I’m not sure. I want to know. It’s been done before, by our Second-wave grandmothers, by our First-wave great and great grandmothers, by our moms, by ourselves. How do we start it up again? How do we put an end to the vile pornulation of an already sexist world? Does it really need to get worse before it gets better? Do women need to be shown in the worst way how much men hate us? From the obvious and extreme hate of murder and rape, to the subtle hate of invalidation and invisibility. There’s already so much misogyny in the world – how much more do we need, collectively, before we rise up?
During the sixties the Women’s Liberation movement forged full steam ahead, making great headway. I don’t think many younger women of today quite realize how bad things were, how marginalized and infantilized women were. We are objectified still, of course. But we can wear pants to the office without causing a stir. We can be doctors and lawyers and judges, without too much blinking. In movies and tv we kick ass on a fairly regular basis – however we are always sexualized when we do so. We still need rescuing most of the time, and still mostly serve as plot points and reflections of the main male characters. Two steps forward and one step back, as they say.
But thinking of the ¾ of a million women and girls trafficked into sexual slavery every year, the degree to which violent and degrading porn has become common place, the degree to which it can be difficult to watch a drama or romantic comedy (!) without a rape or a rape-joke, the degree to which blatant sexism is spouting from the mouths of so many tv hosts and journalists (so called), the degree to which women’s sexual debasement has become so commonplace, so regular in our heterosexual (and yes, lesbian) sex lives that we barely blink to think of it.
Our rights are whittled away, and we do nothing. We complain, some of us. Sometimes to the perps, sometimes just to each other. How do we march in the streets again, en mass? Oh wait, we did, not that long ago, didn’t we? Reports of a million women and men, marching around that lake in Washington DC. A million! How did the newspapers report it? Did they report it? Was it front page news and did they talk about it for days? Or was it a small blurb somewhere? From what I recall, that was a record-sized march, too. A million person march. Literally. But how many remember?
Maybe the better question is “how many care?”
I want a revolution. I want it so bad I can barely think of anything else. But I despair that it will happen in my lifetime. I barely have the energy and time to write, let along organize and/or participate in a revolution. But I must. I must do something. We must do something. Breathing is getting harder.
But how to begin?