Saturday, December 3, 2022

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar


The other day I shared this quote with the Boy Scout. When I read it, it was almost with a little sigh, like “of course we have.” It is a given. He looked at me in surprise and asked, “you’ve done that?” Many, many times, especially when I was younger and more apt to put myself in a position to need to use those survival mechanisms. I wasn’t being foolish, I was living life. 

Somewhere around the age of 30, when I was in my peak physical form and feeling strong and vital, there came the realization that no matter how hard I worked, even the average man could easily over power me. There was a nugget of anger that came with that knowledge. And also, a tiny nudge of fragility. The beginning of a feeling that would slowly grow over the years, getting bigger with a health set back, or when I could no longer do something on my own or when a nervousness sets in where there once was none. It just is. 

I’m currently reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. Beautifully written with a compelling story, I can only take it in spurts because it triggers the feeling of the immense powerlessness of being a women. I find that I need to push it away until I have to go back to find out what happens to our protagonist who has the unfortunate, regretful characteristic of being a woman on the run in Mexico

13 comments:

  1. It's true, most men never think or realize how vulnerable women can be while just walking, especially at night. It's part of male privilege that they don't have to consider it. The one exception to that may be some gay men, certainly back in the days of active gay bashing on the streets.

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  2. I've heard mixed reviews on that book. Now that I'm older, I feel particularly vulnerable. (and at times helpless)

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    1. I loved Outside Boy so I thought I'd give it a try. Great....in little doses.

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  3. It's funny, once I hit menopause I stopped being afraid of men.

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    1. Funny how things change a bit when we start to look like their mothers, right?

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  4. Oh yes. Bill and I have had that conversation, too. I used to have my students read an essay by Peggy McIntosh called White Privilege, Male Privilege. It was eye opening for them. One of my students, a young white woman came to me after a class and said she was talking about it with her African-American boyfriend. He couldn't believe it was all a revelation to her because he lived with it every day (his lack of white privilege, at least). Some of the things in the essay are dated now, but the overall point sadly remains quite valid.

    I've heard about that book, but haven't read it.

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    1. Great essay. Thank you for steering me that direction.

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  5. In so many areas of our lives, women have to be aware, watchful, cautious, careful. Sigh. I fear for my granddaughters!

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    1. Yes, my girls are often on my mind in regards to this. Especially the one that is still dating and meeting new people.

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  6. As the victim of a rape by a stranger when I was 18 years old I learned the terrible lesson of trying to navigate the world alone. I don't walk alone and haven't for many years. It is work to stay safe on the streets.

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    1. I know that you have said this before. I cannot imagine what that must have been like and how it would affect every day afterwards. I am truly sorry that happened to you.

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  7. There are so many places I wouldn't go alone because i am a woman. I really hate that. It's a great injustice.

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