What does “getting over someone or something” mean when a woman is told that?
Why does the entire life of a woman is spent being a revisionist historian who erases and reconstructs her past carefully, while curating a future that’s also not certain?
The idea that I have to erase my past constantly in order to make room for my future is so suffocating and against agency.
I’m expected to just live and create new memories and forget all about what happened yesterday. I have to start calling someone else’s parents Mom and Dad. When I post my selfies, my husband appears next to me. Just a few days ago, there was a different set of people peering over my shoulder.
To think that a woman has to bury her past desires, love interests, aspirations, dreams in the name of a new life isn’t fair. It’s actually unfair. Very unfair!
To think that we need to make room for new people and new love and new memories is stupid. I can love and live my past while planning and loving my future while loving and building my present. It’s all possible. A woman is vast in her reach. She is bountiful in her memory.
To think that if I remembered a man from the past I wouldn’t be able to embrace my man from today is an aspersion on my capability to love. I can love more than one man. Romantically! And I can do them all justice . Can men do that?
There is this new-age quote circulating that tells us to go to therapy so we can get rid of the pieces of us that hurt us. So we shed the skin that we have accumulated after evolution from pain and grief. Can I say that none of my pieces are disposable? That none of my lovers deserve to be forgotten?
There is an idea of control that the patriarchal man practices on the woman. He wants her in her entirety. This is why he asks her constantly to revise her history and rewrite it. She should change her parents when she gets married. She should change her siblings. Someone else should become the center of her life. Her parents should understand that she has a different role in life now. Marriage….. sigh….. the Muslim woman sacrifices so much in the name of an institution that fails to adopt her still.
This control of the Muslim woman’s mind and body isn’t consummate, let me tell you this. The more women are controlled, the more they start to hide secrets in private corners in unknown crevices of their souls.
The more you ask her to erase it, the more she etches it in her memory.
Telling us to get over our life with our parents or siblings or an ex or our kids is not only against agency, it’s also a sure fire way to spur us into rebellion. The more you change us, the more we resist the change.
We don’t have to get over anything to build something new. This is the biggest lesson for patriarchy. We can build new things while in mourning over losses. We can also grieve for centuries before constructing something new.
The patriarchal hold on women’s minds and the demand to subject our minds to our patriarchs is a form of abuse. It’s a kind of erasure. It is how minions are raised. But women aren’t minions of patriarchy. Which is why this program fails repeatedly and women keep coming out on top.
I’ll live in my past and dream of my future. I won’t accept tenets of being a woman. Patriarchy’s version of chastity isn’t my crown, I’ve realized after all. Chastity that oppresses me is the noose around my neck that I detest.
I’ll mourn or celebrate or love or care about whoever I want to. What goes on in my mind, heart and soul isn’t anyone’s business.
Actually what goes on in my body isn’t anyone’s business either.
I can’t conform to ideas of exclusivity when my life has seen none of the exclusivity that patriarchy reserves for itself.
If patriarchy so bothers with what my past is and how it can be buried under marriage and coverture, then I don’t know how to help patriarchy with it.
But maybe if it is so painful for patriarchy then it should just smash itself. I can’t smash my history to make patriarchy comfortable and happy in its ownership of me.