And I just want to add that it doesn’t matter where you are, be it school, home, a party at a friend’s house, work, a relative’s house, a restaurant, a hotel, etc., etc. I don’t know how many fucking times I’ve had to smile and nod when some creep calls me honey or babe or sweetie when actually I want to rip him a new one.
I was talking to a white cishet male friend of mine the other day about why he is into boxing, and I consider him to be one of the better white cishet males I know in that he actually listens when I talk and I mean really listens, but yeah it’s a pretty low bar we’re talking about and it’s still like he needs me to explain everything to him. Anyway, he made this particular comment about how he uses boxing to get out his aggression, about how it’s a way that you can fight but still be respectful, about the rules of the ring and not going after anyone when they’re down. About how perhaps it was something that I couldn’t understand because, and he doesn’t mean this in a sexist way, but there are hormonal differences between men and women and sometimes men just need to fight their extra energy out.
Oh to be a white dude and have energy to spare, what is that even like. At the time I think I said something scientific like I think we’re far from a total understanding of how hormones work and how much gender roles are actually a societal construct, etc, but what I wish I would’ve said is just the bare bones truth. The truth is that I’ve never had to look for a fight a single day of my life. My opponent does not respect me, he will not confine his challenges to some kind of prearranged time or place. He is everywhere and always. He is with me when I put my clothes on in the morning and when I take them off at night. He has shaped himself to be carried always in my body even when I feel I have pushed out all the air in my lungs until I am hollowed out completely. Even when I am unrecognizable to myself, he is watching me and demanding that I be something worth him looking at. And sometimes I am honestly so tired that I can’t even hate him, I can just endure him, and I think that’s the worst feeling of all.
And I’m not saying that because that makes me special or particularly targeted, quite the opposite. I’d say as a white woman I’ve been sheltered as fuck and even then playing this game on the easy setting means I’ve been raped, stalked, abused, degraded and ignored and that’s still all above average because as a white woman I have a much better chance that someone (specifically a white male in power) will give a shit enough to maybe listen to me and do something about it. I am allowed, occasionally, to appear angry. But not too occasionally and not too angry, mind.
Wouldn’t want to ruin my pretty face.