Throughout my existence on this platform, I have often put up post such as “leave something positive that happened to you so we can share some good vibes”. I put up many posts like this in 2020 because this year was the year we all needed to remind ourselves of things we are grateful for because all of us have struggled with our own demons and problems in this pandemic. So I had to write this down because I didn’t want you to think I have anything against positivity and looking for reasons to smile. With that being said, let’s get into what I really wanted to discuss here.
I don’t post a lot on #savingme because it gets hard. I no longer live in domestic violence, but talking about it, opening some wounds is still painful and the fact that my brain just decided not to remember a lot of my childhood to protect me (I guess) doesn’t make this easier. I think I have repressed memory, but I am not doctor. Maybe my memory just sucks but I believe that my brain is trying to protect me from those hurtful memories.
Now, let me ask you a question. Why do you expect women to be happy and smiling all the fucking time?!
I am not attacking you directly because I don’t know you but if you ever used the phrase “You are so much prettier when you smile, you should smile more often etc.” I am kind of attacking you. If you ever placed a woman in a situation where she was forced or bullied into smiling and pretending everything is okay, I am kind of attacking you. To try to explain this better to the male audience that might not understand this so much – forcing women to be composed, happy and pretend like everything is perfect all the time is equal to the idea of the “masculine man” being imposed on men where you are expected to be a stereotypical man who should know how to do stuff, lift things, not have feelings or cry ever. You know what I am talking about “the manly man”. Since I am not a man and do not have experience with this, I would like to point out a poem that sums this up nicely: Guante – “Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up'”
Why am I writing about this and linking it to domestic violence and abuse? Let me explain that. Women, and I have seen this on my mother, feel the shame when they go through domestic violence. What will the people say if I call the cops? I am a bad mother because this man is beating my kids. It falls upon me to carry the burden of this domestic violence/abuse without realizing I am the victim. The same thing happens with rape. The victim is shamed into silence and the “women have to be happy” feeds into this fucking problem.
We are expected to play a part in the world and a great part of that role is covering shit up and being happy all the time, giving out this impression of having our life together, having the perfect family, being good cooks, caring for kids and expected to want to be mothers, if I might add (I could write a whole new post about this topic). When we get angry, when we voice our discomfort or just our opinion that doesn’t sit right with other people then we are PMS-ing. “It’s that time of the month”. “Our hormones are doing the talking”. “We will calm down once our period is done”. Stop bullying women into thinking they are crazy when they are unhappy! Stop bullying women into not seeking help when they are abused.
When shit hits the fan, when the cops are on the doorstep, when women walk around with a black eye, when someone is DEAD, when a woman kills herself because she was raped, then we hear the phrase: “We didn’t even suspect something was wrong, she always seemed so happy”. How many times have you heard this from someone or on TV? How many fucking times have you heard this phrase or a variation of this phrase? Why do we need to have women mentally and physically scarred for life or a dead body to realize that there’s something wrong?
When a woman says no, when she pushes you away, when she tells you to stop, when she calls the cops on you and accuses you of abuse, she is not making stuff up and being crazy. She is uncomfortable and scared and this is not the time for women to think they should go easy, not raise their voice or say NO with an uncomfortable, fake smile. You have the right to get angry when someone is invading your personal space and abusing you. You have the right to fight back and seek help. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
This is why I say GIVE WOMEN THEIR RAGE BACK. Give us our anger back and watch us evolve even if it scares some. Just that freedom of being able to experience emotions that society tried to tell us we are not entitled to, will give us also the freedom to speak up about abuse and to fight the oppression.
For anyone dismissing all of this TRUTH that I just wrote as a “feminist rant that makes no sense” and if anyone envisioned me as a man-hating, no-shaving angry female that is fighting a fight that doesn’t exist anymore because “we gave women rights” let me just tell you that 1992. was called the year of the women the same way that 2018. was called the year of the women and despite all of this we are still fighting the same bullshit, the same sexual harassment, women are still fighting harder than men to get into high positions and the same people are still trying to silence us and bully us into submission. Google your facts before you call women angry feminists and trust me that we will write, yell, protest and fight as long as we have to until every woman and every little girl stops being silent about oppression and abuse because “that was the way it has always been and if you speak up, we will shame you into believing it was your fault. now SMILEEEEEE”.
This is not to say that women are never the abusers, but I can only speak from my perspective. I know there are men and boys abused by their mother and/or father or any other person who are scared to speak up because of the “manly man stereotype” or because they go through the same fear and shame mentioned before. I think that abused men and boys are an issue society has to dive into thoroughly because we cannot pretend that it is not happening and telling men to “Man up”. There are stories to be heard from their side and I hope they will speak up as well. If you want to share your experience you can on this platform and you can stay anonymous if it makes you feel safer and better.
#savingme is the community where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not.