This is my official resignation from the Patriarchy.
Over the course of my forty-odd-year life I have played nice, listened and smiled at men while they talked, allowed them to take up space that rightfully belonged to me, and in other ways have not spoken up. I have let my profound belief in everyday kindness be used as a weapon against me. I have, as a matter of course, shut my mouth and avoided confrontation. I have played my part as society asked me to. Been quiet, kept my opinion to myself in public, and have allowed people around me, both men and women, to insult my core beliefs and my dignity when I should have taken them to task.
Why? Because I was trained to be friendly, cordial and nonthreatening. Because my decision to be friendly, cordial and nonthreatening was coerced from me by threats great and small. Because I wanted to be liked by the people around me. Because when I stopped behaving in the way I was supposed to people became uncomfortable. Because drawing negative attention to myself drew attention to my physical imperfections and my weight.
I resign from my silence. I will meet those who offend or insult me with anger and resistance. I resign from my timidity. The consequences of my timidity have been more extreme than the consequences of any show of strength. I resign from my acquiescence. Whatever is the driving force of the universe has allotted me my space and I intend to take it. I resign from my complicity. My silence has harmed other women and girls. My silence has harmed young boys who needed to see alternate role models and didn’t because I did not show myself. My silence has kept the world from being a healthier, saner place.
This is my official resignation from the Patriarchy. I am no longer a member, nor a subject, of this system of oppression. I am no longer subject to its rules, regulations, customs or culture. I will not tithe to it, nor in any way support it. I no longer recognize it as a sovereign power over me.
What I do not recognize has its credibility lessened.
What I will not subject myself to lacks one subject.
What I don’t support is missing a strut.
And so it goes, with leaders only, and none led.