08 December 2011

in her element

simmering drag by McBeth
simmering drag, a photo by McBeth on Flickr.
By the time we are women, fear is as familiar to us as air. It is our element. We live in it, we inhale it, we exhale it, and most of the time we do not even notice it. Instead of "I am afraid," we say, "I don't want to," or "I don't know how," or "I can't".

-- Andrea Dworkin

1 comment:

orionoir said...

wow, i didn't know you had a blog: what a fool i must be.

as for the quote re fear, it speaks to me, perhaps accidentally, most of all because i've not yet come to terms with my fears for the safety of my oldest daughter.

as you may know, she's no shrinking violet... she's always been the strongest rower on whatever boat she's been on, she sets all-time records for whatever metric her coaches devise. she resents my cautions against walking city streets alone, says it makes her feel frail.

i'm old-time sexist at my core: boys are meant to be bloodied, it builds character... girls, though, exist on rape's precipice, always, whether they know it or not.

here's my self-defense mess kit: kick the knee, kick it again, kick it again, get the hell out of there. it's based on what i'd like least were i to accost a girl... balls and eyes are all fine and good, but nothing hurts worse than a shattered knee.

as for whether this all means she is helpless and afraid, i'd say not. she still plans to solo the appalachian trail end to end, she still walks wherever she pleases. i'm just hoping against hope this will all end up as a good would-be rapist mutilation story, the kind of dandy day brightener all dads need.

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