Ida Bakhturidze, 32, Akhmeta
Ida is one of the authors of this platform. We tell you stories not only of other women but also stories of ourselves. We want you to know the people better, who you trust with your own stories.
This blog was first published on the page of Heinrich Boell south Caucasus regional bureau: http://www.feminism-boell.org/
“My share anger before being a feminist
People often reproach us feminists, that we are a “group of angry women” and in this way they try to demonize our anger like it’s hysterical and irrational. In reality, feminist anger might be the most legitimate anger, because all women have personal experience of oppression in patriarchy. and some of these women have our way, or our share of anger before being feminists.
Oppression and violence start in early childhood for women, in their own families. Also for women like me. At times it was hurtful for me to realize that even in a family, where supporting wishes and education supposedly should have been the same priority for all three children, parents never told the story of the birth of me or of my sister. just like that, we haven’t heard what was happening in the hospital, how they brought us home, whether or not there was a big celebration feast and what was it like in family in general. In contrary, they would tell the story of my brother’s birth frequently. it was a long story about the most important and happy occasion of our family, with some humour additions. for example, how one of my dad’s friend stepped his foot in front of the other friend to get to be the first one to tell my dad the news of the birth of “The Hair”. Of course, all this was followed by one week celebration, during which, the child was praised with the name, given by my father and his friends. they didn’t know yet, that grandpa saw his grandpa in his dream that night and this is how the name was decided, without my mom, or my dad, who was celebrating at the time, knowing it. the most important thing is, the men are the main characters of this story, starting from the newborn, finishing with older ones, or the other way around. Mother, sisters and other women are either not part of this story, or in a secondary role.
I realized it a bit later, but there were some stories in my deep childhood, which I remember vividly and they are related to my feminist anger. I couldn’t explain why I could remember a phrase that I heard when I was 6 years old: I was playing with my sister outside. my dad was on the balcony, with my mom standing beside him. The conversation was tense and they were whispering. But from time to time they were forgetting themselves and raising voice. I wasn’t playing anymore. I was listening to them and I heard my mom saying – “What if it’s a girl again?!…”. I probably didn’t understand much then, but I really started thinking about the differences between sexes and started questioning “why?”.
A couple of months ago after that occasion, they brought my newborn brother home. I already knew and expected that he would be “different” from me and my sister. But after they took him out of his rags in front of all the relatives on a dining table, I realised he wasn’t just different but also “better”(!). I got the answer to my question “why”, when the grown-ups applauded him with different jokes and praises. This is when I realised, being only seven years old that the main “shortcoming” of me and my sister was simply being a girl. This is when I developed the first feminist anger.
I have been angry a lot of times, as a woman. But not like the 7 years old insulted girl, who couldn’t say anything then, or during years afterward, I can raise my voice about it now. I am telling this story now, for other parents and relatives to think about it. maybe they will think about it and not turn the birth/existence of brothers to a traumatic experience, intentionally or not.
the most important turnout in the history of women’s movement happened when women got angry and united. Right to education, right to vote, political and civil rights of women were obtained by angry feminists. Feminist anger is the power of women, which can change the reality to better. This is why patriarchy is so afraid of our anger and trying to belittle us every time we get angry because of silencing, killing and violence against us, especially if we try to express it.”
Author: Ida Bakhturidze
Photo: Salome Tsopurishvili