The Break-Up

Posted on April 27, 2010

5


Feminism, have I got a bone to pick with you.

No, this cannot wait for another time. Sit yourself down, we need to talk.

My dear friend, what has become of you?

It seems the day you were born, your heart was as pure as any other infant, and as a child you were naturally inquisitive. You had so much to ask; questions on equality, and concern about the way of the world. Enquiries about suffrage and worry over the fate of the suppressed. Confusion over the way women were being treated and boxed into a cage which only the men were given keys to.

And so, like any other child you had dreams.

Maybe I’ll be a judge when I grow up, you said. To free all woman-kind from the nooses of social standing. Or maybe a mechanic; to fix up that microphone from where their voices will be heard. Perhaps an enforcer of the law; putting a stop to the heartless slaughter of the innocent girl child. Or even an educator; to make space for the ‘weaker sex’ in classrooms where knowledge is sought.

Either way, attaining equal rights you said, was what would make your life complete.

All noble aspirations, yet seemingly far-fetched at the time. But you were determined to see them through. You rounded up and led groups of equally determined women to picket for the cause, and stake claim to their rights.The right for female babies in 3rd world countries to live. The right to seek knowledge, the right to work, and even better the right to equal pay. You helped open up the ballot boxes and made the world listen. Under your guidance we were given the respect we rightfully deserved; not just because we demanded it, but because we proved our worth.

And although the pieces were coming together, the puzzle was not yet whole. But bit by bit, decade after decade you were getting there; one milestone at a time.

And was it here, at this point that things went horribly wrong? All that fame, that glory; it got to your head didn’t it? All those battle wounds, the trophies beautifying your armoire. With each achievement you got dizzy, inebriated even…with power.

And on one particularly intoxicated night, you met him. Hypnotized by his charming ways and smitten with his easy wit, you were woo’d mercilessly by the ever-so-savvy Monsieur Fame; casanova to the most humble of victims.

We, your friends warned you of his wayward ways, but you turned a deaf eye and a blind ear.

Of course you were enamoured. How could you not be? He toyed with your heart and spoilt you with expensive gifts. Scents of Eau de Ego, expensive dresses laced with obnoxious linings of greed, and beautiful shoes which clacked with hypocrisy every step you took. All the while, he promised you great things. Just stick with me baby, and we’ll go places.

And just like that, you forgot. You strayed from the game plan, lost your grip on that ladder of goodwill. Morals? Pfft…morals are for prudes, he’d whisper deliciously into your ear.

And just like a puppet, you repeated the same to your friends, your followers. We’ve got our vote, our voice, our place in the workforce, you’d deliriously proclaim. Now that we’ve broken free from the leashes of society, let’s now free our own inhibitions. Bring up those hems and pull down those neck lines! Less is more, you sang! Flaunt what you got! Do as you please, how and when you wish it! The world is your oyster and the pearls your booty.

You were blinded by success, and deafened by power. Your perception of equality was marred forever. Equality wasn’t even the dream anymore; complete domination was the new aim of the game.

We’ll have those men eating off our hands. We’ll take their jobs, steal their priorities, and stop at nothing to get it! Marriage is an unnecessary institution for the oppressed, you preach; and children will only hold you down. Let’s burn those bras and don these suits. Call the shots with no room for compromise, and slam the door in the face of the next ‘creep’ who tries to play the chivalry card.

What happened, F? How could the very tongue that spoke with such incentivized passion form words true to vicious lips? You were once noble in intention and true at heart; a beacon of guidance to all of womankind.

And all the while when you were losing the plot, what you started off doing is left incomplete. You might have once stopped the fire, but you forgot to quash the sparks. You’ve gone awry and left behind a mess only partially cleaned up. There’s still so much work to be done F, yet you’ve abandoned us for a new, shinier cause.

And the gullible fool that I was, I almost followed you on this new endeavour of yours. I very nearly let you and your consort lead me into that downward spiral of immorality.

So I hope you will understand when I say now, that I want to leave.

I was once fond of you yes, but you’ve turned into a monster I can barely recognize. I loved you for what you were, and now can’t even stand to be in the same room with what you’ve become. I’ve tried to come to terms with this new you F, really I have. But I don’t want to sell myself short by flaunting my ‘wares.’ I don’t want to sleep with the director to land the part, nor do I want to dance around a pole to get myself heard.

I know all this because it was you who taught me. It was you who taught me that my most valued commodity were my brains and not my (ahem) assets. It was you who taught me to never ever sell my soul to sacrifice my self. And I don’t want to. I don’t want to, because I don’t have to.

Funny isn’t it, how the tables have turned? How often is it that the practitioner turns alcoholic? How easy it must be for a teacher to fall into wrong.

So I suppose this is goodbye. I wish you well, dear F, and I pray for the women of our generation and for the girls of the next. For if their leader has lost her way, who then will guide then straight?

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Posted in: Feminism, Society