Look, it’s not easy.
There’s a sort of shame that escapes through your mouth when your upper teeth lightly rasps your lower lip and then the f sound is liberated so faintly that it could have been mistaken for a sigh.
Yes, I’m shy, but why does it feel like I’m confessing a crime?
In your head it all makes sense, oh yes, it does indeed, but you know your throat will tighten when you’ll start to explain yourself. “Well, I wasn’t sure before, but I think that’s what I am”.
Then there’s this look on your listener’s face and the first question explodes in front of your non-surprised self, because you knew this was coming:
“If feminists want to have the same rights as men, why does it only refer to one gender?” –An Example, by Someone Who Could’ve Been Everyone Else, 2017.
You debate whether explaining why with examples and references and excitement and what it means to you or giving the generic answer you’ve tailored for these kind of situations, because you don’t want to sound too pedantic or too emotional. You don’t want to be that feminist who bores the audience and makes a fool of herself. That’s too much.
But is it, really? Too much?
Sometimes I wonder if some people ever listen or if they have their eyes open at all. I wonder, I wonder and then I get pissed off. At them, at me. Because maybe I could’ve explained myself better. Maybe I could’ve make them comprehend how urgently we need to change our minds. Maybe I’m the one who is still clueless after all.
Thanks to this journey, I’ve learnt to accept that it will take a long time. I’ve started realizing how hard it is to realize, how many contradictions live inside our well-formed patriarchal brains, and all the times we have been the ones to put ourselves down, because that’s what felt normal and correct to do. I’ve understood that all of us –women and men and all that’s in-between– have drank from the same poisoned well that hasn’t quite quenched our thirst, but still, our arms are fiercely chained.
To all of my friends, family members and acquaintances that have ever told me things like “I think a lot of girls consider themselves feminist because nowadays that’s trendy” or “I agree with feminism, but what about the feminazis?” or “Feminism is useless in the present time”: I like you, but it breaks my heart.
To myself: What today is a whisper, tomorrow will be the echo of an avalanche.