It's the third day of it and I don't know what triggered it. Perhaps an accumulation of patriarchal rights and ownership over and of women. I hesitate to write here as I wait for it to subside. I mean the rage of course. And it hasn't. So here I go. The journal isn't doing it for me so maybe the blog will.
I asked a friend this morning, she's 83 today, does she feel rage? A rage that leaks angry hot tears, a rage that trembles the hands and falters the feet. Yes, she said. Her younger husband, second, love of her life, five years younger, died a few years ago. Some disorder of the blood, the body. they had just bought their Newfoundland home. Had B&B plans, he was a great cook, she a wonderful host. All smashed to bits in a four week hospital stay.
Oh good then, I'm not alone in my rageful week.
My rage is against male ownership of women. Triggered in no small part by what's happening in Iran. A young woman, showing a few stray bits of hair beneath her hijab jailed and killed. The protests are mighty. More women killed for protesting. For not covering their heads properly.
And this all whirled me back to my own adolescence in the fifties and my hair becoming an "occasion of sin" for leering men and boys unless I covered it with a mantilla for mass or confession or hell and damnation retreats or.....Catholic Ireland where women had no voice.
An occasion of sin. I imagine this twisted logic is applied by Iranian men. Women with uncovered heads tempting men who are otherwise pure and unsullied by sinful thoughts.
The Machine of the Patriarchy. Making young girls and women feel dirty and ashamed and the object of unbridled desire from male human animals who can't control their baser instincts, their desire to rape, at the sight of a stray hair on a woman's head. All her fault if she's gang-banged then. She and only she has released the male rampaging raping monster by not covering her head. Only herself to blame.
So I was taught. So I believed. I lived in fear of men having been molested by an old fellah when I was barely six. My fault. I sat on his lap. I released his carnal instincts. Life long trauma submerged until I had therapy in my forties.
Raised like this, objectified because of our sex, women bury their rage. My mother had ulcers in her forties. Ulcers are repressed rage (as many have it). Some exhibit depression, the internal mirror of rage (looking at myself). I knew she was angry for many valid reasons. Because she was a woman with no voice. Except to me. And she died young.
Women are taught, were taught, I speak for myself, not to show anger, not to show discomfort, not to show hurt.
Rage is the best weapon we have. My sheroes are in Iran and other cities now. Protesting loud and long. Not afraid to show the rage.
I am hopeful the rage spills out over the USA for the mid-term elections and the declaration of ownership of women's bodies by their "Supreme" Court. Note quotation marks. That it spills out all over the world to right the grievous wrongs that have been done to all girls and women, second class citizens, victims of a patriarchy intertwined with religions that deem them unworthy of equal status.