From Reflection to Despair
Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day, today we buried a family murdered by someone who thought that they were entitled to control.
This tragedy has touched me immensely, in no small part to the fact my children are of similar ages to those buried today.
Having also just finished reading, see what you made me do by Jess Hill, I feel torn between anger and despair.
Women are striving for equality, yet the reality is we need to strive to be believed.
We are not believed when we say we are ill, our symptoms don’t match those of the typical human, or we are too hysterical it must be in our heads, or we are not hysterical enough, it can’t hurt enough so can’t be serious.
We are not believed when we say our lives are in danger or that of our children, we are trying to control or create a distance from our partners.
We are not believed in board rooms when we put our opinion forward or we may not be believed when we say, “yes, I am in the right room and no I won’t make your tea”.
We are not believed when we put forward an alternative idea, that breaks from convention, and we say maybe we should go back to the drawing board.
We are not believed when we say the pay gap is not our fault, that is the product of a system that is designed not to fit into our complex lives.
We are not believed when we say that words do hurt us and affect our self-esteem, we are told to toughen up or ignore it.
We are not believed when we cry for help, when we say we have no where else to go or no-one else to turn to.
We are not believed when we say that it is safer for us to stay than it is to leave.
We are not believed when we say we are exhausted.
We are not believed when we say we don’t want children.
The day is darkest before the dawn, let us hope that is the truth today and that we will finally confront a tragedy that is bigger than terrorism, and coronavirus and everything else that is distracting us from the fact that we need to believe women when they ask for help.
RIP – Hannah Clarke, Aaliyah, Lainanah and Trey.