(1) When we bought our first house we put a black lives matter sign in the dirt of the front lawn. We tucked three signs behind the shed in back for when the first was stolen. The neighbors were nice. They’d wave when you walked by and pretend to have some sense of what goes on in your life. But we lived on a busy street in a big city with small ideas.
(2) There was an article by a man who wrote under a women’s name for a week. He realized with dismay just how poorly women are treated. He had known instinctively, with such primordial knowledge, the “women’s struggle.” Of course he knew. It was like a fun piece of trivia but it made him sound irreverent. Did you know that a woman is assaulted every 90 seconds? It just wasn’t revolutionary until he too had experienced it first hand.
I supposed this should have bothered me, but lately things are blending together, fact and fiction. A man can write an article about how women don’t get treated fairly and receive twice as much compensation for it, but it’s just really good writing. He gets twice as much recognition, the incredible father who brings his child to school just once. We can’t say these things anymore. Not without saying not all men. Not without citing sources. (a) Men aren’t awarded custody as often as women are (b) Women are getting pregnant on purpose(!!!!) Hear the patriarchy’s latest reasonable discontent.
The chant of our generation can be heard in the quiet screams of women who no longer know how to gauge their pain.
(3) In my grandfathers desk is a stack of letters he wrote to his children and halfway down is a description of gender inequality he wrote in the 70s. He wrote it in pencil on yellow legal pad and it’s so faded I can barely read it. I want to wrap myself in the good things people say like armor and wear them about. I think these good people have always existed. They are the pennies we throw in fountains. They just sit there, they just shimmer. Other days I want to wrap myself in the pain and the suffering like barbed wire. I want to walk through the city with the blood of their words dripping down my legs in silent protest.