Today, my flag is raised half-mast and my head hung low with sorrow. The day seems bleak and grey, disappointment a wet dog blanket around my shoulders. I want to shake the wet rag off me, but choose to linger in its noisome ambiance for a moment longer, allowing it to heighten my perceptions and feelings; embracing the significance of the moment.
I can choose to ignore it or to see it for what it is.
Being who I am, I cannot turn a blind eye, therefore I have to lift my head and look the cause of my disappointment squarely in the eye.
Righteousness is my middle name. I have a low tolerance for social injustice in any form, shape or size and an uncanny ability to ask the kind of questions that stirs these fiends out of their hiding places. Armed with uncomfortable questions and a stubbornness that will not relent or let go, I pursue these malevolent energies until they give up and surrender, leading to many a bloody battles and messy scenes.
But today, I will not draw a sword or a line in the sand; no gauntlet will be thrown down or a challenge issued. I am looking the beast in the eye, acknowledging it for what it is.
I have spent twenty of my adult years in supporting and working with adult survivors of childhood abuse as well as victims of domestic violence. I have seen domestic violence in its many guises, as well as its influences and effects on all those involved. I have seen the heartache and destruction. I have seen individuals, families and marriages devastated and destroyed.
I have been an avid spokesperson for those who thought themselves without a voice. We had taught and educated, trained and counselled people and communities in all the different aspects of co-dependency and abusive relationships. We had roaring triumphs and dismal failures, but we never gave up, constantly reaching for a society where there would be equality and quality of life for all its members.
I lift my head and look Christian Gray squarely in the eye. I know you – you are the same old stink in a brand new suit. There is nothing new to you, not in the way that you deal and act, nor in that which you promise. I don’t need to challenge you, because it had been done before. I don’t have to oppose you, because that is still on going. My disappointment is not with you – you are just more of the same.
I turn around to face my true disappointment – a generation of women that should have known better by now; those that have been educated and have been living the benefits of the battles fought by courageous women that had gone before them. Flocking in droves to theaters, they are pushing ticket sales to new record heights in order to bow down at the feet of the embodiment of domestic violence and extreme co-dependent abuse.
My disappointment is a rock in my stomach and bitter essence on my tongue. I can unleash my fury at the handsome Mr Gray, but he is not the culprit. He was just beautifully presented and fanatically embraced by educated women with the ability to think for themselves and make informed decisions that will benefit them as well as the generations to come after them.
My question then is, what is it that I am missing? What is it that all of these enlightened beings are gaining and profiting from Mr Gray’s story? How is it bettering their lives? How is society better for the 50 shades of Gray?
©Copyright Micelle Coetsee 2015