I haven’t finished talking
Talking in my head
Talking in my sleep
Talking in my body language
Talking while he drones on
I try desperately not to
Break out in an avalanche
Of righteous indignation
Or galloping fear of retribution
One lesson after another
I learned to die and
How to accept living death
As my female normal
Yes, it began with my father. Sadly, it didn’t end there.
I used to think getting things straight in my head would be enough. If I could understand what happened to me, who did it and why, then I could get on with my life as an adult woman.
Tragically, that’s sheer nonsense. Every time women’s issues are raised, I’m struck by how naïve I’ve been. Talk doesn’t fix anything. It’s helpful, but by itself it isn’t a cure.
So here we are again in a nation that claims to celebrate international women and girls of all ages. It’s our one-day moment to feel accepted, needed, even courageous and bold. Then the day passes, and doors that were never fully opened slam shut yet again.
I’m not appeased by fancy talk or lovely tributes to courageous female angels out there. I want to see action that means business. Action fueled by changed hearts and minds. Plus legal action that gives teeth and dignity to women’s lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. I’m fed up with warmed-over pablum and niceties that do nothing to change harsh realities on the ground.
Ironically, this month an agreement to a cease fire in Ukraine was ignored, and a maternity hospital for women and children was bombed by Russians. Why now? And how does this tragedy alert us to women’s daily realities in our own countries? What do you think?
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 March 2022
Image found at etsy.com