Last weekend was not entirely stress-free.
First, that video. Jeez. At one point a friend said something on Facebook about how she felt like maybe this whole national conversation was dredging up some PTSD-like symptoms, and she asked everyone to be extra patient and kind with each other. And it feels like that, doesn’t it? Or it does to me. Then another friend from college published a note on Facebook that might actually be going a bit viral, and it was strange reading this particular history, because there are things that are familiar because I was at the same school and other things that are familiar because I am a woman and other information that I hadn’t known but gives me new insight into her struggles with depression. It makes me so sad to learn these new pieces, especially when I know that she always, always tells it like it is. It is just so horrible and depressing.
Part of me feels like I should be making up my own list, but I just don’t want to go that deep into it. I feel very, very fortunate that I’ve never been raped, and I really don’t feel fundamentally afraid, either. I feel lucky. But, okay, yes, I was harassed pretty relentlessly by a large group of older boys in high school, and when I was a teenager, my sisters and I got attacked and groped/assaulted such that I ended up lying in the middle of a street having wet my jeans in terror while people looked on and didn’t step in to help (until, finally, a few did), and these experiences were pretty awful. Really the high school harassment was worse, because it went on for so long. And since I’ve lived in New York and Paris, I remember that I didn’t really get the fuss about that old catcalling video, because it seemed like a pretty typical walk around New York to me. And it’s not just talk. I’ve gotten the I’m-using-the-overcrowdedness-of-this-train-to-press-my-dick-against-your-butt-while-refusing-to-acknowledge-it treatment and the I’ll-try-to-make-eye-contact-with you-while-masturbating treatment multiple times. I pretty much took that stuff as the way things are when you live in a city. There’s quite a bit more that I took for just the way things are.
All of this makes me think about my daughters, of course, but they wouldn’t want me writing about them and this topic specifically. I’ll just say in general that maybe this candidacy can serve to stir things up and help people who have never been harassed based on gender/ethnicity/religion/whatever to become a little more aware of how fortunate they are. And maybe we’ll all do a better job of calling shit out.
Okay, I wrote about that more than I’d planned, but it’s much shorter than it could have been and now I’d dropping it. Blegh.
Meanwhile, my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law all had to evacuate their homes near Savannah, Georgia, for Hurricane Matthew. So that was nerve-wracking. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a big natural disaster, but that feeling of suspense coupled with powerlessness is huge. Cute W and I were following the Chatham County emergency services Twitter account and watching weather patterns and I could tell he was analyzing his work schedule, thinking that they’d need help moving fallen trees or taking up sodden rugs or something. But they lucked out. Their homes seem to be okay, and power’s back in their neighborhood, so that’s good.
On Sunday, I brought J and two of her friends to Great Escape Fright Fest. Now, you know I don’t love driving or finding my way around places, so this was stressful, too. In fact, this is what I meant to talk about, but I’ve blathered on and now I have to start dinner, so I’m going to post about the Sunday outing later.