Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why Feminism? (Part 4)

Then Again, Maybe I Won’t*

So after the first few times I told them.

They were upset, but quiet. They said they’d take care of it. I wasn’t told how. It stopped - he stopped. End of discussion.

Except he didn’t stop for very long - and then I really didn’t know what to do. I was becoming angrier and angrier and I was scared that my parents would be as angry as I was – and of what they’d do to him because of it. At the same time I was scared that they wouldn’t really care at all – they didn’t care enough to make it stop the first time, or yell and scream when they found out. Why weren’t they mad? I didn’t think that I wanted to live if they didn’t care as much as I did about how much he was hurting me.

That year, I think the only people that I was ever angrier at than him were my parents. No matter how much I wanted to keep him safe, I also thought he deserved to be hurt for what he was doing to me, and the only thing that hurt more than his betrayal was my growing belief that our parents wouldn’t care enough about me to give him what he deserved.

I worried just as much that they’d think that I was being silly for taking this so seriously. He was only looking. It was creepy that it was me he was looking at, but he wasn’t doing anything to me, was he? It was a bad thing for him to do, but it wasn’t bad because of how it made me feel, it was bad because he shouldn’t be looking at his sister that way. It was natural for boys his age to be curious, they told me.

Besides, it was obvious that there was something wrong with me. What boy wouldn’t be curious about a freak like me? My breasts were already bigger than most of my sister’s friends.

*Yes, another Judy Blume book. I actually read this particular one about the same time all this was happening, and it was the only one of hers that I had a hard time finishing. When I got to the part where the main character spies on his friends older sister while she's getting dressed, I had to put the book down from just plain shock. At the time, it just made me think there must be something wrong with me after all for taking this all so seriously, since obviously it was normal. Now, it's just evidence of the pervasiveness of all this crap.

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