At seventeen they said I made my bed and my punishment now was that I had to lay in it. A self described feminist who critiqued women for ‘sticking by their men’, Hilary for Clinton, my father for his terror…I thought I needed to be hard and that this was perfection. there was no time to be ‘weak’ as my whole life depended on being strong for my mother, my sisters, my girlfriends who weren’t allowed to even speak in the company of men. if I couldn’t save them I felt it was my shame. And if I couldn’t carry their burden along with my own, it was my shame.
being free at sixteen meant moving into the backroom of a woman’s organization and doing everything by the book. The law said there were board minutes and policies that polite radicals agreed upon. this ‘was feminism’ proper. Although there were deviants like that woman…you know the one who wrote that book, first about women and we loved that. But then she had to go and say something like men were people and well, she isn’t here anymore.
So…We all agree that we won’t have her…anymore?
‘Strong’, analytical, non-physical with a stiff upper lip that didn’t cry and didn’t make mass errors of judgment. See, we don’t act until we think. We plan for higher education and the upper middle class. We don’t get screwed over. We don’t fuck dick and get pregnant. We don’t act irrationally and mess beautiful things up either. We have TOO much to lose in this cause to be weak.
In under a minute with one desire I slipped over every promise I ever made to their faith. losing what I held onto. principles and goodness. the child who was beyond her years…wasn’t like us anymore as we aren’t whores who have to choose between this life and the next.
I was not the fatherless child I was born being. I was nothing but my father’s daughter. Selfish. in/dependent, irrational. evil. I wasn’t like those nice girls at Smith College. Having ‘lost it’. my only possession. Faith.
it was after left laying on the floor of an empty house in and out of consciousness for three days that I decided I wanted to live even if my life would not walk upright like I thought it should. Even if it had to crawl on all fours, even if I was my father, even if I was forever at war, and forever left wanting to make peace— I wanted to live.
It came with no promises that anything would be capable of holding me. a wandering ugly is what I am. and yet you still laugh at me and call me vain thinking this love of the mirror is different from your hatred of it. we are both repulsed my our image but we are both trying to fall in love.
My claim to loving the ‘mistakes’ in the mirror isn’t to excuse the outrage. it’s not a fashion statement or a flaw in my system. you don’t always seem to understand what it means to TRY to live without shame. because living for the cause almost killed me. i nearly ended my life at 17 because i wanted to be good. i promised that i would live as the sinner i was. this is the only way i can be. and i love sinners because i am one and because it isn’t just a part it is all of me. every part of me needs to be forgiven. I have to love the fragility and irrationality and outrage. I have to love what my life is defined by because instead of dying I chose to live even if it brought me shame. And I try to love the shame it brings.
the only point now for me in fighting for anything is to live. ‘Equal’ only meaning having the right to be human and with it complex and weak as well. Because you can try to avoid the rape even after you follow their rules and put on their variation of strength and speech, the business suit, a nice storyboard and a perfect Press Release but they’ll still make you look ugly. And say you enjoyed it.
Everyone deserves to find peace. Everyone deserves happiness. everyone deserves to make meaning even if it is a sin and with the enemy. Loving someone truly is deviant. It deviates from rules of what we are supposed to be and in order to ever love anything you have to hold onto yourself. because you aren’t inherently evil. And I will forever try to believe that I am not either.
You may think I am arrogant for not renouncing what will inadvertently hurt you. and I ask for your forgiveness. I don’t mean to be offensive or ugly. I am trying also to love you. I can’t condemn the stains on the sheets of my life. But You have no right to judge me. You. attack. but you can’t know my heart. you cannot see my conflict. Or the questions it asks or the connections it seeks. It is not your place to judge me. you don’t know where this heart has been or where it goes.
I may be to you like one of those by ‘whom their evil deeds that they do are beautified for them.’ I AM a sinner but whether I act to do evil or seek to understand is still an open book.
The devil doesn’t know he is a sinner. but even he is still god’s creation. like you.
‘Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of Daybreak. From the evil of what He has created.’ (surat 113)
“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of Daybreak.
From the evil of what He has created.
From the evils of darkness as it falls.
From the evils of the troublemakers.
From the evils of the envious when they envy.“