Sunday, October 11, 2009

Commitment to Women-Are you Committed?

After writing yesterdays post, I have been thinking a lot about commitment; the commitments I have made to myself as a Butch women, the commitments I have made to radical lesbian feminism, the commitments I have made to women period by exposing the ugly ugly truths about patriarchy in the face of misogyny. I care about women, because I care about myself AS a woman. But that caring, that commitment did not occur in a vacuum, it was able grow, develop by example.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a matriarchy. My granny moved in with my brother and I when I was six and he was thirteen. My granny had ten children, six boys and four girls and they and their children and eventually their children's children revolved around my granny thereby revolving around our home. Her advice was sought daily, and daily she furnished it. But her advice, her care, her kindness even was not limited to our family alone, oh no. But from what I can remember, it was most often limited to women.

Our house hustled and bustled with people, our phone rang off the hook. I cannot count how many many times despite having little money, my granny took in some woman or other. Whether it was the friend of a family member whose b/f had been beating her, a teenage girl who was a friend of a friend who had nowhere to go, a friend of a friend who just needed putting up for the night. Some stayed for days, others for weeks, some for months, there seemed always to be a spell where some woman was staying with us.

I remember when a friend of a cousins "Big Eyes" they called her had got into trouble with drugs and went to prison for seven years. Her family gave her up, my granny did not. Big Eyes wrote my granny weekly. I know this because even though only eight or nine years old, I read and wrote back letters for my granny because she couldn't read or write.

I remember a sixteen year old runaway named Jo, whom got involved with some cousins of mine. She would often come over our house and have coffee with my granny. My granny after some time talked Jo into calling her mom from our house. Through this conversation Jo reunited with her mom. Her mom sent her a ticket to get back home. Jo kept in touch with my granny for many years after, and thanked her every time for her help.

I remember our neighbor, May who lived across the road from us bringing the daughter and her mom who was a friend of May's over to my aunts where we were visiting. As soon as May's friend came over to May's house and May took one look at the daughter, May said "we have to go see Marjorie". You see this girl's face, particularly around her eyes were beaten beyond belief. I have seen A LOT of true life crime shows, and to this day I have NEVER seen a girls face that black, bruised and swollen. She was my age then, twelve. Her mother's b/f had beaten her face in. She could not even see her eyes were swollen so badly. My granny didn't say a word. She went into my aunts kitchen, put some of this and that into a pan of water and began gentling dabbing this girls eyes. Within 20 minutes, this girls could see.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. But I do not doubt that regularly seeing a woman committed to other women has highly influenced my own commitments to women and to lesbians. I know I am very lucky to have had the background that I do, very fortunate, for which I am grateful and for which I hope that I pass a little of that fortune onto other women. I do not know why my granny chose to make commitments to women, where it came from for her. I do know that the ONLY way women will EVER have a shot under patriarchy is by making such commitments to ourselves first and then each other.

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  1. I do know that the ONLY way women will EVER have a shot under patriarchy is by making such commitments to ourselves first and then each other.

    OH YEAH! Telling it like it is. All day. Every day. Thanks, Dirt!!

    (PS. please come to Wordpress!)

  2. UCP,

    Do mean maintain a blog a wordpress or something else?