When It’s a Bad Day, It Helps to Write
I’ve always found a bit of comfort in writing. When my ESL students ask me how to improve their English vocabulary, I tell them to read and write as much as possible. But there are so many more benefits to writing. You can work through issues or confusion in your mind. It gives you a distracting focus. You can get bottled-up emotion out. I don’t usually tell students this. They don’t seem to care about that stuff.
Anyhow, it is a bad day. I made the mistake of leaving my apartment at 7:30 this morning to go to the market to buy vegetables. Why was this a mistake, you might ask? Seems like a pretty routine, innocuous thing to do. Yeah, it is perhaps. But for me, it is frequently dangerous. Leaving my apartment is anxiety-provoking to me. It often takes some time to psych myself up, and I only go out when it is absolutely necessary.
Do I live in a war zone? Well, in a sense, I’ve come to see it as such. In the traditional sense of the word, it isn’t. But I’m frequently physically assaulted, especially in my own neighbourhood. Sometimes, I’m sexually assaulted. Frequently, intimidated or given the Chinese version of sexual harassment. I’ve requested a transfer to another of our university campuses several times, now, and I am always denied despite declines in my health and increased frequency of assault over the last 4 years.
Today, walking back from the market, I was hit. I was hit, and when I protested, I was tripped, and a few more people joined in to yell at me. Everything was my fault. I hurried back to the safety of my cage (apartment) in hysterics, completely terrorized, clutching my bag of carrots and green beans. I hadn’t cried in several months, despite several assaults having taken place, and my fear and rage and depression had built up and I couldn’t stop for a long time. I have no easily accessible adult people in my life to talk to anymore , so I decided to write.
The worst part of it was that it was a woman who did it. Most of the physical assaults on my body are committed by Chinese women. Men seldom hit me. Men do almost all the sexual stuff to me, and only occasionally hit me – only the last serious sexual assault I experienced was done by a Chinese woman with a lot of power over non-Chinese, and she did it publicly in front of about 100 Chinese people, perhaps to make an example of me. But the violent ones, the ones who knock me over; the ones who see me and deliberately cross the empty road in order to smash into me; the ones who trip me; the ones who call me ‘strange’, who criticize my appearance; who whisper and point and laugh at me; the ones who push me out of the way so they can steal the bus seat I’m lowering myself into – they are all women. It hurts me. Sometimes it is physical hurt in addition to the psychological hurt. But it always hurts. It really hurts because I constantly help Chinese women, even many I don’t know, with all sorts of stuff. I help Chinese women more than Chinese women help Chinese women (relationships between women in a traditional culture is a post for another time) I feel terrified. I feel betrayed. My depression deepens.
The second worst part of it is that every time I am assaulted because of my sex and race, I am reminded that no one will believe me or support me. I am alone in so many senses. I read so many feminists who screech that white women don’t experience racism. It’s an incorrect belief based on a pro-male agenda. White women are gaslighted and shamed and driven off and out of communities if we try to talk about our experiences, and assaults, and rapes, and abuse by non-white women and men. I firmly believe that all women experience racism in addition to misogyny. They often go together. Many people fail to understand that racism is not a dichotomy, not so easy to describe as misogyny. Many people also fail to understand that racism is borne of woman-hate. Without woman hate, you don’t have racism. Further, racism wasn’t created by white people, it was created by men – and much longer ago than people think – before white people even existed in their current manifestation. The first time a tribe encountered another tribe with different skin colouring, culture, beliefs and customs, the males ‘othered’ them so as to protect the cunts and uteri of ‘their’ women. Men determined (still do) who got to use women’s bodies. To keep the bloodlines pure and to keep firm control over women. As time has gone on, and as the world has become more populated and races come into contact with one another on a more regular basis, the original intentions remain true. The manifestations become more varied and complex. But all races are racist, all men seek to protect the cunts of their group, even if they don’t realize that that is what they are doing. That is how it started and how it continues to be fuelled. And owned women have followed the men doing their part to maintain approval and fail to bond with ‘other’ women who actually have more in common with them than any man does. Monocultures are still much more racist than multicultures because the ‘others’ who do exist in them don’t have a voice or legal rights or often don’t exist in the numbers necessary to gain attention. No one is required to take responsibility. And no one is culpable (except the other). In monocultures, the majority is free to do what they wish. And like in my experience today (and every time, for that matter), locals support the violent abuser instead of the victim because it is easier. When people talk about how racist Western countries are, they really have no idea about what goes on anywhere else or even outside their small circles. Many of the loudest dismiss or ignore data from real live people that demand that pet theories be questioned. They often nestle these theories in decades or centuries long gone by and try to use them to explain situations that don’t really exist anymore. These days, nobody in the West gets hit and abused almost every time they go to the shops because of their race. Most people will protect and fight for victims of racism (unless the victims are white). They may experience other constant threats (i.e., living in the middle of gangland, or a domestic abuse situation, or trapped in the prostitution downward spiral), but that is not racism (though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive).
I really want to escape China. I live in a constant state of holding my emotions in check, and bottling up my fear in order to eat and go to my workplace, and wondering whether I’m going to end up dying here because of racist, misogynist brutality. But it is not so easy to leave when you’ve been gone from your home for so long that you have no safety net, no one to help you, no where to go. No family, few friends or connections. Very little money. No job prospects.
Unfortunately, I have to go out again today, and I’m dreading it. I never know what is going to happen to me – only that something will happen.
Posted on April 11, 2017, in Feminism, White Women and tagged assault, China, gaslighting, misogyny, patriarchy, PTSD, racism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on When It’s a Bad Day, It Helps to Write.