Clearly I am subjective, but then every single individual is. My research is mainly qualitative, and it supports conclusions derived from interpretation and context. How then, might it be considered credible? Here are some points to debate.
We talk a lot about sexual objectification but rarely look at the bigger picture. An object exists to serve a purpose and in many instances we are objectified in order to serve society. If I could not be the obedient girl, if I could not pay my own way, if I was not a good mother… if I wasn’t another brick in the wall, then I was redundant, useless to the world.
I googled ‘famous people who have borderline’ but I shouldn’t have. Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears. All touted as hysterical, unstable women. The Hollywood tropes were if possible, worse. Single white females with fatal attractions. Grossly misleading.
The shell which included social etiquette, consideration and interest in the outer world is broken. I feel a desperate need to be intensely focused on being sad and I resent any attempt to pull me out of my business of being so. Still, I will go through the motions, but I will not be happy. I do not want to be happy because that is just another attempt to invalidate what I’m feeling.
Gone are the days when I positively affirmed every day in the shower, and shared uplifting memes. Now I see these past behaviours as tragic extent of mine and others’ unawareness. I thought if I changed my mindset and concentrated on dismissing the negative and amplifying positive activism, that the world I wanted would resettle itself with my aligned actions.
There’s a relief that comes with such a diagnosis. But also a glimpse of the fatality that living in our society provides. It’s a label which means you can be put in the box, ‘no longer of any use to society’. And the purpose of getting well is to be of use to society because the machine, the machine must be fed.
Trump wants to make America great again, Theresa May wants to take Britain out of Europe. What they mean is that they want to return to a simpler more ignorant time, one where white people could exploit others–be parasites–without accountability. Abort the awareness baby. Abort.
What I see when I look in the mirror is someone to fear. Someone who will cost society money–a liability as opposed to an asset. And I’m scared. Terrified even. I feel like I’ve fooled those I love and who love me. I’ve always wanted to be loved and to be the kind of person worthy of being loved. And now it’s as if they’ve got a present wrapped up in a shiny bow but opened it up just to find something ugly and vile inside. Me.
Like the flare up of an allergy, and since the shock of the midsummer brexit, I am now in hypervigilance. I see potential harm long before it turns into active threat. And when the red rage comes, I fight or flee to remove that potential from my environment, from my children’s environment. With the Trump presidency, I cannot. It is everywhere. I see it everywhere. Threat is everywhere.
But when people are dear to me, I feel they deserve more than ghosting. They deserve at least an attempt to explain why our relationship will be changing. The choice is not binary of course, we could simply be less in each other’s lives. I could reduce contact, fobbing them off with excuses until I achieved my desired effect. But that reduces their power of consent. If they knew how I truly felt about their values and/or consequent actions, then they may choose to cut contact altogether.
Yet we all do it even if we don’t realise it. There are some people who are more pleasant to be around because they don’t trigger those fears and insecurities in us. I’ve fallen in love with people whose presence is, like my writing, soothing. Or those who make me laugh. Or those–like my boyfriend–who are ideologically similar when it comes to vigilance over my children. It’s less about the dopamine high and more about the euphoria of finally feeling confident and capable. Trusting that my children are safe.