This Pop Star's Very Emotional Poem For Women's Rights Is A Must-Read

At NYC's Women's March, Halsey delivered a deeply personal and emotional poem describing the power dynamics of sexual assault, the secrecy and shame that accompanied these experiences and how this is the moment for change.

Halsey poem at Women's March

Halsey delivers an emotional poem at the Women’s March in New York. Photo, Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.

When she stepped up to the microphone at New York City’s Women’s March this weekend, millennial pop star Halsey told the thousands standing before her that she’d been asked to do a speech. “I don’t really know how to do a speech unless it rhymes, so I’m gonna do a little poem for you guys,” said the 23-year-old “Bad At Love” singer — whom you may also recognize as the voice on “Closer” with electronic duo The Chainsmokers.

What followed was a series of deeply personal and emotional verses that described the power dynamics of sexual assault, the secrecy and shame that accompanied these experiences and how listening to and speaking up on behalf of the most vulnerable can make for a very different future.

Read the full transcript of her poem, here, as transcribed by Jezebel:

It’s 2009

and I’m 14 and I’m crying.

Not really sure where I am,

but I’m holding the hand

of my best friend Sam

in the waiting room of a Planned


The air is sterile and clean

The walls are that “not grey but green”

And the lights are so bright they could burn a hole through the seam

Of my jeans.

And my phone is buzzing in the pocket.

My mom is asking me

If I remembered my keys

Cause she’s closing the door

and she needs to lock it.

But I can’t tell my mom

Where I’ve gone

I can’t tell anyone at all

You see my best friend Sam

was raped by a man

that we knew cause he worked

In the after school program.

And he held her down

with her textbooks beside her

And he covered her mouth and then he came…

inside her.

So now I’m with Sam

At the place with a plan

Waiting for the results of a medical exam

And she’s praying

she doesn’t need an abortion.

She couldn’t afford it

Her parents would “like totally kill her”

It’s 2002

and my family just moved

The only people I know are my mom’s friend Sue

And her son.

He’s got a case of matchbox cars

And he says that he’ll teach me

to play the guitar

If I just keep quiet

And the stairwell beside

apartment 1245

Will haunt me in my sleep

long as I’m alive

And I’m too young to know

why it aches in my thighs

But I must lie I must lie…

It’s 2012 and I’m dating a guy

And I sleep in his bed and

I just learned to drive

And he’s older than me

And he drinks whisky neat

And he’s paying for everything,

(The adult things not cheap)

We’ve been fighting a lot

Almost 10 Times a week.

But he still wants to have sex

And I just want to sleep

He says I can’t say no to him

That this much I owe to him

He buys my dinners,

so I need to blow him

And he’s taken to forcing me

down on my knees

I’m confused

cause he’s hurting me

while he says “please”

And “he’s only a man”,

and these things he “just needs”

He’s my boyfriend

So why am I filled with unease?

It’s 2017 and I live like a queen

And I’ve followed damn near

every one of my dreams

I’m invincible!

and I’m so f—-g naive…

I believe I’m protected

cause I live on a screen

Nobody would dare

act that way around me.

I have earned my protection,

eternally clean…

Till a man that I trust

gets his hands

in my pants

But I don’t want none of that?

I just wanted to dance?

And I wake up the next morning

like I’m in a trance

And there’s blood

My blood…

Is that my blood?

Wait hol-hold on a minute.

You see I’ve worked every day

since I was 18.

I’ve toured every where

from Japan to Mar a Lago,

I even went on stage

that night in Chicago

when I was having a miscarriage.

I pied the piper! I put on a diaper!

And sang out my spleen

to a room full of teens



You can’t put your hands on me?

You don’t know what my body has been through.

I’m supposed to be safe now

I’ve earned it.

The year is 2018, and I’ve realized

That nobody is safe long as she is alive

And every friend that I know

Has a story like mine.

And the world tells me that we should take it as a compliment.

But heroes like Ashley

and Simone and gabby

McKayla and Gaga,

Rosario, Ali.

Remind me this is the beginning

it’s not the finale.

And that’s why we are here,

and that’s why we rally.

It’s about Olympians

and a medical resident

And not one f—-g word

from the man who is president

It’s about closed doors

secrets and legs in stilettos

From Hollywood Hills

to the projects and ghettos

When babies are ripped

from the arms of teen mothers;

and child brides globally

cry under covers

Who don’t have a voice

on the magazine covers

And you can’t walk anywhere

if your legs aren’t covered

They tell us take cover….

But we are not free

until all of us are free.

So love your neighbor

Please treat her kindly

Ask her her story

Then shut up and listen

Black Asian poor wealthy

Trans Cis Muslim Christian



And then yell.

At the top of your lungs.

Be a voice for all those

who have prisoner tongues,

for the people who had grow up

way too young,

there is work to be done

there are songs to be sung,

Lord knows there’s a war to be won.