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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I was one of those womyn...

An old white womon, her step determined, descends the steps of the rest stop and approaches me shyly in the parking lot, her head slightly bent as she gestures toward my “End Violence Against Womyn & Children” sign. Her round cheeks sport a glossy red glow as she quietly shares her secret with me: “I was one of those womyn,” she states. Then she rushes to explain “My first marriage, my first husband…”. I nod and reach out my arms as I share “Me too!”

Our hug is quick as she struggles to put her pain and maybe shame back into its container. She smiles weakly as she states hopefully “But it’s not the same anymore. Womyn are speaking up.”

I agree with her, but just conditionally. I remember the last few times I was in jail and the womyn there with bruises on bodies, swollen eyes, young but shuffling like old broken womyn. The ones who were “speaking up”, who told the story of calling 911 afraid for their lives, as they fought off boyfriends or husbands or exes and the police arresting her and the man who was attacking her. The ‘new’ policy of police departments especially and probably only in red states where blatant misogyny and racism rule: arrest them both because police cannot be the judge of who is at fault, the courts will decide.

I don’t want to share this with this womon already folded into herself. She smiles sadly and softly tells me “it never leaves you, does it?” I cautiously put my arm around her trembling shoulder and agree but add “when it’s not a secret anymore, when I could finally talk about it with other womyn, the sharing helps lighten the burden of that man’s violence.”

She agrees as her cheeks start to pale so I add “it also voids the shame to know I did nothing wrong, you did nothing wrong, we did not do a thing to deserve to be hit.”

She then confides that she never once hit her children and we marvel, as I also never hit my child, that maybe that was the best thing to come out of male abuse: you are determined to never be the abuser. But I am quick to point out that we probably would not have hit our children anyway.

We hug and I remember to be very soft as I feel how fragile her bony shoulders and back are, watching out for arthritis and old injuries. She smiles shyly again as she turns away and begins her walk down the sidewalk, away from me.