This weekend, women the world over marched to show that they were not going to let their rights be taken from them. And although I was unable to attend, I felt so energised by following the story of connection evolve during the course of the day. And then the very next day, I found this in the bowls of the internet, otherwise known as Facebook.
At first I didn’t even understand what it meant. This “joke” was so far out of what I know, so far out of my comfort zone and definitely so far out of what I consider appropriately rude in jokes, that it took me about a minute to realise the “joke” is about gagging a protester. Although the text itself in no explicit way refers to rape, the comments certainly did.
I admit, I was shocked and angered. I know the person who put it online would not rape someone and definitely not gag someone just for saying no. But the fact that this in so many circles is considered funny – and me being without humour for not appreciating it – made me realise AGAIN, how much there still is to be done in the field of women’s right – as if Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. wasn’t enough to make me realise that.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the immense task – come on, if even here in the Netherlands we do not fully understand rape-culture, there is more to be done than people will admit to – I decided to go for a run in the woods. Well park really, but it was outdoors anyway.
I got my legs moving, my heart pumping and my lungs working hard. The ground was dusted in white, the trees stark against the bluest of blue skies. As my pace quickened, my mind slowed. I felt good, capable, strong. Even if I had no control over the world around me – and never will – I have control over my legs. And my own actions. I have control over what kind of conversations I am willing to engage in. What battles to chose and which to ignore.
I ran home, happy in my body, my mind, my heart and my soul. And as if the universe wanted to make sure my realisation stuck – which by the way, I don’t believe in – a tram covered in advertising for plastic surgery, displaying only female body-parts, passes me. As if society is trying to tell me I am wrong.
That it doesn’t matter how I think I feel. That I should only be happy when my body is one very narrow definition of perfect and my mouth is hut. Duct-taped over as a “joke”.
I am certain now, that I found a truth. That the resolution I made last fall is still relevant. I need to learn more about feminism if I am to deal with this kind of shit on a daily basis. Because as the beautiful poem goes:
“You are enough.
You are so enough.
It is unbelievable
how enough you are.”
Even if society is telling you otherwise!