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Illustration by Max Fleishman

'Thank you for being a peaceful presence in a predatory space.'

"You were tall, long black curly hair, red lipstick, green dress, wearing your friend's golden sparkly jacket," begins a heartfelt Craigslist Missed Connection by a man who fell in love with a fierce woman he saw dancing at The Merchant in Madison, Wisconsin.

The post goes on to describe how the woman expertly put off five men who were trying to hit on her and her friend.

The heartsick man writes, "During 'No Scrubs.' You literally lip-synced 'I don't want no scrubs' RIGHT in his face after he tried to get close. You pointed right at him! He was so owned that afterwards he, attempting to regain some manful pride, threw his arm around me to say 'But I know I'm not a scrub! I have a BMW!' I laughed til hypoxia. One of the funniest things I have ever seen."

That post alone would be epic enough. But the woman wrote back an even more amazing response:
 Dear mystery man. Thank you for existing as well. If you are who I think, know that you had an aura of good vibes and gentleness that was appreciated. Thank you for being a peaceful presence in a predatory space. Thank you for going to a place where there is dancing and actually dancing. Thank you for witnessing that series of confrontations and thinking, yes, this is what the world needs. I agree.  
She then begins a beautifully written treatise on sexism and rape culture, noting:
We need a world where women can claim their bodies, heal their traumas, and celebrate their love, their sexuality, their joy. I twerk, I jiggle, I bounce because I love how my body feels when I dance. When I am dancing, it is not for the arousal or entertainment of the men who creep up behind me, who watch from the corners of the room, who form a circle around me and my friends, it is for me. It is for the universe of unseen energy, vibrating at the frequency of love. It is for all of the sisters who have been beaten, raped, shamed, silenced, and killed around the world, and it is a prayer that we may heal and celebrate our beauty and power together.

And she continues...

 This is not just about the dance floor, this is about the bus stop, where men tell me to smile, try to get me to talk before my morning coffee and when I refuse tell me "I'm gonna sit right next to you on the bus and make you really uncomfortable." This is for the bike path, where summer night silence and shadows hid screams and blood and a woman left for dead. We cried together. We raged for her. For ourselves, for every woman who will never bike that path at night again, for all of our ancestors and all of our daughters. 
The entire post itself is an excellent read for anyone—especially men who wonder why they were rejected on the dance floor. Keep twerking for us all, mystery woman in Wisconsin.

H/T Masuma Ahuja

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