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Fuck a Black Out, Make Some Damn Noise

Originally published September 30th, 2018.

In response to another day in the patriarchy, women have taken to changing their profile pictures on social media to a black box theoretically removing themselves from society in a poor attempt to get men’s attention. I have feelings about the whole situation. Yes, my cold dead heart still has feelings and none of those feelings are in support of silence. I find the whole notion that if we disappear men will suddenly ask “what the fuck is going on” and take notice of our pain to be poorly thought out and laughable. They want us silent.

Everything our society has done since the dawn of Abrahamic religions has been to silence women and dismiss our pain. Why in the world would they start to care now about our silence when most are still having to be told to respect the person they share their damn bed with? Newsflash, they won’t. I say to hell with our silence. Don’t black out, shout out. Openly share your experiences as a woman at whatever intersections you exist (race, orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.) and like the brave woman who cornered Flake and demanded he look at her when she spoke, do the same to the men in orbit around your life. Demand they stand in your truth with you because you are someone and your life has value.

To hell with their comfort. To hell with their feelings. To hell with our silence.

We have built a society on giving men a pass, allowing them to exist in a world where they are free to lash out and be incapable of self-control while ensuring there is always an excuse for them. I’m sick of that world. I’m sick of listening to excuses that flow out of mouths with a sickening ease that I’m expected to swallow with a smile. I’m sick of shouldering the burden for someone else’s bullshit and inability to grow. I’m fucking sick and tired of being on the other end of a man’s inability to regulate his fucking emotions or to simply grow the fuck up.

With every joke and dismissal of women’s lived experiences that have filled the void around me there is the booming sound of a fist through a wall, of fingers around my neck, of a childhood spent scared of sleep because the nightmares reminded me that no one ever comes when you scream. I’m so fucking sick of living in a world where men can act like a bunch of bumbling buffoons whose voices get to trumpet over ours. I’m sick of our silence ladies and I challenge you all to be silent no more.

Share your stories. Discuss your reproductive health around the water cooler and the dinner table. Demand people look you in your goddamn eyes and hear your fucking words. Share the stories behind your scars both visible and invisible. Do not retreat when the men around you inevitably engage in their dismissive behaviors, instead inch closer baring your scars, the testament to how fucking far you’ve come. When men speak over you pretend you didn’t hear them and continue speaking because your words have value. Live your truth out loud in all its fucking glorious colors. Don’t sit around waiting for them to listen or notice. We don’t need their permission to change the world ladies, we only need our voices.

With all that said, I also understand not every woman can speak because either their safety or ability to keep a roof over their head would be in jeopardy, and that should be openly discussed as well. We must scream twice as loud for all our sisters who are forcibly silenced.

​If we have the privilege to speak, now is the fucking time to exercise it.

Copyright(c) 2018 Rayven Holmes

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