Holy mackerel, this entry could easily be W is for Waffling because I dithered and dawdled between choosing worth or wealth as my November word. And so here I am, writing as the year of exposing acute misogyny wraps up. This trend could continue forevs.
The lasting damage of privileged men abusing power and offering paltry excuses for apologies took me down a few too many web rabbit holes. Reading. Reading. Reading. Shouting and swearing at my screen. A slew of excellence journalism that offered a reckoning, and then occasionally I would land on a hack entertainment piece that followed. Sites that use suffering of others as clickbait.
The process made me question my worth again. I say again because this is an old groove in the synaptic-firing, neural pathway-establishing territory. These insta-thoughts wander through from way back. Weigh back, when dowry determined the female future. Living a meaningful life is an individual adventure, yet most women I know have grappled with issues of value, wrestled the beast of worthwhile-ness. This should come as no surprise, considering history. In a recorded debate with the annoyingly bumble-smarmy Boris Johnson, scholar Mary Beard notes that medieval monks destroyed all the writing by the she-folks of Ancient Rome.
Constant erasure. Consistent discrimination. Perpetual invisibility.
Gives me agita.
One of the incredible strokes of luck in my life is having a dad who constantly tries to teach me the true cost of every purchasable item. This may seem like a tangent but women were treated like commodities, traded for livestock or given away in marriage with hefty gifts. And I can't stop thinking about that global inheritance. My father is a product of an intensely sexist culture. His favourite activity is browsing through a selection of local supermercatos, comparing the prices on cuts of meat, and discussing which is the better deal. Clearly, he’s still worried about my comet-crashed-into-the-planet math trajectory in high school.
I nod, take notes and speak philosophically: “Life doesn't always add up.”
Bringing huge insight with a well-timed, deep comment is a specialty of mine in the Bonefran dialect. (Thank the good Lord/Allah/Buddha/Darwin/Yaweh, my dad humours me in this belief.)
Sigh. Enuff of this musing for now. The topic is rife for reflection and if I know my mind, the measure of a woman is a subject that will continue to show up in memories. Or those irksome moments when a concept is mansplained, an idea hepeated. Been there, through with that, not gonna buy a souvenir.
Here’s a classic song—born in insult. Gird your joints and jitterbug. Burn that, friars.