My good friend Jenny Elwood wrote this as a Facebook status update yesterday, I was touched by it and have her permission to reproduce it here.
On my way home from the Priscilla’s event on Friday I stopped at Etc for a “nightcap”. 🙂 As I struggled out of my car (with my sore leg) a lady standing nearby complimented me on my attire. I accepted (graciously I hope!) as I normally (try to) do. The lady then proceeded to comment that she could not afford nice clothes like mine. Embarrassed I mumbled: “I’m sorry to hear that” and made a break for it. Afterwards it bugged me a bit that I have a (very nice but utterly obsolete) second wardrobe whilst someone struggled to afford (probably the most basic of) a first, but I moved on from it. Over the weekend working through my usual Post Jenny-time Stress (yes PJS, it’s a thing really 😉 ) I found myself praying to wake up a woman as I (delusionally) tend to do sometimes. Then something hit me: I wasn’t praying to wake up a woman, I was praying to wake up a privileged (preferably white) woman living in western society! Very few real* women actually get to live this idealistic life. Real women live in squalor and poverty. Real women are oppressed and seen as little more than belongings, treated worse than animals. Real women are beaten/molested/raped/mutilated (not to even mention all forms of economic oppression) and it’s considered okay and acceptable practice in many cultures. Real women don’t have access to even the most basic of health care (like proper feminine hygiene products). Am I really desperate enough to wake up (having my biggest dream come true) only to find it this kind of nightmare? Truthfully? … No… That is why I support the change required in this world for me to wake up anywhere in the world, having had my dream come true, and be okay with it.
* There was (unsurprisingly) some ‘reaction to the phrase ‘real’ women on Facebook… I discussed this with Jenny and she has clarified that in this context she was referring to ‘real women’ in terms of ‘ordinary women. Not the ones who just strut around in heels and dresses sipping cocktails… Women who work/raise families and are active in their communities. It has nothing to do with what’s in between your legs.’