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International Women’s Day – An Afterthought

The truth is I didn’t even know the day was coming up. I didn’t know it was a thing, and when I heard the title, it felt like ‘okay a new holiday again.’

And then I thought about it more. Of course, I couldn’t help but think about it more as my newsfeed on Facebook was cluttered with reminders and posts about strong women. But looking at the posts more carefully, many of the quotes weren’t about the struggle we go through, they were just general quotes about perseverance, said by a woman. Is this how we celebrate? Is this our day?

So, I wanted to blog something about it. I wanted to blog about how everyone thinks we’re so equal and yet how much I can see from my perspective as a woman, that we are not. But every time I think about blogging something like that I just feel like I’m drowning in hopelessness. That no one will hear me, that there will be so many eye rolls, and my voice disappears.

In my own life I’ve been attacked, yelled at, touched, made fun of, leered at, told to smile. Every year I hear of horrible events both here and around the world, and a part of me believes things can change but feels so ineffectual, and weeps at what my sisters are going through.

Another part of me has resigned to this fate, and doesn’t just feel ineffectual but genuinely believes I have no impact, no voice. That part of me just sighs and hopes that doesn’t happen to me or my loved ones.

Even though I don’t come even close to posting about it in a proportionate rate to how much it happens, it feels like when I do it’s viewed as attention-seeking, or that I’m flattering myself that a man would be interested in me. But what I’m talking about isn’t flirtations at a bar or compliments over coffee. None of this makes me feel good. This makes me feel unsafe.

When I’m walking outside alone and men yell out of the car at me, call me a whore, mention my ass, yell incoherently, honestly, what is their aim? What is the purpose? A laugh? I can feel my face turn red, as I hope no one heard them, as I try to find an escape route or walk faster, if nothing else to distance myself physically from the moment of shame. What shame? Why do I feel shame while they drive away laughing, feeling nothing but good?

And there comes a point when I can’t help but talk about it, and then I feel ashamed again and I stay silent for awhile. But like a geyser it bubbles back up and spews out and everyone thinks “woah, where did that come from.”

Truth is, it’s been boiling underground for centuries and I can feel it making my feet unsteady all the damn time.

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