This picture, of Karl Michalak and his tiger was the poster for my solo exhibition at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan in 2001.
I am not a woman.
I don’t know what it’s like to be raped.
I don’t pretend to have any privileged insights
Into the feminine psyche.
But I do know about being mangled and mutilated;
About having someone you don’t know
Or maybe even someone you trust
Like a friend or a lover
Or a doctor
Take a hold of your body
And do whatever the hell they want with it.
I know this because I’ve been there.
You see, it happens all the time
In dark alleys and surgical suites everywhere
I know about being left for dead
Like a dog on the edge of the highway.
And there’s one more thing
That I seem to have in common
With all of these women:
Everyone tells me that I asked for it.
(copyright Michael Sturza, Estate of Karl Michalak)