Friday, 25 May 2007

Tammy Lynn Michaels response to the Rosie situation

oh, sister, my sister

sit down or we'll ruin your careers
sit down or we'll shame you in front of all the world
sit down or we'll begin focusing on YOUR demise, instead of the globe's
sit down or there will be no rest until you have been thrown to the wolves and eaten

just shut up



once, when my mother was beating us before a bath, we were sobbing. (make no mistake: wooden spoons hurt.) "SHUT UP!" she growled, her spit flicking us in our tear-drenched faces. she kept her rage a whisper, so as to hide it from her second husband downstairs; he didnt appreciate our beatings. "SHUT UP!! QUIT CRYING!!" she repeated over and over, each command was accompanied with another blow from the new giant wooden spoon, with each crash on the skin growing harder and louder than the last. she always went for the face, and so we cowered up against the washer and dryer, covering our faces. it's hard to shut off terror and pain, so the crying continued. i was only 9, you see. then she, a mother who still doesn't know how to mother, grabbed a roll of duct tape. she used it to tape little girls' mouths shut. duct tape on baby skin. the crying was too much, i suppose, and our frantic panic about a beating was ended with duct tape plastered across the mouth and face. it didn't make us stop crying, it only made our sobbing silent. and in the bath, we stared at each other's naked bruises, with duct tape hanging from our faces. and we said nothing. we had learned.


i had to go to therapy for years to re-learn how to deal with feelings, without placing duct tape over my heart, to keep the sound of human connection quiet. but i'm still learning. and as i watch the world these days, i see many authority figures like i had, running around with duct tape rolls, trying to shut up my sister-friend who won't take her beatings quietly.


she doesn't shut up. she's crying, complaining, she's the only one FEEEEEEEEELIIIIIIIIIIIIING this war. she isn't taking the beating quietly, she isn't climbing into the bath, with the duct tape on. she's ripping that tape off over and over. she won't let them shut her up. her bravery causes me panic- old-fashioned, "Don't make them mad at us, sister!" panic. thank god she knows better than i.

the silly tv shows might allow us some escapism from this hellhole America has created, but i tell you the truth: we will only change this mess when there are more sisters willing to step forward and risk a wrestle with wooden spoons and duct tape. she is like a lighthouse, in the middle of an island-less sea, just a light she is, trying to show us what is really going on in the dark.

keep ripping the duct tape off-
do not shut up
do not shut up

thank you thank you thank you
thank you thank you thank you
thank you thank you thank you

No comments: