Why I Am Hesitating

Content warning: domestic violence, sexual assault, generalisations

Why I Am Hesitating

When the revolution comes
Let every woman have a door with a lock to sleep behind
Tents with reinforced material that can’t be cut with a kitchen knife
The tenet that it isn’t us who lie
When we call out some guy, remove him
Or better yet, re-educate him, watch him
Make sure he isn’t alone with any vulnerable woman

This is not some abstract problem
It is the answer to ‘where are all the women at?’
Of course we are capable of climbing that tree, occupying that building
But when we lie down to sleep, can you guarantee we’ll wake up okay?
Defend our claims?

Our bodies have been battle sites since we were barely babes in arms
A few choice words is not going to make me drop my guard
You have to prove to me that you’re not going to use my body
Or those of my friends, for your own ends.
These rules don’t bend.

Because, while I appreciate that all cops are bastards
And that the prison system sucks at rehabilitating rapists
That the courts dismiss, the papers protest his innocence
With out-of-date theories and myths
We are no better. This isn’t safe yet.
Isn’t offering solidarity yet.
There’s no empathy yet, too few real efforts to take into account
That what we fear is doubt
Not being believed.
Not being seen.

This occupation has to be welcoming to women
Where every sexist joke, or grope is dealt with
Actions to show that this is a no tolerance zone

So that, when the revolution comes
The women might not need a door with a lock
Because we’ll be able to trust that anarchists
Can resist whatever urges make men rise up in the dead of night
To commit perversions.
Or at least can recognise and contain those that do feel that way
About us.
Show me how you’re working to make safe spaces.

ends

(c) Ana Hine

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