Class has begun. Its the last year of grad school. I'm doing an internship, being a therapist, taking classes, singing in the choir, playing the organ at the temple, taking care of the children that I have taken care of for 4 years, trying to maintain friendships and doing some freelance editing for an opera magazine. Busy.
I'm actually still reeling from the stuff that incited last week's post, and trying to figure if and how those friendships should proceed. The wonderful thing is, there are more than just those men in the world, and I have dear friends who have been kind and supportive in the face of all that. Of course, that only serves to make those saturday men look even more like the braying donkeys that they are. I suppose my conflict over that mess is that I know I deserve an apology, and I know I won't get one. So wanting or hoping is wasted energy. But I mostly want and hope because I wish they would make some effort to redeem themselves. I want some evidence that they are at least making efforts to be better people. But if I raise the idea of an apology, it becomes a demand or an expectation that may or may not be met, and becomes a sort of currency in the relationship.
I recognize I'm being a total "girl" about this. But isn't that the issue? There's nothing wrong with me being a girl. There's nothing wrong with me wanting or expecting to be treated as an equal. There's nothing wrong with me hoping my friends act like better people.
And it is certain that they know. I'm not playing the silent treatment game or the "I'm fine" game. I made one of them aware of my own feelings about the whole mess. His response was to tell me I was overreacting.
Here are my thoughts: Women are strong. So strong that entire civilizations have made efforts to oppress them. They have been reduced to sexual objects simply because the men who have come to run the money part of life do not fully grasp the emotional and physical strength of a woman. I think it scares them. I think it scares everyone. And little girls everywhere are being raised to believe they are weak. Because if they know how strong they are, they will change the world. When a woman's ability to be loving and nurturing, to be emotionally strong in the face of soul wrenching and near death pains, to feel and overcome things rather than numbing themselves and dwelling in the filth, when those abilities are given the weight they merit, the love of power and money diminishes. When people find strength in loving, forgiving, nurturing, money becomes the tool that it was intended to be. An exchange system. Nothing more. And all those men who have spent all those years grabbing at wealth in order to have power and control are left with things. Just things. There is no love in things.
It's the biggest conspiracy of all. So big, people who participate have no idea they are systematically destroying their own daughters. Click on the website and laugh at the brides for sale. Use scantily clad women to sell hamburgers. Shoot the little girls who are going to school.
We live in a world where this all happens. And the self-righteous American, appalled at some distant story of foreign female torture says "I don't oppress" right up until they turn on their TV, where the only women who aren't portrayed as sexual objects are portrayed as nagging housewives.
Yes, I'm angry.
But there is a real question here. You see, I can talk about how women are stronger because they have a deeper and more pronounced ability for nurturing and loving. If I'm really going to demonstrate strength, if I'm really going to embrace the feminine, if I'm really going to change the world, then I have to find a kind and loving approach to expressing my distaste for their behavior. I don't get to throw a tantrum, I don't get to yell and scream, I don't get to punch them in their noses. Which brings me (finally) to my question.
How do I drive home the point? How do I appropriately address the fact that their behavior was inappropriate? How do I convey the hurt that they caused? How do I model appropriate behavior? How do I show a better way? How do I demonstrate strength, love, nurturing as the more desirable power? How do I teach them to act differently?
Luna asked a brilliant question. She asked what I wanted. An apology? A gesture of remorse? I thought about it. What I want is a conversation. I want them to know. I want them to be better.
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