…. There’s a sea change coming. I can feel it and I can’t quite put my finger on it. We’re at a particular moment in time but what is that moment? What do we call it?
I was in the middle of reading The Power by Naomi Alderman, on Kindle. I got to One Year and the pages refused to advance. The file was corrupted. (Here’s some irony: customer support refunded my money and told me to buy the print version.)
The moment before my reading progress was sabotaged, the story was hurtling towards a catastrophic end, it felt like. It was jarring to have it just halt. Come to a full stop. Screeching, almost. It felt conspiratorial. Power is dangerous to men in the hands of women, the book’s men say. Power is dangerous in the hands of anyone, the universe seemed to say. In the end, we’re all human.
Every little thing is picked apart, it’s subtext examined and deemed sexist or not. Deemed oppressive or not. We’re being gaslighted, we’ve been gaslighted. The evolution of women is gathering strength. This is the part of the timeline where all the events are crammed together on the same stretch, relative to all of time. Is this what it felt like when women’s lib started? Was there an intangible feeling in the air? A kind of listening and looking at the horizon, waiting to see what’s coming over it? It feels like that scene in Mad Max where he comes rumbling over the horizon, kicking up dust. You heard him before you saw him, but you didn’t know what havoc was coming.
I feel…. something. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Something big is happening. Has been happening. It’ll all come to a head eventually, somehow. Doesn’t have to be a big boom. Can be a subtle underlying current that knocks everything off it’s feet, one by one. Tumbling down as the wave rushes through, lapping the shore.
After I read this, my mind went to this: these men, they’re all the same. Social conditioning triumphs over biology. I see it in my 4 year old son–he’s comfortable with his feminine and masculine selves at this moment in time. When does the change happen? When he’s had to time to bear witness to the shitty ways the men behave, sometimes without even realizing what they’re doing, so ingrained and so great is their privilege as men. Some boys start sooner, some boys start later but they all start eventually. Should I be speaking in generalities? I think so. This experience with men is broad enough that we can speak in generalities. A man can protest and say it’s not fair, that he doesn’t fit this description. Conscious or subconscious, the behavior still matters.
There is definitely a latent anxiety. That, I can feel. It manifests itself in sleeplessness, restlessness, a lack of focus. A feeling of floundering, like I’m not sure what to do next. I make list after list, trying to keep myself in line but my attention is fleeting.
Song lyrics run through my head– a change is gonna come/ keep your eyes on the prize/ the times, they are a-changing– trite, maybe but on the pulse. It’s what I feel.