I woke up to this video shared by my sister this morning.
I watched, nodding the whole time. I also felt this sensation rising up my spine, snaking its way through my belly.
Tracee Ellis Ross named it for me. It was fury.
This seemingly innocuous incident of a friend of hers being physically moved out of the way by a complete stranger sparked the talk. I read some of the comments, many from men mansplaining how we, as women, shouldn’t be offended by this. That if he was physically moved by another guy he’d just suck it up and move on.
I am furious at men who think they have the right to literally move a woman out of their way rather than saying, “excuse me.”
I am furious that he treated her like she was merely an inconvenient object in his way.
I am furious that we hear stories over and over and over again through #metoo and #timesup of men putting their hands on women like its their right, for assaulting, molesting and raping women.
I am furious that we have a president who proudly declared he grabbed women by the pussy.
I am furious that yet another school shooting has occurred and the young, entitled white male targeted a girl who rejected him.
I am furious at the men who try to humiliate and shut down women who dare to raise their voices in real life and and on-line.
This seemingly innocuous anecdote of Ross’s friend being moved is at the heart of my fury. That so many (please note: I am not saying ALL) men feel it is their right to keep women “in place.”
In a place where we are not in the way.
In a place where we don’t cause any ripples.
In a place that is convenient for men.
In a place where we stay quiet and smile.
That place doesn’t exist. Not anymore. We are tearing it down by sharing our stories, naming the men who assaulted us, claiming our power.
Like Ross says,
“…the innocuous makes space for the horrific.”
Let’s continue to dismantle that place women have been boxed into for so long.
Dismantle it each time we speak up.
Each time we stand in our truth.
Each time we don’t swallow our fury and smile.
Each time we embrace the wisdom of that fury that courses through us.
Let the fury awaken us.