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Ask me again why I need feminism


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September 15

September 15, 3:21pm

a man sits next to me
on the bus

turns to me
touches my bare chest

he says,
I like your necklace

I was asking for it because I wore a low top and a shiny necklace

September 15, 9:40pm

a man follows me up
Main street
for several blocks

I deck into IGA market
for solace

I was asking for it because it was late at night and I was alone

– – –

Ask me again,

and again,

and again…

why I need feminism

– – –

maybe just listen –

Because all I could hear on September 15 was the sound of fear pounding through my chest – bare – because the days are warm and I’m wearing a tshirt.

The sound of my fear operates at different volumes everyday but no matter how quiet, how low the frequency, the fear is always there – tremoring, shivering, guiding my navigation in this world. I know this because I live in my body.

That fear translates into anxiety that permeates much of my waking and dream world.

Still I continue to dream, with love and (a)waking hopefulness. To stay awake so people are awake with me.

 

Some days, I can’t bring myself to leave my home. You can relate.

Some days, just being out in the world takes so much out of me as I pleasantly chat with my favourite baristas, grocery clerks, the man with the kind eyes at the till, the elderly woman who is slowly becoming invisible but trying her damn hardest to be seen, the strangers I connect with because I am so full of love to give. To see you.

I never blame any of them.

 

But we blame the victims and the survivors and the weak and the weak, and the poor, and the weak and we blame the empowered and the self-serving but we never blame the patriarchy, no.

 

maybe just listen –

Because when I share these stories they are rooted in my reality – and the many lived realities of my friends. We know this because we live inside our bodies.

maybe just listen –

men experience violence

queer, trans*, racialized and the many of us who are differently abled

 

Yet we blame the victims and the survivors and the weak and the weak, and the poor, and the weak and we blame the empowered and the self-serving but we never blame the patriarchy, no.

 

I dream and stay awake to change the system.

To be present with you is a gift, so we can change the system together. I can only hope, that our operating systems are compatible.

 

Please hold my hand, are you with me now?

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