I once wanted to believe that humanity grows more compassionate over time. That we as a species are moving towards a loving, more nurturing culture.
Illegitimacy was in my blood, and it had tainted me. By the circumstances of my birth my honour was smirched, I was already a broken woman.
And if predatory behaviour is as ubiquitous among men as it appears and as I have experienced it to be, statistically it is likely that my son will violate someone, at some point, in his lifetime. That could be anything from ignorant boundary violation to, god forbid, rape.
What we find funny is indicative of our beliefs, attitudes, judgements and opinions. It is a useful barometer. When we mock those who by birth or circumstance are less fortunate, we become persecutors and make others our victims. We have no less duty of care for verbal abuse even through humour, than we do for physical abuse.
Privileged white woman pain is more gradual and less dramatic than that experienced by intersectional minorities. It is insidious. Kind of like bonsai trees, white women have the innate capacity to grow to a normal size but our roots and branches are cut so that we grow far smaller. Stunted or trained along a trellis in such a way that few see, sometimes not even us.
Burning Women–as an archetype in our psyche, not a prescribed gender–are rising in the form of intersectional feminists, queer activists and angry people of colour. We are the rule breakers and we demand that our voices be heard. And as we get stronger, so the forces which suppressed us wage an ever more fierce war. But they cannot stop us.