Here’s the thing: I should have gone to London today to march with the sisterhood. Here’s the other thing: I didn’t.
I didn’t for a number of reasons, all of which sound a bit pathetic when typed down, but when you bundle them up and experience them all in one go, are enough to keep me in my bed for the majority of the day (barring the part where I had to walk the dog briefly for the purposes of respecting animal rights… oh and buy chocolate).
So I’ve kept abreast of events (pun intended) on Twitter and the news and I can see that women (and men) are turning out all over the world with banners and placards and a whole lot to say about women and Trump, and women and Trump. And, you know, I am with them in spirit.
And this is a spirit that is seriously weighted down this day. I have to get something finished, it’s well overdue. The reason it’s not finished is because I feel both triggered and oppressed by the patriarchy who are in charge of the thing I’m doing that’s overdue. Like most of the patriarchy, I suspect, they would be completely horrified to hear that this is the case. They would not, I suspect, recognise themselves in my experience of them at all. My experiences would be dismissed and the patriarchy would reinforce itself and its view of the world, as it so often does that it doesn’t even notice when it’s pointed out.
As a woman in the world, I know how it is not to have power. I know how exhausting it is to tread the line to being heard and being judged as not worth listening to. As a mother I know the balancing act in society: be a good mother BUT don’t let get in the way of the world’s plans. As someone with a mental health diagnosis, I know how dangerous it is to be a mother, and a woman, an employee, and to stay sane. I know how risky it is to mention any of the above in public to a world that wants its women one way only.
As the parent of girls I watch my daughters try to navigate their way through a society saturated in manipulated images and false expectations and slews of advertising designed to get them feeling the lack of themselves and their worlds as soon possible. As the partner to a black man I watch his own oppression in the world, that he has internalised to the point of oppressing himself without even noticing.
So, yes, today patriarchy, I should have marched, but you won that battle.
As for the war? I’m already preparing the ground.