Updated: Oct 26, 2020
By Giulia Becker Miller
Drawing by Giulia Becker Miller
Overreacting: a word that has been used against womxn for decades. A word that spurs disregard; a sentiment of unimportance. A term closely related to the fxmale body.
We have been told we overreact for a number of reasons: our periods, pregnancy, hormones, the list goes on. Because of the consistent silencing of the fxmale community, we have normalized the disrespect. Rather than teaching our children to effectively communicate and listen to one another’s concerns of personal space, we have taught our daughters to allow their personal space to be infiltrated.
Recently, a revolution has surged. A mutation in some gene, some mother who forgot to teach her daughter the false promises of silence. Because of this glitch in the system, our societal norms have been torn to shreds and are now being challenged by an army of womxn who have had enough.
This army is not asking for the mountains, seas and stars; they are not fighting for control over all land masses. These womxn are fighting for the cause of accountability. They are asking what our societies would look like if people, notably men, took responsibility for their actions, accepted the consequences and continuously worked against the hold of pre-existing superiority complexes and violent existences.
Our bodies may be your locker room joke. Getting me drunk enough to submit to you may be your fun story to tell the boys over drinks on Saturday night. The whistles you blow in her direction at 10 o’clock at night may be your idea of a compliment. We may be the ones that got away in your romantic mind. But your mind is misguided and we are not overreacting.
My body is where every neuron resides and every feeling collides in every place in the world; my body is not just the subject of humor surrounded by sweat and stink. While you're laughing on Saturday night with your boys, I am sitting in the shower crying because there’s this hurt between my legs and I can only piece together parts of the night that could target the reason for the dread. The whistles you blow my way are reminders of that night and the power you continuously exert over me. I was the one that got away, not from the persona you showed in public around others (smiling and shaking hands, kissing my forehead and making everyone believe you could never put a hand on me); I got away from the suffocating demands, the reliability that you forced upon me, the rules and regulations that you put on my body.
While given the privilege of a fun night out, of the absence of fear, we are left with keys between our knuckles and darting eyes at the sound of footsteps at every corner. Many men walk around most of their lives lacking fear of having hands touch them in unwelcome manners; this is a foreign concept to the fxmale world. We are not overreacting when we speak our truths -- even if our verity is not yours. The first step in eradicating and improving this reality is to join the army in this revolution.
Written by writer Giulia Becker Miller