I am scared. Every single day.
Years ago a young woman who had been in love with a gangster that is quite famous in my hometown, died via overdose in a hotel room, while the love of her life sat in prison for a crime he apparently committed. A heinous crime, in which six people died.
I didn’t realize it until yesterday, but many of the girls and women that I know have been in love with gangsters in my lifetime, and those relationships taught me so much about what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be the kind of woman that ride or die women are known for being.
I didn’t want to be the kind of woman who hides her boyfriends guns under her beds, I didn’t want to be the kind of woman whose boyfriend would throw punches at random strangers at the club, just so he could show the world how big and bad he was.
I didn’t want to lose myself behind a guy who presented the worst of himself to the world, for attention he didn’t really need, but wanted, to validate his place in the world as a man.
So I mostly stayed out of relationships, at least real ones. Yes I got involved in emotional relationships online, but the risk of violence that I would have to face from those men was minimal, whereas the violence that I might face from real life men, was massive in comparison.
I love the man that is sitting in jail, because he was there for me at a time in my life when few were, because he warned me away from danger as best he could, even though I didn’t listen to him, that wasn’t his fault. But it doesn’t change what he is accused of, it doesn’t change the fact that six people are dead because of actions he supposedly took.
The woman who loved him, and who he loved, should have been travelling the world. She should have been having adventures, and she should have been making her dreams come true, however, she’s not doing any of that, because she is dead.
I don’t want to die, but the fact that I am a woman, and a woman of color, and a mixed-race, Black woman, means that statistically speaking alone, I am going to continue to face more violence from men than my white women counterparts, and that’s a scary realization.
I spent all day in a complete and total emotional breakdown, because I realized how terrified I am of getting into relationships. I can masturbate until the cows come home, but the idea of inviting a man into my life, or my bed, traumatizes me.
I shake, I cry, I scream, I try to get stoned and sleep off the anxiety, but that often doesn’t help, because I know given my experience, that I got lucky.
This week eight Asian American women did not get lucky. They were murdered in cold blood, because a white man with mental health issues was having a bad day, because he is allegedly addicted to sex, and of course the fault for that reality is entirely solved by killing eight Asian women.
It’s a miracle, eight women are dead and now he’s no longer addicted to sex, right? Wrong.
He didn’t kill them because he’s addicted to sex, he killed them because his brain is fucking broken, and he wanted to lash out and hurt someone else to make himself feel better, and around the world people are starting to realize that white men with guns are the fucking problem.
White men with guns in America are always the problem.
No one in America kills people as quickly, swiftly, or evilly, as white guys with guns. Don’t believe me? Check out these lists from Wikipedia.
I am tired of waking up to the alter of death being celebrated every single day in America. I am tired of waking up every week to a new death, a new vicious, violent, evil, death, being perpetrated by white men with guns, and the solution seems easy and yet the American government refuses to acknowledge it, because there is too much money in death.
I am angry, but it’s a slow burning, seething angry, that makes me remember how many times I was abused or traumatized by white men, because the were having a good day, and making me hurt, made them feel better.
I was raped by white men, specifically because I am a Brown woman, they thought no one would care about. I was legitimately tortured. By that I mean the did things to my body no human should ever think about, let alone experience.
There seems to be a level of entitlement that only white men are capable of achieving and I don’t know where this “I want it, it’s mine, I deserve it because I have a penis between my thighs” mentality comes from.
Actually I do. It comes from centuries of British white men, believing that they can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it, evolving into American white men who think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, because they always fucking have.
Men in general have consistently thought that the can have whatever they want simply because it exists in the same world that they live in, and if the want it, no one is allowed to stop them, so at what point do we say that this isn’t the reality anymore?
We tried Take Back the Night, we tried Me Too, we tried No More, we tried Does Anyone Fucking Care, how many stories do women need to tell, how many times do we need to prove that we are not safe around men, before the world says “okay, let’s do something about this?”
And how many fucking times do we need to ask that fucking question? Hash tags and digital armies aren’t enough anymore and I don’t know what the answer is.
All I know is that I am tired of living in a world where men constantly and consistently prove they cannot be trusted with our safety.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall