I’ve written in response to two prompts: one from fivedotoh’s Weekend Writing Prompt of ‘Mean and Nasty’, and the other from pixtowords’ Pic and a Word Challenge prompt of Courage. See more contributions for both at https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/24/weekend-writing-prompt-mean-and-nasty/
Kick, hit, scream, elbow, fist, run, poke, twist.
They laughed and clapped as each one threw a direct punch or leveled a damaging kick to the groin.
‘Freeing’, ’empowering’, ‘capable’, ‘less vulnerable’ is how they described their feelings.
It took these 15 women a few attempts to react furiously against a would-be assailant. They didn’t know how to fight, to defend themselves, to strike another person, to be aggressive when in danger. But once given permission to uncork the bottle of helpless anger women live with, a sense of emancipation filled the room.
Women are taught to be ‘good girls’, not to make waves, to smile, and to never fight back. We are told we are the weaker sex, making us easy prey to dominance and violence.
But in this room, where protective lessons were being taught, the feelings of strength and competence bounced against the walls energizing the females ranging in age from 13 to 77. Suddenly the momentum changed from fear and helplessness to power and rage; from hesitancy to decisiveness, and from timidity to boldness.
The group of Spanish-speaking Mexicans and English-speaking gringos followed instructions given in both languages, learning how to make a fist that can draw blood, how to curl your toes up as you kick with the top of your foot. They practiced using their elbows as weapons, and how to disengage if thrown to the ground.
The hour-long drill was the first time these women knew the latent authority of their own bodies, and how to unleash its potency.
And it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
We are not helpless, defenseless, or weak.
We are nasty, mean and courageous.
We are Women.