06 December 2006

Women Who Speak

A few days ago I got a comment from a seemingly random person (who found my blog through a rare, common music interest: Milosh) and I read her blog and this passage is from her Manifesto entry:

"Last night I was smoking a cigarette outside of a bar. I was leaning against a 6-inch thick, waist-high pole with one foot up against it. A homeless man literally crept toward me. He was finally towering over me, so close that I could almost feel his pulse. I want to be a woman who will say, "Before I give you anything, IF I give you anything, please back up, you're too close to me." Instead I fumbled for anything I could give him [with the exception of money] in order that he be appeased. It ended up being a cigarette that I lit for him in his mouth. A stranger who had been inside the club yelled to me from about 15 feet away, "You all done smoking? You wanna go back inside?" I had to be rescued. That was weak of me. I want to be the woman who speaks. The woman who stands up. The woman who is brave. The woman who tells my old-fashioned 60-year-old co-worker, Thelma, that I am a lesbian when she begins to gay-bash. Who, when asked, "Do you have a boyfriend?" says, "No. I have a girlfriend.'"

Chapter, Chapter

I know what she's saying. Kind of the Ani DiFranco "open your face up and sing" thing. Say what you want, when you want and when people call you "rude" or a "bitch" f em. A motto both my mother and I espouse: Those who mind do not matter; those who matter do not mind.

I had a great "f em" experience a few short weeks ago. A tale I've regaled many folks with, my mother being the least appreciative; Michelle being the most proud!

I live in a less grentrified part of Brooklyn because a) I'm poor b) I'm not into the "hipster" thing. I was walking home from the subway around 10pm about five weeks ago now. I split off from the woman who was walking in front of me because, ironically, I didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable. I walked around the vast fenced in area of the local school and up a 1/4 street (supershort, hidden by trees from Metropolitan and Roebling). I felt someone walking behind me, but I thought it was a woman, so it only half crossed my mind. All of the sudden I saw someone lunge in the shadows and I felt someone trying to rip my purse away from me. Without thinking, I ripped my bag back into my clear possession, and I screamed, "WHAT IN THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!" I was in shock, he, apparently, was too, cause he spun and ran. Which he should have because I was PISSED.

Christina, my point is this: speaking up is a learned behavior. Practice makes perfect and soon you'll be yelling and people and wondering where in the fuck it came from. I can't wait to be 75 and saying (yelling?) exactly what I want when I want. Believe it or not, this is me, still restrained! I know you have it in you. We all do.

Thanks to Cole for introducing me to Hothead. Thanks to Hothead and Dianne DeMassa for being a one stop anger management class.

We are not prey. We choose what, and who, we are every moment of every day. Make a choice of which you are proud.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger ames said...

Damn Susie, good for you. I mean, not "good for you" that such a thing happened, but "good for you" that you stood up for yourself.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger cole said...


we are all speaking our minds with you, christina.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Christina. said...

Susie, you're the shit. Thank you for writing that. Mos def helped me out. And thank you Cole. <3.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger cole said...

i just recalled this really bitching moment i had with a friend many years ago when we lived in monterey.

we were driving down the street and stopped at a red light. we noticed a man cornering a woman in a dark doorway yelling at her. before i could blink, lory yanked the emergency brake, jumped from the car, ran to the woman and asked her if she was ok. if she needed help. the woman passed on lory's chivalry, but it was one of the most amazing things i had witnessed to that point.

i wanted to emulate her courage and conviction. i still aspire to that level of humanity.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Susie said...

I love my friends.

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's my sister, way to kick some ass. I am glad you told that no good mugger off. I am glad that you're okay. Please be careful.


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