Another handout, another day, a list of focus points with everything properly labelled so we can takes notes just so. The list stretches out, the bottom three points reading “Economy, Heritage and the Role of Women” together, graciously given half a page.
I start scribbling and I don’t stop. I watch as titles and sub-titles are knocked astray by a line of text that has become so much more than a note to be revised and incorporated into summaries.
Women carry the world, their shoulders heaving. They work and work and work. They are starved, raped, caged and abused. The world treats us with a massive yawn.
Even we, the feminists who say women are human. We who scream those words until our throats bleed. A rape here, an honour killing there, we take notes and sigh. A couple tears fall, making the words “oppression”, “patriarchy” and “humanity” indecipherable, except we know them so well, having written them so many times before. Women’s pain has become the norm.
So we scream into the wind as people edge away. Women’s suffering is just background noise, context. Patriarchy is a dominant paradigm, a universal value, isn’t it? So let us talk about how characters in texts were raped or not, because they liked it anyway. Let’s pretend that its open for argument, as rape is just a word, and words have no meaning. The fact that the movie was directed by a man, produced by a man for men has no relevance. The suffering of women becomes background static.
We can marvel (marvel together) at the technical efficiency of the patriarchy. It turns the volume of our screams down until we are mute. We are old movies, our mouths opening and closing on old televisions. People wander past the Antique Shop, barely stopping to marvel. The noisy advertisements draw them in; our image is sold as we are sold. Objects, defined by men for men.
The Role of Women, the Role of Feminists.
Our role. Our role is simple really, do most world labour for a fraction of world pay. Not only that, do the boring, repetitive bits of the world labour. Sweep the shit and blood. Then pretty yourself up and think of England as you look up at the iron bars of your cage. Stay in poverty; raise the children and sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.
I will not offer up my sisters on the altar of patriarchy. No more. They are my sisters and I will scream our humanity until my throat evaporates entirely.