Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Tangle of our Narratives

A re-post from Sept 2014 (link at the bottom)

A reminder that the narrative we lay out for girls--to be nice, to be pretty but to also be strong, to make good choices but also to accept responsibility and consequences for mistakes made, to stand up for oneself but to also strive to mend fences of conflict and be forgiving--is reinforced daily. 

This tangle of choices and the heavy judgement that lies upon those whose faces are broadcast publicly creates the system that allows a man like Jian Ghomeshi to walk away from charges he himself does not dispute.

No woman, traumatized or not, is ever far from the snide commentary about illogical emotions that must surely rule over us and, therefore, make us easily dismissed.  

If I struggle to reconcile my intellectual self--the one that rails against the violence I experienced in my youth--to the emotionally stunted girl I often feel remains trapped in me--the one who still believes I must have done something to warrant it, that I could have fixed things, if I were thinner, prettier, and more obedient, things surely would have been different--it is because society still confuses and conflates my narrative arc. I can not be all the things and yet the expectation is this very thing we can not be.

It is a false dichotomy to say that we control the narratives of our lives when it is perpetuated around and against us, a death of a thousand cuts.The fault of my trauma does not lie with me. If I am to survive this breath and the next, in my heart I must convince myself that this is true.

If clear video footage of a man harming a woman is still met with doubt and scepticism, what good is anyone's word?

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