I am no victim. I was born into privilege with a capital “P”. My parents worked hard to keep me in school, got lucky and made enough money to move us up into the suburbs and then back into the city. My high school had no metal detectors.
I don’t know what it feels like to experience sexism. It is the 21ST CENTURY after all. I am free, I am living in a merit based demo-CRASS-y.
“You know, you’re just not like a real girl.”
“It’s just you don’t laugh at my jokes like other girls.”
I walk away because I’m too polite to tell him that he isn’t funny.
But still, I am no victim. I don’t deserve pity. The revolution is over, race and class wars only happen to “others” not to me.
“You do know that you got in because the PI always likes to have a pretty girl around in the lab.”
I put my head down and keep doing my work because I don’t want to cry in front of him.
I can’t ignore the fact that things are changing around me. As I age my rose colored corneas are bleaching. All around me there is hate and misery, but I have a magical power to make it go away. I click my mouse and the browser closes. Viola. The sun is shining again.
See, I am no victim. I looked at my choices and I made it.
I’m failing (flailing).
“I’m sorry, I just can’t go forward in this relationship.” He walks out the door.
I go to people for comfort.
“Well, what did you expect when you took that job? Your ambition cost you your relationship.”
I reinvent myself. I laugh too loudly, I drink too much and work until the sun rises because I can’t sleep anymore. Every morning I stare at the bottle of antidepressants in my drawer and I think not today, I am strong today. I don’t need YOUR help.
I am no victim. I’m not even a survivor.
I look at the numbers on the screen and the computer blares mediocrity. I look away.
I confess to a stranger that I feel that I’ve ruined my second chance at life. She laughs and says “Honey, forget second or even third chances. I’ve had plenty. Its not that easy. You just have to keep trying.”
I try and try and maybe even start to succeed some of the time. I squirrel away what little power I gain through the work and machinations and eventually get enough to walk out on that job with my head held high to do something new, better. I am pride. I am going to medical school.
My parents look at me with concern.
“But when will you get married and have kids?” they ask.
“I’m not sure. I’m happy the way I am, so I guess those things will come in time?” I respond.
I am foreign to them. They pick pick pick like a scientist studying an alien form. “But how can you be happy without a man?”
I let them see the tears.
(She’s just too sensitive and emotional)
Here’s an unpopular truth: some girls use sexism to their advantage.
If a guy is going to have a conversation with my breasts he is going to buying me multiple drinks.
I don’t want every night to be a battle. I am a soldier of feminism, an unwilling draftee.