A man I know told me that he saw anger in my writing and ever since then I have been angry.
I am in the midst of awakening the woman I have always been. She is angry. She is angry at the society that taught her to reach for anything and achieve everything, but judges her according to the fruit of her womb and not of her labour; judges her on the satisfied smile of her well-fed husband, and not of her well-served customer.
I am angry that beauty has been perverted. Women are implanting fat into their arses and silicone into their breasts, but those of us who are naturally endowed with everywhere curves find nowhere to buy some jeans that fit. I am angry that size zero exists: Invisible women stand on platforms as ‘models’ without heeding the significance of the role. Young girls and their mothers fight for the same body while painting their faces in shades of dissatisfaction, striding rhythmically in Nike’s toward a made-up standard; clones of a woman who has never existed.
She is angry for the children and their single mothers, those with absentee husbands and twice-a-week fathers. I am angry at my uterus for its ability to grow life without help, at my two X chromosomes for the curse of resilience. She is angry for tears that fall without permission, in office bathrooms, in empty classrooms, under pillows and in cars between meetings. I am angry at men who deposit sperm and never think twice but look twice at the secretary, the girl in the bar. I am angry about the porn sites, the strip clubs, the music videos and their award shows.
She is angry at the religion that taught her the power of faith and then abused it, taught her a version of a saviour that bound her to guilt and chained her to fear. She is angry at offering-baskets filled with maxed-out credit cards, books peddled from pulpits, worshippers being worshipped on screens larger than the god we created to follow. She is angry that the real Saviour has had his identity stolen, his message abducted and his life story un-told.
I am angry at governments that legislate marginalization and subsidise the rich at the expense of the poor. I am angry that politicians stand for nothing but promise everything, that lying is virtuous and truth is a liability. I am angry at voters that forfeit wisdom for wallets, mistake rhetoric for policy and vote their insecurities instead of their conscience.
She is angry that women have to tailor their clothing to their attackers’ distaste, donning fear as protection while masking humiliation in a quest for justice. She is angry that judges play defence counsel and rapists live free and victims are sentenced to a lifetime of judgement.
I am angry that while women with my story are dying in childbirth, other labouring women are offended by pain. I am angry that an accident of birth determines whether a child’s hunger matters. I am angry that the origin of your ancestry dictates whether your life is worth saving. In a ‘post-racial world’ built on “I Have a Dream”, I am angry that justice trickles down and righteousness only peters.
I am angry. My anger consumes my complacency; it informs my drive. Anger drives my passion and fuels my persistence. It empowers my voice, it emboldens my resolve. Anger straightens my backbone, clutches my jawline and inspires me to speak.
I will speak up until injustice is uncomfortable, until racism falters, feminism is redundant and poverty finds nowhere to call home. I will speak out until bringing life is not a death sentence. I will lend my ear and give my voice to the children dying of hunger in refugee camps, in reservations, in war zones, in first-world city streets.
I am angry and I will stay angry because I still need to be, because freedom is yet to reign.
Twitter: @plumandmustard // @thereisaiditorg