Tuesday, 9 October 2018

With RESPECT...#metoo #nomore #enough

I act occasionally...I am part of this wonderful piece of work called The Vagina Monologues. These are stories of pain, humiliation and mutilation, told in a non threatening way. I am proud to be associated with it, but I do wish I didn't have to call it a "wonderful piece of work". How can these stories, true of almost all women be "wonderful"? And I wish I could call it a "wonderful piece of fiction"...which unfortunately it is not and never will be! Here's the thing we believe, silence equals death! And much as I wish we did not need a #metoo movement, here it is! We are finally speaking out. We are finally choosing to live and be live, once more...

Last night, when the story about our favourite #sanskari broke, it shook me. I have no idea why. I've never met him, only seen him on TV, and yet, I wanted to claw his eyes out for doing what he did! What all these wolves did... My first thought was, "I'm lucky! I haven't faced this in all my years on earth." And that was my moment of truth! I'm lucky? To not have been pawed and assaulted? Should that not be the norm? Should we not roam free? Is it not our basic right? WTF? When did we equate basic respect with luck? I'm sick to my stomach!

All our lives, we women, befriend women, bond with them over abuse - sexual, physical, emotional, financial...that is what most of our friendships are based on. Not on football and boys nights out but on pain, held hands, tears shed in the night, often calling each other for support when actually we should be nurturing the universe! And yet, we are broken regularly by those who have forgotten that we are the creators...hell! We have forgotten that we are the creators. And it's time to write a new story!

But before we do that, let's address the poor men who are frightened! Yes! You need to be! You know what you took away not just from us but yourselves too? You took away trust, romance, love, faith, the simple art of flirting, the mating dance, the teasing, the joy! You chipped away at all of this until we began to fear you. "Oh he's flirting with me. He must have an agenda." "He's too charming. He's going to be a wolf." "He's coming on too strong...trying to buy me a drink..." the list is endless. You killed it for yourselves too. It's come to a point where we don't trust the other gender. Romance is turning contractual and relationships are mired in absolute lack of trust. We look at our own fathers, husbands, brothers and sons and wonder if they could do it too. We look at our mothers, sisters, friends and daughters and wonder if they went through it too! Wonderful! What a wonderful world we have created for ourselves.

As for the women who are finally finding the courage to speak...just listen! Just listen to their stories. They don't want sympathy, they don't want to be seen as victims, want publicity or even justice (what justice can there be after a lifetime of pain?) They have chosen to speak because it's cathartic, they need to be heard, but above all they need RESPECT! It's not easy to talk about pain. It's not fun and it's not getting anyone awards! So shut up and listen...with RESPECT!

Here's a story for the women speaking out...my maid was assaulted by her ex employer. She went to the cops. And they came. The investigation was perfunctory at best, but the man's wife and 14 year old son were called to the police station. They knew what he had done! His son knows that his father was in the lock up for attempted rape. She will never get justice for what happened, but he can't parade as a respectable man anymore. The ones who know him, know him for what he is. He has no respect, this rich, educated man. She does. She has RESPECT from everyone for speaking out. So no matter how small vour voice or how few it reaches, speak where it counts. Then speak to people who can help in the healing process. Go into therapy if you can afford it (we know most of us can't). Reclaim your life and live!

And remember, they may have attacked you, but they cannot break you! Your honour, your respect and your reality lies not in your vagina but deep within you! Teach this to your daughters and teach this to your sons.

Go ahead and speak because the world is listening...with RESPECT!

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