Now, I am in the library again. Same floor, same quiet zone. With the same guy sitting right behind me. The only difference is, I’m not the one being disruptive this time. Two black guys on the other row are being loud as fuck and talking about Kim Kardashian’s ass for the past half hour. But has anyone said anything about it? Nope. The guy behind me is quiet as a mouse.
I want to turn around to the guy behind me and say “why don’t you tell them to shut the hell up”. But for all my rebelliousness and anger I can’t. Maybe for fear of backlash I guess. I don’t feel that I’m anywhere near as strong to be able to deflect and fight back if things were to get ugly. Because they probably would. Women should know their place. Even now as I am typing angrily, I am half expecting somebody to hiss “stop typing so loudly!” I long to be like the feminists I read about in my books. Strong, independent, unafraid to scream back and bare their teeth. The ones who stood in front of the white house in peaceful protest against women not being able to vote even as they were being attacked by a crowd of angry men, and who lash out at men on subways that try to cross the line. But I’m not there yet. I’m still learning and gaining my voice. It’s hard when your whole life you have been told to withdraw yourself inward, to not take up too much space, to be quiet.
The dis balance of power is almost tangible here though. The whole floor is being disrupted and nobody makes a peep. A woman held a quiet conversation for ten minutes and she was immediately reprimanded. I’m so tired of this shit. And I’m not trying to make this a racial thing either, but i can’t help but wonder how many forces are truly at play here. Did the boy feel that it was okay to shut me up because he is a white male and I am a minority female? Is he afraid to say something to the other two men because they are black, and black men are stereotyped as being ‘hard’ and aggressive? How far does it go?
Part of me feels wrong to even express myself like this because women aren’t supposed to be angry. We’re supposed to be pretty and sweet and everything nice. But I am a human being and I feel.
Fuck the patriarchy.
Edit: I should clarify, this isn’t so much about whether or not I was right or wrong in talking in the library. This is about the fact that women’s actions get policed way more than mens. And the fact is that we all experience life from our own individual bodies. I, as a woman, have seen and experienced countless times where I wasn’t allowed to do something that a male was even though we were both equally as capable. There will always be those extenuating circumstances that could be the reason why this or that, but honestly, when someone shares with you their experiences it is important to at least try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from a different perspective. If we don’t, how will we ever grow?