuttle
in my family's garden. My buddy felt as if it belonged only to me. We had a rectangle shaped yard, out of which we would dig a smaller rectangle, and this dark patch of soil would become our garden at five six and seven years old, my siblings and I laughed as we should. out fat chunks of grass and produced a shower of debt that went up our noses and down our chests. I liked the way the dirt felt of freshly Doug against my skin And I asked my mother to bury me in it the way she sometimes did at the beach she buried me halfway and I smiled and posed for a picture
being a barrier muddy torso with a handful of seeds that I thought might grow carrots and yield a future in which my body was my body and your body was your body. During my senior year of high school, I went in for my second profiting at J C penny, where
the Fisher sniffed a little in disapproval. When telling me my cup size as if she were thinking how dare you grow those I was now the keeper of the secret. There are sizes beyond Doubleday. You can be an h, for example, that is british sizing or k that is american sizing. The british make better brows. I was the girl with the big breasts. There were jokes compliments from female friends. Promises that my future boyfriend or husband or lover would have plenty to be happy about the women who stared men, who asked are those real.
I had no answer, I didn't remember consciously deciding about their size or doing anything about it around. Then. I realized that in this world there would be many instances when my body would not feel like my body. When I was in a club and a man grabbed my butt and then my hands trying to pull me into dance, You can say no a hundred times and he will still pull. There is the knot of your hands and his and the harder you pull away the harder he pulls closer. It is like a game to him like one of those colorful woven tubes that trap your fingers. When you exert opposing forces.
If you are lucky, your friends will yell at him until he lets go. You will stand there stunned suddenly realizing how sticky the dance floor is. also wondering if they have a nice smelling cancer. In the bathroom hand, soap that smells like summer air being young outside, but that is the smell of another world entirely, one that no longer seems to exist. The when I walk to work and men smile at me along the way they don't have nice smiles anymore. What's your name, they say come on
it tell me your name: they following me: your footsteps like trees, falling. I can feel it in the air then need to take something from me. It has nothing to do with me in particular with me as an individual, nothing to do with how I was once a fearless naked gardener, with a blue plastic teapot and a collection of puzzles. If I were to tell them my name, would they remember it. Would they invite me out to a nice dinner and listen, as I told them stories about my childhood, but this be true: love. I can picture the scene now I at run
with my girlfriends at a place that serves bottomless, bloody marys and slightly overcoat eggs. After round three we find ourselves on the usual subject how we met our significant others. My girlfriends lean in a little closer and say. Oh, however, please tell me story again tell tell you in lie on that. Well, I begin taking one last sip of bloody Mary. I was walking to Straight when Lyle drove by and yelled hey baby and asked me to have sex with him, and I thought this one's a keeper. Such behavior is not about me, it's not about love, it's not even about sex, it is about fear, and power
What certain men gain from feeding on such things? I do not know, and I do not want to know while travelling in France one year I held onto my friends arm. Is a man followed us for maybe half a mile yelling something I didn't understand. There was the glittering river, the stone bridge the craving closed for the night. Only the fear really existed. We can take him, I whispered to her, I mean, if anything happens, we marched forward eyeing the distance between the hunted, and,
I was too scared to think and I'm certain of how one even put a hold of the police out there in Connecticut one day a man drove past me. I need to turn around and come back on my god. I thought he came back. They felt the phia descending upon me. The way a colourful parachute doesn't a childhood game of cat and mouse. He talked he loved. He watched me try not to blink, I always blinked. What is the verb to savor to luxuriate and torturing another sadism.
if someone does this to you do not give in to the temptation to smile. I tell myself to be the strong woman. My mother taught me to be and not smile, but I almost always do one man. said to me: do you know who I am? I'm done one and I'm the best lover in the world See4Yourself and I Good for you, Sir good for you, I smiled at him laughed even. Another man on another day stood on the sidewalk in front of me as dusk was falling. He was with his friends
He reached out his arms and pulled me toward him, and what did I do have got to go? I said I gotta go sweet smile, walk, don't run, they smell fear. They chase.
I will never be six again. I no longer remember what it is like to boss shut list with a God and against my skin off of someone to take a picture of mine. I could do so that they will actually develop at Walgreens. I am twenty full and my buddy makes life dangerous for me, my breasts my hips. The way I walk any woman's breasts, any woman's hips the way any woman walks. It's all
how too tempting our full lips or thin lips our necks, exposed beneath cropped, hair or our long hair or the split ends we pick out while sitting on the bus, I'll pierced or unpierced, is the infinite circle of belly button winking beneath our shots. We look too good in our teeth, shots and genes. We look too good bye Up in our codes carrying house plants down the street when. We walk home to our apartments late at night, we carry out keys, spread out between our fingers. And we jump at the shadows of shadows in the daylight. We pretend we will never afraid a couple of years ago and the warmth of summer.
