There are two sentences I keep using to sort through my moments recently. Two questions I apply to situations I’m in, feelings I have, things people say to me.
Is this a fact or a feeling?
Is this normal because it happens so often or is it normal because it is natural?
Lots of things are feelings, not facts.
I’m not good at this.
Everyone is looking at me.
Everyone will notice that I’m secretly not qualified to be here.
Lots of things are facts, not feelings.
This subway train is not moving.
The person I’m talking to is yelling.
There are lots of things that are normalized because they are frequently occurring.
When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.
– Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism [x]
And things that are normal because they’re average, natural.