Today I am tired of being a woman.
I’m tired of hearing the terrible news, again. About a woman who was murdered while she was running because…. she was a woman who was running? I’m tired of being more afraid than my usual 10-15% constantly-afraid because what every woman has been taught could happen to her has happened again. And I’m tired of hearing that it’s a rare event and it’s not all men – because these rare events happen all the time and the fear is all the time and it’s men all of the time.
And I’m too bushed to be an ally of men right now – because with all that privilege and extra time they have on their hands that we spend being afraid and planning where to park safely they really need to be my ally and imagine how tiring it is to second guess an outfit and plan ahead for a night out – where you’ll be and with whom and how you’ll get from A to B in order to get a taxi to your home that you could easily stroll to if it wasn’t for the always-on-fear. Couldn’t all of this time and energy go into improved education and mental health services for men?
Men would be tired too if they got told to smile, to cheer up, to wear something a bit brighter. Who wouldn’t be exhausted from fighting for equal pay, the #metoo movement and to Repeal? All while you’re nauseous because you’re pregnant or your back is still out from giving birth two years ago or your six year old didn’t sleep so neither did you or your stomach is in bits because it’s that time of the month again. But you keep working and doing because you can’t possibly show any weakness because you’re carrying the reputation of the entirety of womankind on your achy shoulders.
And I’m tired of being fetishised and the butt of the joke – because who has the resources to fight the stereotypes? We are other, hysterical, illogical, fickle – sometimes we can’t even drive properly, apparently – and zero craic because we take this all too seriously. Can I not take a joke? I guess maybe I would if the joke was funny… or I had the energy to laugh.
And it’s the injustice of it all and the unfairness of it all. It’s crucifying us women. We are tired.
I’m tired of exfoliating and anti-ageing and of buying tampons and organising birth control and self-caring. But we’ll put the head down and do the jobs and organise the gift and clean the toilet and get the hair done and collect the kids and scour the kettle.
And we’ll muster the energy to go for a walk or out for a run, pretending to listen to music, hair tucked up under a hat, where it’s well-lit or when it’s daytime or there are plenty of people around.
Just to be murdered anyway – as we always suspected we might be. By a man who should recognise he needs help and think about the consequences of his hatred.
And deep down we’ll probably think we deserved it.