When Women Tell the Truth

What happens when women tell the truth?

What is the right way for women to say they are not OK?

When is the right time for a woman to stand up and say, “This behavior, belief, attitude, or rule is wrong?”

Because what I am hearing many people say is – a protest right here and right now is ridiculous and too much?

And a woman with a microphone or a sign you don’t agree with – is over the top?

Because wearing a vagina costume or a pussy hat is obscene?

And a woman calling herself “nasty” in rebuke of a MAN in authority who labeled another woman “nasty” – wicked, mean, dangerous…is not appropriate behavior for a lady?

So I am asking, “What would be a more appropriate response?”

What type of response would make you the most comfortable?

I am seeing a pattern. It’s a pattern which haunts me. It keeps me awake and wondering at night. Perhaps because I have been in these spaces my whole life. I grew up in Evangelical Christianity surrounded by people who were rarely wrong and certainly right about God and faith and culture because they had the “Word of God” to guide them. They taught me the essentials of living in “rightness.”

My women were loyal women. They were loyal to their brand of faith and loyal to those who looked and believed exactly the same way they did.

They couldn’t see their privilege or racism or bigotry – I have stories to tell which would make your skin crawl or your head shake.

You either get it or you don’t.

There is no Switzerland. There can be no in-between.

These women – my women were the great enforcers of patriarchy. They left teeth marks on my soul and stab marks in my back.

I have known these women and I have been these women. Personally, I have experienced the full force of what happens when you are not cooperating in the Christian good girl circles anymore.

I know what it is to be labeled dangerous, uncooperative, and “What is with her mouth?”

What I have learned beyond those confining systems is….

Well-Behaved Women will never change the world.

I have seen it – the mocking videos. The articles, discussions, and posts complaining about the protests – these liberal women out of control and complaining. “Those poor laughable snowflakes.” Women judging other women because they themselves do not understand. They have no frame of reference or they choose to not fully see. Instead, we hear, “I am NOT one of them,” “They don’t represent me,”… “How ridiculous is their behavior?”

They aren’t happy with how women are choosing to speak and stand.

There seems to be an issue with women telling the truth.

So I am asking, “What would be a more appropriate response?”

Because according to many conservative women – you seem to know a better way.

You openly mock and ridicule those who are donning the hats and taking to the streets, holding the signs, speaking up with their very, real stories of injustice, but what are you consistently doing to draw the refugee near, protecting LGBTQ people, bring the pregnant woman into your home, reaching out to those in poverty, or combating prejudice and bigotry and racism and greed in the church?

I’m not even talking about your ability to combat prejudice, bigotry, racism, and greed in the world?

How are you effectively navigating PREJUDICE, BIGOTRY, RACISM, ENTITLEMENT, AND GREED IN THE PEWS?

Oh, that’s right church ladies – you aren’t allowed to lead the way in those buildings. Is there room in those spaces for you to speak up and tell the truth? Or is it expected you stay in line? Be quiet, obedient, submissive little women. Stay small. Know your place. This is your god-given space –the timid, feminine little lady – be grateful.

Am I mocking? Perhaps.

On the other hand, perhaps I am simply tired of being told – this is NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE DONE.

Perhaps I am tired of waiting for conservative women to come up with a better – more appropriate way to get the work done so we can do this better together. We need each other, but I am tired of waiting for you to find a reason to show up… how far will it have to go? When injustice finally comes knocking?

I’m tired of hearing what I offer is too liberal or not good enough if my efforts, life, and beliefs do not line up right.

Christian women have been telling me this my whole life long, “Shh put this mask back on, here let us help you.”

I was labeled dangerous and wicked and nasty the moment I began, to tell the world my truth.

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When Women Tell the Truth

When women tell the truth, they are spreading “liberal propaganda.”

Women can speak up and stand tall, but they will often be labeled “dangerous, nasty women.”

I feel like being a nasty, wicked woman is a badge of honor.

What is the right way for women to tell the truth anyways?

Must we always be gentle? Must we always be meek and mild and gracious? Don’t speak too loudly. Don’t shout or cause a scene.

It certainly cannot include any kind of profanity.

And you should never reference or dress up as a vagina. No vagina references.

Don’t Even Think About It.

The Untouchables

And don’t have anything negative to say about men. NONE. Don’t even reference how men have made you feel, spoke harm into your life, made more cash with less experience or effort, referenced your body – preyed on your life.

Don’t talk about it. You do not have permission to reference the spiritual or emotional abuse, the gaslighting, the stalking or the physical pain. Don’t talk about the whispered words and flicks of the thigh. Don’t you dare make men look bad?

While you are at it don’t you dare make a man feel small – even when he is behaving small. Don’t you dare make him feel wrong, or violated, or unheard, or disrespected. That is too far.

Also please don’t reference your menstrual cycle.

Even though so many young women spent their middle school years being tormented by the boys with words like, “You’ve got a red stain on your pants.” (Am I the only one?)

Despite having earned our dues as menstruating females who have every right to talk about cramps and the crimson tide if we want to –  don’t talk about it. Don’t complain. Don’t even think about pitching a red tent in the front yard and celebrating it. Hide in a shed while you are at it.

But really at the end of the day don’t you dare make patriarchy look bad.

Stay quiet and compliant, pliable and sweet.

Don’t protest. People are watching.

♥J

 

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