Yesterday, in the parking lot of a shopping complex, I offered to carry a 10 kg bag of detergent for an old lady who was struggling to get it out of the shopping cart. As I was helping, her husband (whom I had not previously seen) came running towards us, she had just been thanking me and talking about when she was young and could bring in an entire weeks worth of vegetables back home on her back when he interrupted and said he could handle it.
I said I was happy to help but he was determined to do it myself so I let it be and just as I was excusing myself he asked remarked, “Oh are you a body builder? Normally it’s men who offer to carry them heavy stuff and not women.”
He laughed as if he had made a very funny joke and honestly I am still waiting to get it but..he was a really old man, I had had a long day so I just explained I wasn’t a body builder, said goodbye and went back to my car.
Since then though I’ve felt like I did when I was eleven and all these things were happening to my body and I had all these questions to ask but there’s no god for women. There’s no god who is able to answer for all these things that make no sense.
Like how did I threaten a man by helping his wife? Why did he think I needed to be a body builder to match the strength of any man? And on that note, how is it that I can work out for hours and nothing will happen, but I can sprain my wrist (and sometimes shoulder) while trying to get out of a sports bra?
I want a goddess. I want a reliable fucking entity to ask these questions to and I want answers and I don’t want the answers to be a subjective interpretation that bounces off my opinions, I want answers to these mad things.
I want to know how it is possible that multiple grown men have giggled at me when I used the term period and multiples growl women have whispered for tampons in my ears as if sharing state secrets with me! How is it possible that I have been called inappropriate for saying the word uterus in a public space in a routine conversation?
I want someone to answer these questions.
I want someone to explain to me how I can know with absolute confidence that I do not want a child, until I am pregnant and then I have to fight myself to make the choice I have always known was the one I make. How is that I can have a mind of my own and fight for its autonomy but also biology so strong that it makes my sanity less reliable? Why is it that I know to be offended when someone calls me a function of my biological needs but I know to understand it when I feel like that? How is it that I can’t say I had an abortion without making a political statement about it? Why am I constantly being made to justify my choices?
I want someone to explain why my career choices and endeavours are often casual jokes to men I meet in yet another role I am cast in. I want to know why I have to fight to be seen and when I do I am called loud, arrogant and bossy. I want to know why I am taken more seriously by women around me since I became wife. I want to know why I was taken less seriously before. I want to know how the fuck I somehow made a legal decision on a practical and somewhat sentimental basis that led to the creation of an identity for me that I had not even begun to consider.
I want someone to be answerable to me. To us.
Someone needs to tell me why I can eat 300 calories and put on 4 kgs. I need someone to explain why the fuck I must go through this insane intensity of emotional variation on the basis of hormonal variation and I must do it month after month forever and some fuckwit will tell me I should see the beauty of being a woman in bleeding out and shoving cylinderical cotton bullets into my vagina on a monthly basis until I’m chafed and questioning my existence and shoving sweet things in my face. It’s a always a guy who wants me to see the beauty in the physical experience of my womanhood through my period. My ex got legit mad whenever I complained about my period or having cramps. He got mad at me for disrespecting my femaleness. I want someone to explain exactly how I can reject all gender based expectations yet embrace the part of being female I enjoy. I want to know why the fuck it is so hard.
I want someone to answer for that.
I want someone to explain why I am stronger when I have suffered and endured pain? Why I am I prettier when I am thin? Why do I paint my lips red and hate that I do it but like that it looks pretty and worry that I may be representing as someone who believes women need to do this?
I need a fucking god.
But I only have feminism. It’s all I have in this regard. It’s the only place I’ve found answers that are remotely reliable. It’s where I learnt to ask my questions better. It’s how I met people who were asking the same questions as I am. Honestly I am amazed I am constantly made to justify my feminism. Shouldn’t you justify your lack of it?