For some reason I find myself on the front line of becoming a voice for violence against women, committed by men. By strange men to boot. Literally one month, plus ten days since I had my first “stranger violence encounter” I’ve now had another. The first unwarranted attack, as you know was committed by a highly aggressive, yet unprovoked man in a silver Mercedes S550, on August 9th, 2016. Since then, as I tend to do, I’ve spent a great deal of time meditating on, examining, and attempting to uncover the “why did that situation happen in my life the way that it did?” And, “what is the lesson in it?” I fully believe that everything, whether it be positive or negative, has something to teach us. If it happens to us, it is teaching us. I also strongly believe that old saying; “you will continue to be shown the lesson until you get the message.” In the month since the first attack I’ve also been to the jungle, to decompress, leave the vibration, and energy of the city behind. I don’t know about you, but I have a habit of taking on people’s energy, moods, and making them my own. So going away to a retreat like that, once, sometimes twice a year, is super healing for me.
Now I’m back. Back in the big city. Back in traffic. Back in the vibration of all the bad news, such as more attacks on innocent people over the weekend, missing women, murdered women. Just back into the shit of life.
Don’t get me wrong. I love life. There are millions of wonderful people out there, doing incredible things to make this world a better place, sadly this is not the information we get splashed across our computer screens or our social media feeds, is it?
And here I am, about to dump some more shit out there into the world. But let’s hope that what I’m about to write will bring about some sort of change, because honestly, it just can’t keep going on the way it is.
Yannick calls me idealistic. He says I have a picture in my mind of how I want the world to be, how I would like fellow humans to live and be in this world, filled with love, kindness, goodness; and that I need to let that go. That it will just never be, because, humans can’t/won’t let that happen, because they never have in the past, why would they start now? Still a girl can dream, and so I do.
So today I woke up, and meditated on “letting go” and “not expecting people to behave in situations the way I would” and just, “being me in a world where others are just being them.” On the days I have a lot of errands to run these are the things I center myself around, because, lines, traffic, and all the things that can cause a person to lose patience will come at you fast and furiously. Which always makes me recall a saying that all the ministers in the church we belonged to, would use; “as soon as you start to live in the light, you can be sure your spirit will be challenged harder, and more consistently than when you were just out there bouncing around in the dark.” Even though I’m no longer in that church, and they really, and truly turned out to be a cult, I will say this. This belief remains true even outside the church. I find that the harder I work on being the best version of myself, there’s always some situation right around the fucking corner to see if I’m going to “take the bait” and then ultimately “fail the test” once again.
Not today. Today I did not fail. Today I refused to bite. I refused to get angry with the asshole holding the stop sign and swinging it at my brand new car like it was made of foam instead of plastic, and steel. I didn’t stop my car. I didn’t yell at him. I simply parked it in a parking spot. Walked up to him, to get a photo of his face, his company concrete truck, the dump truck, their license plates, and while I was doing this another man came from across the street, toward Mr. Stop Sign. My heart jumped. I thought, wow, this guy is going to put this stop sign yielding dick in his place. Tell him to “chill out” and that “no man should ever strike a woman, or her car for any reason.” But that’s not what happened. Instead what happened is the guy gave him his number, telling him that he saw me run his stop sign; (for the record not true.) I made a left hand turn into a driveway about 10-15 feet from where he had been standing, holding up the stop sign. I made the left hand turn because, the driveway was before his portable stop sign, and there were no cars coming from the opposite direction.
Nobody was in jeopardy.
Nobody was breaking the law.
I even smiled at him, with my left indicator on, as he screamed profanities at me, came charging at my truck swinging the sign. While he was going wild, I was pointing at the driveway, ensuring him that I wasn’t going straight, through his stop sign, rather, I was just making a turn into a driveway. For him, that was clearly not good enough, and he obviously felt within his “manly” rights to strike my vehicle three times with a stop sign.
This really makes me go “hmmm.”
I mean come on asshole. Really? Really? Really??? If you really feel as though I’ve done something “illegal” or put you in danger, take a photo of my license plate, call the police, call the parking brigade. But run after my car and whack it with a stop sign? Dude. WTAF??
Clearly men are on the attack, and the defensive all over the world. Judging by the media, it appears that more women are going missing than ever before. The majority of all terrorist attacks are carried out by men. Sadly, I believe, and as my first hand experience is beginning to prove; unprovoked male violence against women is on the rise. And to me, what’s worse than that fact, is the complacency of other men to stand idly by and let it happen. There were at least half a dozen other construction workers within ear shot, and walking distance to the swinging stop sign asshole, and not one of them came over to tell him to calm the fuck down. Not one of them came over to be on my side, to aid in my safety. Not one. So you have one committing the violent act, another rushing to his defense to be “his witness” and six others doing nothing to come to my aid.
Even with all my romantic notions of how I want my world to be, and my idealistic fantasies, numbers like that don’t have me holding out much hope for a decrease in male violence against women…
But, hey I’m always willing to be wrong, and at the end of the day, I am proud to say that I do believe I learned the lesson since the man in the silver Mercedes who threw a water bottle at my truck. I did not engage. I did not argue. I did not call the police, since they won’t do anything anyway. No, instead, I calmly photographed him, middle finger and all, so close to my camera that I didn’t even need to zoom in on him. I contacted his company and filed a complaint, I’m writing this post and I’m waiting to hear back from my lawyer.
And as time goes on, the famous Margaret Atwood quote, which I used to think was an exaggeration, may not be after all:
“Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.”