Once upon a time there was a little girl, and another and another and many, many more. some were of colour, some were white, some were once viewed as little boys, but knew they were really little girls, they knew this and later when they were old enough to show and tell as well as feel, others could see and knew it too.
Just a short time ago, seconds in fact on the journey that is humanity – those little girls who soon became women could not be heard – those women from all around the world had no voice. The men of the world would not listen. Those women, in their thousands, fought to be heard and eventually some, not all, but some, were afforded a platform, a lower podium from the men who surrounded them of course, but a platform none the less.
Over time these women who were those girls gained more ground, they learned to shout louder, some even learned how to roar and their voices would echo around the stadiums, auditoriums and concert halls, but still they weren’t heard by many, there were too many materials made to soak up and muffle the sound.
So much other noise was clouding their voices, the sound of men, the sound of the world that had built up around them, designed to stifle and silence; the gloss and the steel, the shine and sparkle used to distract from the sounds from the mouth, the voice of woman, the voice of a girl.
They changed tack, they turned their voices to the page, they wrote and shared, they interacted, they debated, they fought the oppression, they ebbed and flowed on their different waves, picking a path through the anger and hatred that was heaped on them from all sides by many men, in many guises. The men who were their clear and present danger, the men who neither agreed nor disagreed, the men who stood blithely by, those men who were almost worse than the active haters. Those women who carried the torch for those sisters before tried so hard, they fought all day, every day.
And one day, one of the battalions in the army won its war. It earned the equality it had fiercely fought for. But the tragedy was how many other regiments didn’t. So many women were left on the battlefield, the war still being fought, so many women still up in arms at the daily struggle they were facing; racism, sexism, trans-phobia. These women did not have such large armies or such powerful artillery and they so badly needed their allies to champion their cause, to hold peace talks, to provide firepower.
But many women had grown tired from the constant battling, they had settled for a halfway house, a temporary measure. They had settled because good had to be good enough, they did not have the energy, they had enough to get by, they had enough to cope in society. Their sisters still fighting understood but resented that they didn’t stay and stand with them. They struggled with good being good enough. They understood but found it so very difficult to accept.
The factions disbanded, went their separate ways, they carried on the fight in their own ways, some small, some larger, all important, all vital. But the army that should have been the biggest in the world was not and could not be. And so the war went on and all the players in the fight against oppression and patriarchy had to live with the little victories, knowing that the uprising that had long been hoped for would not come and the victory would be a long way away, if ever at all.