Thursday, March 12, 2020

Fear of Retribution

Reading about the Harvey Weinstein case and it's verdict, it was the words 'fear of retribution' that jumped out most loudly and clearly.
Any woman who has ever stepped out of line in any way will know this feeling exactly.
We are kept down because there are so very many ways of men who want to stop us 'blabbing' about their bullying and controlling behaviour, for getting their revenge on us if we do talk.

One ex-boss of mine had a thing about what he called moaners: women who didn't like being discriminated against at work. You couldn't respond with honestly because that would make you a moaner, and guess what- he was the boss! You didn't dare to complain because he was in control of so many aspects of your job, and you need your job.
Oddly, there was that same 'pushing the boundary' sexual thing going on too, which I discovered after talking to another female member of staff.
That's an almost insignificant slip of an example.

I sometimes feel that I have carried a huge weight of fear of retribution in an enormous bundle on my back, like a huge and heavily-laden snail shell. It's not just me- I know lots of other women like this, all artists, musicians, writers and so on. Last summer, something really strange and unexpected happened: I stopped being afraid.
I don't know why; somehow rather than feeling intimidated, I felt that people who do this will never be happy because their pleasure is derived from giving pain to others, and that this is a great darkness to live with. Their pleasure resides in ruining lives and preventing people from finding out about it. They are not to be pitied: they are far too destructive for that.

Every person who has been bullied has a right to recover and to thrive, regardless of people who throw their weight around. I applaud the bravery of the women who have emerged from the shadow of Weinstein's behaviour and I wish them peace, happiness and a sense of resolution.

Yes, there will be a defensive backlash; there always is!
The retribution.

(I have decided not to write about the University strike).

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