I stood naked on a dark and my body was my body, might go, friends were standing naked beside me and their bodies were there, but he's our breasts were our breasts. I'll clothes were our clothes. We chosen to wear and chosen to take off, leaving them in warm heaps on the chilled wood next to the damp footprints, which were also ours. when we jumped into the water we chose to jump in Aids brushed against our bodies, oblivious Lee and circling our fingers and toes and hips with no knowledge of all care about which was which. We splashed water without fists and yelled, but if we were afraid
it was only a fish. That's what made us love! We saluted the dark, starry silent sky and it did not so much as whistle back Cleopatra Coleman reading Heather Bertman essay
he doesn't belong to. You will get an update from Heather after the break car MAX Carmax gives you the freedom to shop. However, you, like you, can shop for a car online and on once you find the right car you can buy. However, you want by online and get home delivery and select markets or by a mine entries express pick up at car max and no matter how you, by your car, comes with a thirty day. Money back guarantee up to fifteen hundred miles, learn more and start shopping at car, MAX Dotcom Car MAX Carbine re imagined. I love out my friend, and I often play following me together,
I together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up scowling d- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed. In theory. We may have happened, I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that. Me and my dad. We like to play fun together and I wish other out. I forgot to see it. J, a c k, p o t jack, yeah yeah. I'm same is asking the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, flash games, we're back its modern loved. The pod cast a magnet trucker birdie
Heather Bergman lives with three women and four men in a big house in New Haven Connecticut She says she wanted her modern love peace to reflect the experiences that she and her female housemates share. We were come home from work, day and someone would have a story about someone yelling at them out of car window or at a bar and someone like touching name inappropriately, and that was common conversations that happened just at the end of the day, like I mean this past weekend, I we're just walking down the street and like a small town in Connecticut and this car full of guys yelled at me. So it wasn't like remarkable boys just like always sad that this happened again Heather says she's cat called at least every other day, and it gets to her is very degrading when men yell at you, like they don't see you. the person and it's feeling you have to fight I am worthy of respect and being treated like a human and it's something that's hard
To internalize in the moment, I think it's something that I have on better at as I develop a stronger sense of Self Heather, one if other women who've experienced even worse sexual assault had more of a right to tell the story than she did, but that fear fell away after the peace was public I was just really touched by how much women said that that was a story that they had like wanted to hear. are. They had just wanted to hear another woman like acknowledge that it had happened. I was, I was very humbled by the I am, and then just I was pleasantly surprised by the way. A lot of my male friends reacted to it, because a lot of the maxi reached out to me and said. Thank you for writing this. I wanted to understand better, like the experience of being women and MIKE. I know men have a lot to learn and- and they were just so ready to listen mentally Heather. Wants her essay to be more about empowerment, then loss. I want it to end nano.
that women do have control of their body like no matter how you're treated I saw yours this moment at the ends. I talked about where I go skinny dipping with a couple of my good friends matter what our bodies looked like. It was just all about living in the world and experiencing the water the way the sky looked and just having joy like and being one moment with friends whether Birdman she's a graduate student at Yale Divinity School after the break, he'll Jones talks about the massive reader response to Heather's essay and more from Patrick Coleman,. I'm just glad and Emily few polices, an incredible broadcaster border and journalist and Josh a hacker turned technologist turn.
on costs built for change and new pod gas from Accenture. We cover disruption and innovation to share with business leaders what they need to know now in order to shape their futures. If this last year, has taught us anything. It's the change waits for no one, to you to start the conversation subscribed to build for change, so you don't miss an episode. I love Allenby my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together. By together I mean setting to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that
me and my dad, we like to play fun together and I wish color out. I forgot to see it J, a c k, P, o t Jack, yeah yeah, I'm nice I'm same is risky. The digital possessed her for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at an why times, dot com slash games. There Jones? Editor of the modern love column for the New York Times says that head He's really struck a chord with readers, pointed this out ever sort of unleash strong responses from readers who just a sort of read it in tears and said. This is just Brought up so many memories of, years of. Walking down the street and feeling like someone has a claim on me. Someone
It's scary and some one who doesn't wish me well and who wants something from me and how that just sort of dominate your thoughts. For for years but you know she is the writer. It's not her job to solve the problem. It's just too hard. kill the problem. Well and Heather. Did it just so powerfully in this essay and it brought up a lot of memories for actress Cleopatra Coleman as well. It take late, something that I think it just speaking for myself have felt inexperienced my entire life. But I definitely I had a really innocent childhood. lots of naked running around in mud and, like group, very much like this essay at a certain point. just changes and as a woman you just get so used to it like everywhere, you go, like God forbid. If I will pass a group of man, and then I have to turn around for some reason. I will watch them all look away immediately. Cause I've open, looking old, pointing on talking and so.
I find this incredibly satisfying and and really beautiful thing. Due to Cleopatra Coleman. You can see her in foxes, the last man on earth and showtimes white famous next week, Kirsten Vagueness from the CBS Drama criminal minds. An essay about a woman whose flawless social media projection of her relationship didn't reflect the reality. I wanted my perfect love to look like what I'd convinced myself. I had photos, the Facebook statuses, the narrative of our relationship, I'd woven into my head. I had fallen for what I thought We could be together not the reality of who we actually were Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced directed and edit.
by Jessica Albert John Parody, Emory seaports in an Caitlin O Keefe. additional sound design by Matt read the DIA for the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin Iris. I'd lose our executive, pretty Sir Daniel only as the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the past courtesy of eight p m. I magnetic Roberti, see next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.