I have often told the story of meeting my husband and telling him I didn't have a temper. That little piece of un-self-knowing is just about 16 years old now, since tomorrow is our 15th anniversary.
Of course, it was not true, and the process of finding that out was not always easy.
Fast forward to the present: when I daily become more and more enraged by things in the news about what I didn't know to call "rape culture." I'm starting to be afraid I'm going to explode with rage. My repressed temper is making up for lost time.
Why is it okay for men to comment on my appearance?
Why did I grow up knowing that "a key can be a weapon"?
Why did I accept advances from men that I didn't want to, because "otherwise he won't like me"?
Why did I brush off catcalls and rude remarks and anonymous touching in subway cars?
Well...because..."that's just what happens."
To girls, to women. To me.
That's how life is.
But, WHY the HELL is that okay? Why did I have to get to be 49 years old, and the world to be the age it is, for us to realize that it's not?
The experiences I have had are very minor compared to some.
Rape, kidnapping, molestation.
The murders in Santa Barbara last week.
Kidnapped Nigerian girls.
Girls who can't go to school when they have their periods.
The Sudanese woman forced to give birth in chains, in prison. In prison for marrying a Christian.
The Pakistani woman who was stoned to death by her family for marrying her husband. Who then admitted he had murdered his first wife to marry the second.
Because, "That's just what happens."
Well, not any more.
There are any number of much more eloquent blog posts on this topic. Julie Clawson's is the best I have seen.