Sunday, January 5, 2014

On being constantly held back

One evening, not so long ago, I passed a girl I had gone to high school with in the street. She was in conversation with another girl and couldn't dedicate much time to reading me as a series of symbols and signs, however I could tell her subconscious was chewing upon my 'Feminist' shirt. I could tell she had many unresolved questions about what feminism could mean for her. She had been willing to assume new levels of authority and responsibility but she had been denied her chance to rise - this much I could tell in the dim lighting. I said Hello, and she said "I thought you looked familiar" but she had passed by already, before we had a chance to establish a dialogue on anything related to feminism. She reminded me of my own struggles with the system - constantly trying to push forward, create a new space of dignity and respect for myself, and being constantly knocked back. We had a moment of mutual empathy. And then the night swallowed her up.

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My favourite film of 2013 was Philomena. It stayed with me for days afterwards due to its magnificently drawn characters.

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I figured it out: When I was in those Bulgarian taxis I was accustomed to equating a certain level of misogyny with a rapacious attitude, which led me to believe that I was in danger although I most likely wasn't. I was overwhelmed by the degree of hatred those men evinced, and catastrophised. 

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Men's Rights Activists demonstrate that they have no empathy for the feminist struggle for equality at all. They are too selfishly obsessed with their own sense of disempowerment, which they attribute to the growing power of women. I've spent too much time trying to puzzle out the value of their arguments - value that isn't there. I would do best to focus on my own staunchly feminist narratives.

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