As the #metoo movement gains notoriety and all of the news are filled with rape allegations and “journalists” analyzing (judging) the facts, the warrior in me gets inflamed. How is it possible to see women agreeing with all of this, women publicly judging those who came out to tell their story? And I have to say that women like these are as much to blame as the men behind the sexual assault accusations, women like these most likely help raise the very men that feel entitled to someone else’s body. I refuse to believe women are powerless. I simply refuse. I know for a fact that it takes a huge amount of strength to speak up against any of the patriarchal rules. Although I haven’t been raped, I also have been “grabbed”, kissed, groped without consent and even have been yelled at and threatened for defending myself. I also have been sent unsolicited dick pictures and felt in danger after being sent angry messages because I politely refused to go out with someone. But my deepest experience of society’s and women’s bigotry comes from the biggest lesson in my life: my divorce. Through those very dark months I was taught we are not victims, we can fight back and we can change the outcome of our experience. We do have the power to change.
My story is a very common one, one that many women and men can tell nowadays. Married for 7 years and mother of a 4 and a 18 month old I come to find out my husband had been cheating on me for almost a year. Being at a vulnerable moment with small kids, still breastfeeding and still returning to my original shape, the news of such actions made me feel like the most undesirable, most hideous, most faulty human on Earth. I was broken, nauseous, lost and scared and decided to take some time and try to figure things out for myself and for my kids. I went on victim mode, angry mode, depressed mode and at that time I had a few good friends and the family to support me. Six months went by and nothing changed, he continued to spend time with her, I continued to feel hopeless and defeated and the less I spoke the more verbal abuse I heard. Until the day my little one saw me crying on the floor and brought me a ripped piece of toilet paper, then told me “Don’t cry. I don’t like to see you crying”. At that very moment I understood that I was only a victim because I was choosing to be one and I was dragging my children with me. At that moment I’ve decided I wanted better, I, we deserved better.
Little did I know that my decision on separation and divorce would cause me to lose all of my support, all of my married friends slowly moved away from me and in the distance I heard “This is what men do”, “You can’t do it on your own”, “You will never find someone that would take on a woman and two kids” and so on. Needless to say I was surprised to find out that at the instant I left the “married women club” I’d be put aside because I dared to break the rules, I dared to not accept a life like that, I dared to wish for true love and happiness. I have become a threat to their fake story, to their insecurities, I was there to show them there was a way out and I was brave enough to do it. I was an unwanted mirror that made them look into themselves, into their marriages and into their values. And instead of looking at the mirror like I did, facing the good and the bad, they chose to walk away and pretend they didn’t see anything, all for the sake of the marriage institution, the “security” of it and the idea that it is easier to settle because women do not survive without men and men will always do what men do. Not me.
So as I went on finding my new life, new love, new friends, I continued to see and hear from men and women how sorry they were that I was single, how difficult it must be to not have a man and how difficult it would be to be happy unmarried. And in order to survive I decided to open my heart, to look within, to fix myself, to become a better woman, mom, partner, lover. I refused to give up on myself, to become the “cheated”, the “divorced”, the “failure”. I refused to believe in what I was being told. As I studied yoga, psychology and other texts on love and relationships, I realized how women place more value on our wedding day then on our graduation day. How we value ourselves through the man that is by our side and not by what we have accomplished so far. Worst yet, we value ourselves by the happiness of that man over our own. And by acting like this we show our daughters and sons how to be, we show them it is ok to be a victim, it is ok to put the husband first, it is ok for man to cheat. We show our girls it is ok to be with a married man….
I believe we can choose differently. I believe the power of change is in our hands. If not a single woman shows up to be the booty dancer at the video, no women will be objectified on that video. Have you thought of that? If no women goes out with a married man, if no woman accepts the place it is given to them, the patriarchs simply can’t exist! So instead of victimizing yourself, be the warrior that you can be, choose the outcome of your situation, choose to be strong, choose to break the rules, choose to say no, chose you! Let go of the pain and keep the lesson. You will be surprised to see how many people will be there to support you. You will be delighted to see how free you will feel. You will be proud of the revolution you are creating just by going deep into your heart and acting from there, even through fear, even through dark moments. I assure you, the ride will be amazing, filled with wonder, first kisses, new friends and so much love that you will end up being grateful for the shitty moment that started it all. Be the warrior. Honor yourself. Change the world. You got this! We got this!