Month: September 2015

The importance of being angry

Patriarchal dreams don’t die an easy death. They don’t go quietly into that good night. They have to be stomped out ruthlessly. And you have to be prepared to burn with anger.

Patriarchal dreams are dangerous. They are within us. Infused into us from the day we were born, through our childhood and into adulthood through the entrapment of community closeness. Be a good wife, we are told. Perform sacrifice and submission, we are shown. Illusions of agency are woven. The woman who is allowed to speak selectively never sees how she is silenced. Tell her she is oppressed and she will curl her lip in contempt, throwing the weight of her corralled and focused intelligence against you. She will be the strongest defender of her own oppression, reframing it as feminine power.

Patriarchal dreams are powerful. They are the reason you have no financial independence, no space for self-actualization, no air of your own to breathe. Asking for any of this means you are selfish. Expecting it makes you itchy and uncomfortable.

Patriarchal dreams do not sit well under skin that longs to be free. Be angry. Stomp hard on that which you think has made you YOU. Don’t worry. It is not you that you are killing. Be ruthless. Your patriarchal dreams do not define you. They are not you. They do not belong to you. Be angry. That is the most important thing. Be angry. Only then can you be free. Being oppressed leaves you with no emotional energy. I understand this. Anger is the only way. Pure, irrational, frightening, destructive, self-immolating anger.

Quotidian

quotidianI cut my toenails today

Bought the clippers and hacked off

A month’s worth of growth

Do you think the body waits 

For you to want to live again?

The dirt of a hundred miles

Gathered as I stumbled in the dark to find freedom

Fell away with each snip.

A month ago

Started the morning cooking my meals for the day

Counted out the blue pills and wondered if they would be enough

Had a shower. Went through the motions. Got ready to go to work. 

Skipped the moisturiser. What did it matter? 

Wherever I was going

My skin wouldn’t need protection

Started writing goodbye notes

Apologies

Not good enough

Not strong enough

But this was a month ago

Always the quotidian asserts itself.

I cut my toenails today.

And one day I will be free.