…This post was written at the merciful end of an abusive relationship with a man who, as it turned out, had multiple diagnoses, including alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. This anger was exactly what I needed to feel in order to finally break away.
I need a new way to say, “Fuck you.”
It’s hard for me to even articulate what I’m feeling tonight, other than to say fuck you fuck you fuck you, and that loses its efficacy after a while. I could be more creative, but my anger neurons are putting on their brass knuckles and beating the shit out of my fey little art-project creativity axons and dendrites and whatnot.
I’ve been a woman for a long time. There’s a lot I like about having those two little X chromosomes and someday I’ll get to that.
But here’s what I want to do tonight: I want to make a Y chromosome out of splintery 2x4s and hammer some nails in there and whale on some shit. Here’s the down side of being a woman in this world, from where I’m sitting (and I’m sitting demurely, with my legs crossed daintily thankyouverymuch):
Burkas. Or burqas, depending on whether you say I-rack or I-rock, I guess. My favorite thing about burkas is how both men and women in the burka-culture believe that it is for the woman’s safety that they drape woman-sized tents over their heads. Because men presumably can’t control their no-no parts, they must ensure that their women (substitute “cattle,” “penis recipient,” or “mother-of-my-dominant-male-children”) cover themselves from head to sexy toe in order to reduce the possibility of (but not ever totally prevent) imminent rape. Now that I think about it, I guess the burka-tent peep holes are reminiscent of this:
However, obviously armor was meant to keep the wearer safe and in one piece, during times of badass full-out fucking MARAUDING, and women who wear burkas aren’t even allowed to speak. So, yeah, I could see how burkas are meant for safety, except not.
How alien the burka-culture seems to us! How primitive, how impossible to understand! How exotic, and how darkly sexy – what is she hiding under there?
But there is an insidious burka-culture that exists today, in suburban America. This isn’t news, I’m sure it’s probably covered in Feminism 101, but for me, tonight, it’s personal.
I write. And then it is demanded that I answer for what I write. Words travel on those aforementioned neural pathways from my brain (which has seen and processed an awful lot of shit and feels the irrepressible and healing need to share all of a sudden these days) to my obedient fingers on the keyboard. I hit “send” or “publish” or “comment.” Then the words are surveilled, (mis)interpreted, cross-referenced, diminished, dismissed, surveilled again, misinterpreted anew, and followed by interrogation, seasoned with disgust and incredulity that I could possibly be so a) stupid b) attention-whorish or c) time-wasting. In order to write and to make my writing public, I have to be prepared to absorb a certain number of emotional blows, probably about 156 per day, on average. I can’t even speak to defend or explain, because my words are turned into missiles and pointed back at me or worse, they are tossed on the floor and get kicked into that dusty space under the bed.
When the fuck did I agree to wear a word-burka? I think it was probably about the time I learned to speak…maybe 1970 or so.
I won’t wear it. I won’t.
Every blog post, every Facebook comment, and every tweet is my message: I won’t shut up, and I’m doing it for myself, and for every woman who is being told in both subtle and direct ways to shut the fuck up. I deserve, as every woman does, the respect of at least being allowed to speak. If you want to look at me with disgust, then put your own goddam burka on so I don’t have to see your face.
Back to regularly scheduled humorous poking at ridiculous shit shortly. For now, I needed to say it. And I need to be heard.
And finally, I need some new creative ways to say, “Fuck you.” Any ideas for me?