Today is March the 8th.
I’m tired of bearing this anger in my heart. I’m old, an antiquity good for the museum. My voice doesn’t carry very far. But I see how women try to survive on a daily basis, how they organize and how they fight to change things. Just watching them tires me out.
But they are right. If we want to change things, we mustn’t give up. A different world is possible, no, it’s necessary!
And I believe with all of my tired heart that the change will come, borne in great part on women’s shoulders.
I often think of an image I saw, showing a young woman carrying a placard, I don’t know in which demonstration, I don’t know in which country. On the placard, she had written:
“I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit !!”
You know, Özgecan’s assassination set off a lot of reactions. Some said we should mark down the date of her death as the first day of Year Zero, and that this kind of thing had to stop now. Well, I read that ten other women have been assassinated since. Some Year Zero! Things don’t go through radical change just like that, from one day to the next…
Today is March 8th. Women go down in the street, they speak, they yell, they holler. The cameras zoom in on them, the mikes record their words, they are center stage in the news.
In one way, I’m glad to see that women take things in hand. In another, I tell myself the March 8th celebration is a bit like a duty. Tonight, the duty will have been accomplished.
What about tomorrow?
There will be another murder, then another… Rapes, abuse, threats…
For all I know there are already victims on this day of March the 8th.
We must go on fighting patriarchy gnawing at the innards of our societies. It feeds on everything that is obscurantist, freedom denying, the nonsense of so-called traditions and religions.
This corroding sap flows through the tree all the way to the tiniest budding leaves and tarnishes them as soon as they open.
I don’t read the articles that talk about violence inflicted on women. I admit it, I don’t read them anymore. There are so many! Every day, they show up. Not one, several, on the front page, in the local news, in the fillers…
Today, I couldn’t avoid the article concerning a young student from Adana. She was filmed by her boyfriend while making love with him. After becoming his ex, the schmuck (excuse me), threatening to put the film on Internet, forced her to sleep with his buddies. Ten men put this young girl through the hell of rape for a year. The counsellor in her school helped her confide and the family lodged a complaint. Some of the rapists were identified and arrested.
And there you have it, while stirring the sugar in my tea this morning, I see the photo of those criminals, set free after their custody: large manly smiles, proud of their exploits, without an ounce of shame!
Because they don’t feel “tainted”. As long as this society won’t change its way of thinking, hasn’t set its judgment in order, the rape victim will continue to be the one considered as “tainted”.
In the meantime, we can celebrate any number of March the 8ths.
Anyway… Whatever you do, don’t pay attention to my lows, to my moments of despair. I, the dean, I’m transitory, but I look at you and I love you. There isn’t only violence to fight against, but also the scorned rights, the liberties put into cages… You have so much to do!
Go on spreading ideas like white pebbles, even tiny ones. Stand shoulder to shoulder, in solidarity with other women, with feminist men, with men who respect humans, no matter what their gender. Don’t let this world become even more rotten than it is already. You can change the course of events on this planet where you live and will continue to live.
Courage my children!
PS : As a gift, one of the coolest photos I saw today, that of another mamie:
“We’ll make a point of wearing minis on purpose !”
Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
En français : “Chronique de Mamie Eyan sur le 8 mars” Cliquez pour lire