Wednesday, May 3, 2017

are we there yet?

hello world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about women lately.
About us.
About my mom.
And my grandmother…

I’ve been thinking about how far we’ve come
and how far we still have to go.

Since Trump became POTUS,
I’ve become far more cynical,
far less trusting,
far more awake,
far more determined
to take my place in this world
and to speak against injustice.
I’ve also become more angry.
But it’s a good kind of anger.
(yes, there is such a thing).
Years ago, in my early 20’s,
I bought myself a car -
an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
Kinda like this one.
Does this look like the kind of car
a young, 5' woman
would want to drive?
No. I didn't think so either.
I was so proud of the fact
that I was making my own payments
and that eventually,
the car would be mine.
But more than anything,
I knew my dad would love the car,
so in reality - I bought the car partly to please him.

We had an outdoor gathering that summer,
and after I had parked the car there,
with my then boyfriend in the passenger seat,
I stepped out of the car,
and heard an older woman there ask me:

“why are you driving instead of your boyfriend?”

The question sounded so strange to me.

Why is he not driving?

Um, maybe because it’s MY FUCKING CAR?
(I didn't actually say this, but I thought it)

Why would I NOT be driving my own car?

She was from a generation of women
who gave their husbands the wheel
in more ways than one,
so seeing a man in the passenger seat
and a woman driving
made no sense to her.

She was from a generation of women
who let their husbands take charge
and they (the women) were expected
to sit quietly on the sidelines.
This whole Trump thing got me thinking
about how often women are dismissed
as ‘less important’ than men.
It got me thinking about how often
so many of us put up and shut up
rather than stand up and speak out.

It got me thinking about how often
I had to fend off comments of a sexual nature
from my “bosses” in the workplace
when I was in my early 20’s.

It got me thinking about why so many women
keep rape to themselves.
Why would they say anything,
when history has shown,
time and time again,
that the victim becomes the accused,
because she was wearing a skimpy skirt,
or because she drank too much,
or because she was asking for it,
and the accused is so often set free?
Then I saw the movie Maudie in theatres
a few weekends ago, and again,
I thought about how many women
had learned to stand in the shadows
of their husbands -
because they were taught to believe
that they belonged there.

They were taught to believe
that they themselves had no right
to stand in their own light.
And how this feeling of being treated
as less than another
gave birth to stronger women,

with soaring spirits,

and determined minds,

and a relentless and persistent
quest for truth and fairness.

This whole Trump thing has made me 
more of a feminist than ever before.

In a good way. :)
This is my grandmother (mom's mother).
Eva Doiron.
A colored pencil drawing I did of her years ago.

She raised 13 children
while she kept the home
and baked bread & cookies early in the morning.
She loved conversation and politics.
She may have dreamed of a different life,
but this is the one she lived.

And she did so with a smile on her face
and lots of love in her heart,
especially for children and the poor.

I'm willing to bet it wasn't always easy for her either.

And on that note, I'll leave you
with the trailer for another strong woman:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post Pualine. Ditto to all that you've said and No, we're NOT there yet, BUT we are moving in the right direction if we keep the dialogue open and the spirit strong.
    Just love gazing at your clouds picture.
    Hope to watch Maudie one day soon.
    Hugs xx