**Strong language warning. (For something different.)**
She was a 40 year old woman.
A wife, and a mother.
She had a mortgage, a nice car and a career.
She didn’t get out much any more, at least not without some kind of time limitation, so when she did, she liked to dance and dance. To feel the beat of the music deep in her solar plexus, rubbing off the years and making her young again. She liked to dance like a loon, jumping up and down, singing into a pretend microphone, gyrating to the songs of her golden years, the years before gravity had begun the everlasting pull.
She was out with friends, a mixed group of men and women she had known for years, and whom she had been drunk with many times. They knew she’d be signing into a mic before too long, as she knew one of them would abruptly leave when she was ‘done’, they knew each other’s quirks well. She was in her home town, at the surf club where she was a social member, so she couldn’t have felt more secure. She had paid special attention to her make up and her underwear, so she knew she was oozing the confident sexuality that seems to only come for women once they are beyond their pick-up years.
They had all drunk expensive champagne and eaten well, and it was finally time for the dancing. Slightly provocative dancing, yes, but not directed at anyone other than her friends and her husband. She didn’t even notice the group of men, boys really, standing on the verge of the dance-floor, until her husband pointed them out. They were blokes from the local footy club, out after the game, ripe with testosterone and tattoos and ready for a fuck or a fight. Her husband pointed them out again, but she ignored him. They were young enough to be her children. Sure, they would leer at her from behind as she wiggled her tightly clad bum to Push It, but they were harmless. She and they were mutually exclusive, in that their worlds or their bodies would never collide. And they all knew that.
When the singer started on Better Man she grabbed her imaginary microphone, singing and pointing past the rugby lads to her husband, now scowling into his schooner. She saw the boys grinning at her gesticulations, seeing her for who she was- a slightly pissed old gal who might have been fit in her prime, now ten years past it, but still a bit of a laugh. Some of them probably thought her husband was a lucky guy, having a wife who still looked a bit of all right. Others just looked beyond her to the dance floor, checking the flesh of the girls their own age.
The song finished, and she flitted past the boys, invisible to them now, as women her age usually were, to plant a big kiss on her brooding husband’s lips. He pulled back. “Be careful how you’re dancing, those footy blokes are watching you.”
And so began the age-old argument. Steeped in years of indoctrination and attempts to shame. This time though, it was different, it was in her own circle, in fact as close as it could be. If a man is ogling a women, then the woman should modify her behaviour. If a woman is behaving provocatively, then she can expect to get looks and maybe even more, regardless of her age, social standing or inclination. If a man thinks a woman is sexy, and if she doesn’t want sex, she should turn it down a notch. Be careful. Be invisible. Be demure. Be good. Don’t attract unwanted attention. Sit with your knees together. Cover yourself up. Carry some pepper spray. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t walk by yourself at night. Lock the door, lock the door, lock the door. The rage and the suppression and the indignation of lifetimes erupted forth.
It was like the biblical story of Adam and his first wife, the headstrong Lillith. A woman whom Adam couldn’t control or subdue, so he went whining back to God and asked for a do-over, and so God said, yeah mate, that Lillith is a feisty bitch, and pretty out-there, here, have Eve, she’ll do what you say. She’s a good girl. Eve, who would walk behind him, not by his side. And so the story goes. On.
The rage of Lillith, sick to bloody death of being stifled and repressed came screaming up from her liver and beneath, surprising her, and finding voice in her yell, “I’ll bloody well dance how ever I like. I’ll go and felate this stubby in front of the whole team if I feel like it, and NOT.ONE.SINGLE.FUCK.WILL.BE.GIVEN.”
The music had stopped. There was relative silence for a beat, until some drunk old fella in the corner clapped. Some woman yelled out, “You go, girlfriend.”
And the rugby boys? They didn’t even look up from the Keno game they were playing. Not s single fuck was given.
…From The Ashers xx