To elaborate on why this week (month, year) hasn’t been so great: my mother has recently broken into my email and FaceBook accounts, as well as rummaged through old phone records to find the phone numbers of my friends in order to call them and gossip about me. She’s sown a lot of discord and started many fires. My response was to terminate my relationship with her, and as she kept sending me weird creepy emails, to filter her messages to auto-delete. She found my old livejournal somehow; it’s only a matter of time before she finds this place.
This got me thinking about boundaries and how difficult it is to learn how to set them, particularly given as poor of models as mine, and how even upon learning, they are so often ignored or treated with contempt. Most discussions about this subject seem to take place around rape culture, and while the connection between the two can’t be denied, it’s really a life-encompassing problem, as this example from my own life clearly illustrates. It’s hard enough as a woman — at least, it is for me — to constantly negotiate the balance between being a doormat and a bully to arrive at “assertive.” How much worse is it when assertiveness does not result in expected outcomes?
The truth is, the world doesn’t like self-ownership in women, whether we’re talking about female sexuality and the fear of it and perceived need to control it or asking the boss for a raise. In such an environment, in which women aren’t heard even while screaming, how easy must it be to simply give up? To simply stop trying? Or to, like my mother, relentlessly steamroll over everyone else’s autonomy just to justify your own?
I’m not lying down, though. And I hope that the more these sorts of things are talked about, the more individual women learn to assert themselves and self-actualize, so that the world finally gets used to it.