I am militantly apathetic and therefore well acquainted with the confines of cynical complacency. I violently project my apathy towards most things that other people seem to get riled up about; the Scottish Indy Ref, Jeremy Corbyn, David Cameron (oink), Catalonian independence, being productive, fulfilling dreams, waking up in the morning. I mean, whatever, all days end anyway.
This may sound like I have the sentience of phlegm, but I do care about some things— gay rights, women’s rights, Kurdish independence, Rioja— to name but a few. Perhaps a curious selection considering I am a hetero (?) male from the overcast climes of the Scottish north. Actually, not that curious at all if you believe in love and perhaps skim the news once in a while or, like me, read it so obsessively that it affects your social life: “no I can’t come out tonight, there’s been a landslide in Brazil”.
It also helps that I was raised by feminist social worker who would thankfully scorn me for saying someone’s shoes were totally gay from the day the nurse spanked my gender-neutral arse cheek until the day it sank in that it was totally gay to call something gay in a derogative, totally gay way.
Today’s protest was of the feminist ilk: contra la violencia machista. It reminded me that looks can be deceiving. I was speaking with a guy in a bar not long ago and our conversation swiveled towards women’s rights. His key point was “go outside and you’ll see that women in Spain are equal”. It may appear that way but just because women in Spain don’t have to wear hijab, can leave their house unaccompanied, can drive, can vote, can choose their partner, have access to tampons, condoms, education, aren’t stoned to death on a daily basis doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done.
Some people struggle to see the inequality because they don’t have to live it. If I go on a night out the chances of catcalling, being groped or forcibly kissed are pretty bloody slim. And just because I roll the bottom of my jeans up doesn’t mean I’m asking for it. It sounds ridiculous but I’d hesitate to guess that almost 100% of my female friends could relate to this. I have had to play the role of pretend boyfriend for people before in order to curb unsolicited attention. That should not be brushed off as the norm.
There should also be no reason why a woman can’t walk through a dark park at 4am after a night out. But there is. Until there isn’t, there will still be a place for global feminist movements.
But you know, whatever. Like I care. All days end anyway.