It’s International Women’s Day…but all I have are questions and recollections.
- Why would anyone notice I have been tone policed when women are being murdered as they flee violence?
- Do political leaders care about when I was stalked by a man with a psychiatric illness (a year after my classmate was murdered) when they continue defunding mental health initiatives?
- Are business leaders still congratulating themselves on shattering glass ceilings, because all I heard was how ties make men powerful?
- Can you hear me? Because I feel like I have existed in an echo chamber, ideas ignored except when they are repeated by others.
- I could explain my mixed emotions about this day. But will it be explained back to me, just like how my job was explained to me by someone who has never worked in the industry?
- I could try eliciting sympathy but it doesn’t solve problems. It didn’t work when emergency services dismissed my call for an ambulance, because it was ‘woman pain’. I almost lost an organ and required immediate surgery.
- I didn’t sign up to be a moral police officer, but it would be nice if men stop opining on celebrations of women’s achievements with ‘jokes’.
- What was I guilty of, when as a I teen, I was followed home after a game for wearing a netball skirt?
- I didn’t want to explain to a hospital nurse that no my kids weren’t visiting as they are non-existent.
- Can academics cease telling me my education was less important than my sacred ability to give birth?
- It’s wearying, being told to smile, and not to eat, and having to grip my keys tight in my fist walking in the dark.
- Don’t @ me about how feminism is over. It reminds me how I didn’t want to be told to be a secretary or I haven’t got the job, because I am a woman.
- I wonder when I can trust my fiction could be published under my own name.
- I try standing out, but in queues and on the street, I am deemed harmless enough to be bumped into and walked through.
- We all know magazines, social media, news, blogs, panel shows, talk back radio, and the very atmosphere tell me my body, my skin, my hair, my face, my background, my clothing, my height, my income, what I do or don’t own, my talents, and abilities are too everything, and never, ever enough. Don’t we?
There is much to celebrate and consolidate. We do commemorate the achievement of suffragettes, and the work of individual women in their fields. We should recognise the survival and courage of the women around us, and rediscover our legacies.
But today I’m tired.