Sunday, September 30, 2018

stuff falls apart

I've been composing this in my head for months. Months. Nothing ever gets any clearer so I guess it won't. Or it will. I don't know.

The last two years have been horrific. I watch the news almost obsessively. It's the first thing I do in the morning...I check the news to make sure nothing horrible, or more horrible than yesterday, has happened. It's exhausting and demoralizing. I've lost a few friends. It's not exactly their politics, it's their world view I can't stomach. I've been to marches and demonstrations, sent emails and made phone calls. The only thing my rage does is wear me out.

This past week, The sexual assault allegations. The entitled anger of the accused. The horrific comments of men and women telling us that now men and boys must be afraid. I say go ahead. Be afraid. I have been afraid all my life. I am 65 years old, I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe rural area but I always think about whether or not it's safe to go out alone at night. I always take my phone to bed when my husband works late. I think about repairmen coming in the house when I am alone. Especially when the dog isn't here. So, frankly, if a man has to be afraid of a false accusation, I don't care.

I don't owe anybody the details of my own experience, but I can tell you this. I don't know one man, not one, who has been falsely accused of sexual assault but I know many women who have experienced sexual assault, been overpowered by a man, felt fear, felt shame, never told a soul except maybe in the privacy of a therapist's office. Thought for years it was her fault. Didn't even have the words to call it what it was. Many women.

Teach your boys, and girls, about consent. Teach them that it is not normal for boys or men to behave as if we owe them something because of the way we dress or laugh or drink. Then go ahead and be afraid.

I'm tired. I feel like I'm going through menopause again. My mind is foggy and I have no ambition. I look at my garden where there are so many things to do but none are getting done. Chairs blew over in the last storm and there they lay. There are three or four little plants under the tree, still in their garden center plastic pots, dried up and lifeless. A piece of mail dropped one day midsummer into the dirt by the front door, still there wet and dirty.

Some day. Some day, we'll rise up.

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