Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Going to Hell Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

A few years ago, one of my dear friends committed suicide. She had hooked up with a mean mistreater and he’d pretty much fucked her in the ass and left her bleeding. For her, the solution was to down a bottle of pills and wait to die. The next morning, people came to check on her when she was late for an appointment. They found her nigh lifeless body (which has somehow managed to keep plugging away) and rushed her to the hospital. After some doctor magic, they thought she had a shot. Alas, no. She had destroyed her kidneys. She was awake when they told her she was going to die. So she asked a priest if she was going to go to hell since she’d been the cause of her own demise.

My first thought (after the initial shock, this gal was an amazing woman and I couldn’t imagine her doing such a thing) was that if she knew (in her Catholic mind) that she was certain to burn forever just to dull the temporary pain of rejection from a soulless, gutless twerp, why then would she not wish to take him down with her? I mean, what more does one have to lose when they're convinced that one act of desperation means that they're doomed to dwell in the fiery pits of damnation? And especially when they've decided that it's best to just give up and jump ship since someone else keeps trying to push them overboard.

Asking around, I found a surprising amount of hostility in the answers from women. Psycho has become as feared a word as whore these days. The ladies I questioned said that women who spoke up after being treated badly were psychotic bitches. They should just walk away. In other words, if they didn’t just lay back and take it in silence, their reputations were torn to shreds and their rights to be treated with a modicum of dignity were ignored. Sometimes, sadly, by other women who were no doubt fearing that denying these standards would mean that they too were psychos.

In the end, I figured out that a lot of women are afraid to speak up when they are mistreated because they’re afraid of being branded a psycho. The same method of denying women their voices is just as effective now as it was when Greco-Roman writers invented it. By calling women hysterical, they’re basically saying that any intense emotion that we feel is simply a side effect of being female.

This is where my friend found herself. She knew that speaking up would only cause her more pain. So, she threw her life in the toilet, and all because of one man, who probably breathed a sigh of relief that his life would not change because the woman with whom he’d been messing around on the side had shuffled off this mortal coil.

I say fuck that. I say it’s worth it to speak up, if only to hear your own voice in a cacophony of squealing pigs. There are plenty of people out there who are more than happy to deny all of us our voices. If you allow them to do that, even with the threat of being branded a psycho (or better yet, a psycho whore) it means that you agree that you have no right to exist, because what are we if we meekly allow people to trod upon our existence with no repercussions?

Of course, there is something to be said for diplomacy. But there are times when that just isn’t realistic. Sometimes, and those times are rare as I do think that people deserve to be treated fairly, a person proves him or herself to be a predator and must be thwarted before (and sometimes after) taking a bite. I also think that in cases like my friend, not speaking up about a two-timing rat fuck means that you're accepting at least part of the blame for the pain caused later when his significant other figures out his ruse. What other people call a psycho, I call a woman who isn’t going to submit to the rules laid out for us a few thousand years ago by a bunch of stupid men and perpetuated today by pretty much everyone.

So back then, I vowed never to deny myself a voice, no matter what might happen because of it. And a lot has happened because of it. But, in the blanket of reality, I can find my loud ass, psycho self pretty easily. That’s really all any of us truly has.